Wow, a gardening season has come and gone! What a great year this has been for many gardeners. We had a very long spring that wasn’t to wet and a nice and hot summer. This is the first year that my peppers have done amazing! In Wisconsin, I often think that it just isn’t hot enough for my pepper plants, but this year I had so many peppers! I see stuffed peppers in my meal plan all winter long thanks to my garden!
So now that our season is coming to an end, I wanted to share with you the final step to winterizing your garden. Clearly you can see in this picture (above) that my garden is done and ready for winterizing. It really is quite simple to prepare your garden for winter. This step should not be skipped for several reasons. One, who would want to look at this all winter long and two, by doing a few small things your garden will be ready for planting in the early spring.
The first thing you want to do is pull out all your plants. Make sure that you pull the entire plant with its roots out of the dirt so that next year you will have loose soil for your new plants.
Here is a very important step. Soil is not cheap! Be sure to shake off all the soil out of the roots and place the soil back into your garden. Your plant should look like this when finished.
Now simply throw your plant into your compost bin. Don’t have a compost bin…no problem. You can easily start a pile in the woods or a discrete location and it will eventually turn into soil.
Finally, loosen the soil up a bit where the plants were to make sure there isn’t any part of the plants left behind. Do not add any fresh soil at this time, we will be doing that in the spring time. Notice that I have my thyme and rosemary still left in my garden. Both of these plants are hardy plants and will continue to produce until my temperatures fall well below freezing. I will leave them in the garden for a bit longer and then transplant them into pots to bring them into the house so that I can enjoy fresh herbs all winter long.
That is it! That is all you need to do to winterize your garden. Some people might suggest you put some straw or hay down, but I don’t find that necessary. Your garden is now ready to hibernate until early next spring! See you in the spring time everyone! 🙂
I like your tutorial on building raised beds! Have a question though… are these beds deep enough for all vegetables/fruits?? With the weed blocking fabric on the bottom, assume roots can only grow so deep. I am a new gardener so not sure how much soil depth I would need for something like, say, carrots… Appreciate your advice!
Halle Cottis says
I have several beds. 2 are 12″ deep and my largest bed (12’x 4′) is 6″ deep. 6″ is fine for cool weather crops but I find that 12″ is best for warm weather crops.
Madeline G says
Lovely post! It’s my first time taking care of a garden and now as I have to clean it and to prepare it for the winter, I realize I don’t know many things. Your tips are very helpful, I’ve heard about compost and know what is it, but had no idea I should have a compost bin. Thank you for your article!