Final Garden Preps

We had our first FREEZE here a few days ago, and I’ve been working hard to get the last of the garden chores done before the really cold weather arrives.

Last week, I built some walls for my compost pile and planted my garlic and daffodil bulbs.

I also pulled up the last of the tomato plants, cleaned out all the debris from the raised beds, and took down the fence.  I’m going to widen the fenced area just a bit next year.  I didn’t initially realize how much the plants would encroach on my paths.  In late summer, I was pushing my way through a jungle to reach certain sections.

You can see the before picture here.

Here is the after:

after

Ready for winter!

As you can see, I cut down the nylon netting I used as a trellis for the beans and zucchini.  I do NOT recommend that method for future reference – it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped.  I used it because it was all I had at the time, but it wasn’t very sturdy, and it let my vines grow all the way up to the screened porch!  I had no idea they’d get that tall.  Can you imagine trying to harvest stuff way up there?  No.  Plus the vines got so tangled up, it was impossible to clean them off and reuse it.  Re-buying every year?  No.  I’ll add that to the list of “figure out a better way for next year.”

The last thing I did was to plant my cover crop.  I bought some annual rye seed at Home Depot and sprinkled that on my raised beds and watered gently.  Hopefully it will grow and keep the soil from eroding too badly over the winter.  Then in the spring, once it has turned brown, I will just turn it under.  It will provide additional nutrition to my soil for the coming year’s crops.

That’s the plan anyway, if I can keep Ding Dong out of there.

I’ll miss the garden, but I’m looking forward to the rest.  It’ll be time to start seedlings before you know it!

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