Winterizing your vegetable garden, part 2.
“Once you have removed all of the garden debris from this past year’s growing season, any time spent in soil preparation this fall will make life easier in the spring,” reported Debra Hopkinson, former owner/partner in the DanDe Greenhouse here in Clinton, Tennessee. “This is a great time to have your soil tested, if it has been a while since you have done so, (or you have added other items such as wood chips in the walkways, or other such materials, altering the ph balance of your garden soil); and getting an early start on cleanup and preparation instead of waiting until spring will give you plenty of time to correct any deficiencies that the soil test may indicate. If you use commercial fertilizers remember that it takes as much as three months for the granules to break down into a form in the soil that your vegetable plants can use and benefit from. Therefore, fall application of such will insure that those nutrients will be available for even the earliest of your spring veggies, leaching those nutrients into the soil as the rain and snow fall over the colder months! In addition, fall is the perfect time to add the richness of your compost pile to your garden area and then till it into the soil, improving its quality and condition, allowing what is left of the decomposition process to occur in the place where it will do the most good next growing season. Remember that what work you can put into preparing the soil in your garden this fall will make the work you need to do in final soil preparation and planting in the spring much easier.”
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