Dear Readers,

I want to share with you ten ways to prepare the garden or vegetable plot for winter.

  1. Pull up of vegetables and prune back vines to reduce hibernating or over-wintering pests to create havoc on the plot in spring.
  2. Spread compost or manure on the planting beds to replenish the nutrients lost over the growing season.
  3. Consider making compost trenches if the ground is not frozen. These are an old gardener’s trick if you have a lot of garden waste to remove and the compost bin is full.  To make a compost trench, dig a trench about one shovel (spade) length deep and about two shovel widths wide. Starting at one end, place the soil to one side then place the kitchen scraps/garden waste etc into the trench and back fill with the soil. Over winter, the material will decompose and peas, beans or squashes may be planted on top of the trench in the spring.
  4. Mulching beds will help prevent soil erosion during the winter.  Mulches include green manure down in autumn, grass clippings, leaves, straw, cardboard, seaweed and a thick layer of compost or manure.
  5. Clean starter seed trays, pots and containers with hot soapy water and a brush. This will help remove any soil borne diseases and pests ready for your new plants in spring.
  6. Prune apple and pear trees whilst they are dormant. Remove any damaged and diseased wood.
  7. Repair garden paths by  leveling and distributing wood chip or other coverings for the paths.
  8. Repair frost fleece and crop covers to ensure frost tender plants are kept snug throughout winter.
  9. If you have root crops still in the ground, cover with straw to enable you to keep digging them out for a few more weeks.
  10. Cut back autumn flowing raspberries and if necessary, move them to new planting positions.