The Q&A Archives: How Do I Winterize My Garden?

Question: I would like to know how to prepare my vegetable garden for winter. Should I fertilize then put mulch over it or should I just fertilize? Also should I work the fertilizer mulch into the ground or wait till spring to work it in?
Any help you can give me is greatly apprecitated.

Answer: Fall is a great time to work any organic matter into the soil so it can mellow over the winter; it can also be a good time to add certain amendments such as lime if they are indicated as needed by the results of soil testing. In most cases fertilizer will leach out by srping so it would be wasteful to apply it now. You might wish to leave a layer of mulch over the garden to protect it from erosion this winter; some gardeners will plant a cover crop such as annual rye to serve the same purpose. Any cover crop would however need to be dug or tilled under next spring and would also provide additional organic matter for the soil. As with much of gardening it is a matter of preference as to which path you follow.

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