How to Winterize Garden Soil - Knowledgebase Question

Revere, MA
Question by hselvitella7
September 18, 2000
What can I put on the soil in my garden to help it to be ready for next spring?


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Answer from NGA
September 18, 2000

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Add a generous layer (several inches) of compost. Compost is terrific stuff! It adds organic matter to the soil, improves drainage in clay soils, improves water and fertilizer retention in sandy soils, provides nutrients, increases soil microbial activity, and encourages earthworms. I like to incorporate compost into the soil before planting, but I also use it as a mulch or top dressing. It will act as a great mulch/top dressing for your existing flowers and over time break down and improve your soil. As it ages, some of the nutrients in compost will leach away, but compost is generally not extremely high in nutrients anyway. It will still provide many benefits for your soil no matter when you use it. You can use compost, or other types of organic matter that may be available, such as any combination of dried leaves, pine needles, straw, chipped matter, manure, etc. Dig or till it all in next spring before planting. Wait to add any needed fertilizers until next spring, as they will leach away during the dormant season. Good luck with your garden!

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