winter soil care - Knowledgebase Question

Stonyford, Ca
Question by wellspr
January 2, 2010
Should I add something to my soil for all my shrubs, flowers, and trees during the winter months, for healthier plants in the spring?

Answer from NGA
January 2, 2010


You can enrich your soil over a period of years and end up with rich garden loam if you add organic matter. Start right now by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the bed. You can use compost, aged manure (fresh manure can be too hot and might contain weed seeds), shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. This layer of mulch will help suppress winter weeds. In the spring, when you are ready to plant, dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant your flowers and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular garden. Enjoy!

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