As summer comes to a close & we transition into fall, it’s important to start preparing your garden beds for winter. In this article, we’ll talk about the most important thing you should be doing in your garden during fall & four different ways you can protect your soil over winter.
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Winter can do a real number on your garden, especially if it’s not protected. Cold winds & rains will try to wash away all that beautiful soil you’ve been building all summer long. And since nutrient-rich soil is so important to a healthy garden, the best way you can protect your soil is by covering it for winter.
Soil is the lifeblood of your garden & should be your top priority during fall garden prep.
Now let’s talk about four different ways you can cover your soil for winter…
The most ideal option for covering your soil over winter is to grow a garden. That way the soil’s protected and you get to enjoy the harvest. Think root vegetables like turnips, beets, & carrots; cruciferous veggies like broccoli & cauliflower, along with hardy greens like kale & swiss chard.
Learn more about what to plant in August & September to enjoy a bountiful cold-weather garden.
If you’re not able to plant a garden, your next best bet is to grow some cover crops. Plants like rye, vetch, clover, and field peas will help lock nutrients into the soil over winter. And if they’re still alive come spring, you can till them into the soil as added green compost.
In lieu of planting anything at all, consider mulching your gardens. Mulch prevents soil erosion and provides protection for microbiology over the course of winter. Some of our favorite mulching options are straw, compost, newspapers, & cardboard. Even covering it with plastic is better than exposed earth.
Leave the Weeds
Has anyone ever told you NOT to weed your garden? Well, sometimes that’s the best option. Weeds will still keep your soil covered over winter and, if you remove the ones that are going to seed, they’ll be relatively harmless for your garden. In this case, any cover is better than no cover.
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So, are you ready to get your garden beds tucked in for winter? Which method are you using to protect your soil? Send us an email or leave a comment below! You can also let us know on our Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Pinterest pages.
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Thank you for sharing, about 3 years ago, I built a 30X30 garden, and I put cardboard and landscape fabric down prior to putting my soil on top. In Tennessee we have Bermuda grass and it grows laterally, and it just consumed my entire garden. I started over, and am going with raised beds now to see if it works out any better. Love your blog and YT channel, keep it up!
Those invasive grasses can be a real headache. Hopefully the raised beds work better for you. I would hope that if you keep pulling and maybe try to flame weed the grasses, you may be able to exhaust them over time. We’re hoping to do the same with our invasive blackberries. Thank you so much for your kind words. We appreciate the support!