Preparing Your Garden Beds for Winter

It’s the beginning of November, and my tomato plants are still churning out tomatoes. The beans bit the dust weeks ago. Aphids attacked the carrots, so out they went!  Once everything gets ripped from the ground, how do you get your garden beds ready for winter? Here are some tips I learned from The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith:

Prepare the soil. Edward C. Smith, or “Ed” as I like to call him, recommends preparing the garden beds in the fall rather than waiting until spring. Once you’ve harvested your veggies, take a broadfork or pitchfork and loosen up the soil. Add in some compost.

Finding Free Garden Supplies

Imagine creating a kitchen garden that yields heaps of produce all summer long—for free!  Thanks to our recent family budget cutbacks and some wise neighbors, we’ve suddenly found that free gardening is quite possible.  Here are the latest tips we’ve discovered:

  1. Find free wood, recycle what you have, or just dump dirt:  When our friends replaced their cedar fencing, they saved the old boards and used them to build raised beds.  Since the boards were just one inch thick, they cross braced them so that the wood wouldn’t bulge.  On Craigslist or through your friends you can usually find people who are looking to unload wood.  If you can’t find wood, just dump dirt on cardboard in your yard and make a bed without the border.  It will work fine and still grow some lovely veggies.
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