It’s time to tuck in the garden for winter

The nights are longer, the temperature is colder and, unless you have some late Fall veggies growing, it’s time to get your garden ready for the winter. 

One of the first things you should do is pull up any remaining (unless you’re still growing veggies) plants and vines. While some people leave them in ooldmanwinter ver the winter, what they often don’t realize is that they’re giving garden pests a cozy home. Insect eggs can last, hatching as soon as the days get longer and warmer. 

If the plants don’t have a disease, like blight, we like to add them to the compost heap. If they are diseased, however, your best bet is to bag them and trash them, to minimize the risk of it spreading. 

You can also till the plants into the soil (if they’re disease-free) and add other compost, such as manure, leaves and grass clippings. If you do it early enough, worms and other beneficial bugs and microorganisms will have it turning into soil before the ground freezes over. 

Do you have potatoes or other root crops? If you want to prolong your harvest, layer some mulch over the top. It will keep the ground from freezing and, for some veggies, the cold soil will make them sweeter. 

For more tips, check out this page from the Penn State Cooperative Extension, or this one from the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension