Time to get your Garden Ready for Winter
Let’s start October with a list of a few jobs to be done to get your garden ready for winter.
It is important to keep on top of those and to get them done out of the way as soon as we can. Using up what dry weather we have left let’s turn to the vegetable garden first.
Any overgrown rhubarb can now be lifted and split. Do this using a sharp spade or a good knife and in such a way each section will have at least one growing point left. Plant all those in free draining and fertile soil and any extras you can pot on and give as presents.
Beans & Peas
If you were growing beans and peas now is the time to collect the last of the crops and clean the bed of any plant debris. I always pull everything out leaving bare soil only, this year I will however try something else. I will cut away all the greenery and leave the roots in the ground to rot. They should release nitrogen back into the soil over the winter months leaving my bed fresh and rich for next season. I’ll keep you posted on how this worked out for me, or maybe try it yourselves?
My little tunnel is also ready to be cleaned out, pull away all the leftover plants. If you are not planning on growing anything there over winter, wash it and use disinfectant to kill off any fungus. For me, a solution of my favourite white vinegar and water will do the job just fine. I will also mix manure and seaweed through the soil and let it work its magic.
Garlic & Onions
One section will be used this winter for garlic and onions.
It is amazing how quickly we go through the summer supply of onions! I thought I will be still eating them next spring and today I discovered two-thirds are gone already.
Some veg can easily be kept in the ground throughout the winter months, leek being one of them.
I will leave it be, it won’t grow much at all anymore, but it will keep fresh for another few months before turning hard in the middle.
Beetroot will also hold for another month or so.
Everything else that is in my vegetable garden is now going to be taken up, preserved, and used, the beds themselves filled with a mix of seaweed, manure, and a bit of shredded cardboard. This way I make sure everything decomposes faster as cardboard is rich in carbon, but acts as a water retainer as well.
There is a spot of weeding to be done around the perimeter and the veg beds. This however will be the last time I am weeding the veg plot until next summer, and even with this, I think it will be minimal.
The last few things to do are to tend to any herb beds or containers you have, there might be one or two gone past their best.
You can still plant new rosemary, thyme, and mint. Those will do well and tie you over until Christmas.
Pick up any pumpkins and gourds and store them in a dry, cool spot. Check on your fruit; cut away summer fruiting raspberry canes leaving only the new shoots.
Some apples are ready to be picked, strawberry runners can be planted, and Currants and gooseberries will be coming in bare-rooted soon.
This lot is what pops into my mind when it comes to getting my veg patch winter ready. I am sure there are more jobs needing doing, depending on what you grow. The good news is the weather is supposed to support us in our gardening madness. So, fingers crossed and let’s tidy and mulch and feed. We have the next 4 weeks to get it sorted.
Thank you, Magda O’ Byrne