From the Folks at Home Depot….Fall garden cleanup is an important step for the long-term health of your garden. Beds cleaned up now will be ready to plant first thing in spring, with fewer weeds and overwintering pests. Plus, there is no better time to be in the garden than a crisp fall day.
CLEAN UP GARDEN BEDS:
- Make two piles for garden waste – one for seed-bearing weeds and diseased plants, and one for compostable materials like annuals, veggies and leaves.
- Pull dead plants and weeds and toss them into appropriate piles.
- Cut tomato and squash vines, woody plant material and other bulky items into 12” pieces to help them rot faster.
- Collect tomato cages and gather up stakes. Store. Dispose of broken or damaged items and make a note of what you will need to replace in spring.
- Lightly rake your cleaned beds.
- Mulch with 2-3” of chopped leaves, pine straw or another biodegradable mulch to restore soil health.
- Trash the pile of diseased and seed-bearing plants. Compost the other.
Wait until spring to prune back hardy herbs like sage and oregano. Through winter, the brown branches will shelter the base of the plants from harsh weather.
Editors Note: Photos show all of my leaves and grass clippings that I have mowed, plus those picked up with my blower/vac which chops is nicely turned back into the soil of my vegetable garden.
It has been tilled using my handy electric rototiller and than I use my lawn mower without the bag to mix it even more and level the area. My garden worms will now have something to eat for their hard winter.
I also have a black compost bin that is now full to the top with layers of grass clippings, soil and chopped fall leaves. Next Spring I will use this for my border plants to add organic materials to the hardened soil to make it richer and looser. As the composted material decomposes it also aerates the soil.