Everyone knows that spring and summer are primetime for the gardeners. But many people are unaware that proper care of the garden continues into the fall and winter. Below are some things you can do with your garden to keep your soil healthy and living throughout the colder months of the year.
Plant Cover Crops
We always recommend new gardeners plant cover crops to keep their soil life at tip-top shape when it's not being used for production. Cover crops add helpful biological material and nutritional value back into the soil, keeping the microbiological life in the soil alive.
Some great cover crop choices are:
- Crimson Clover
- Austrian Field Pea
- Mustard Greens
… and many can be used together!
Plant Winter Vegetables
Another fantastic thing to do with your soil in the colder seasons is to actually reuse it. Crop rotation enhances soil quality, composition and nutritional fertility. There are many delicious, cold-hardy crops (such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi, onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, radishes, rutabaga, turnip, radicchio, spinach, artichokes, and kale!) that can be planted in winter and give you a tasty crop. Be sure to protect these from frost by using a cold frame structure or simply covering them with a thick plastic tarp.
There are many creative ways to make a DIY Cold Frame Greenhouse, below are some examples:
If planting isn’t on the agenda, mulching the soil is a great way to maintain tilth (aka land cultivation) and soil quality. Mulch keeps the soil free of any unwanted weeds while allowing the soil to maintain structure and prevent plant pests and diseases from easily gaining a foothold.
There are numerous mulch styles including: spreading straw, foraged vegetation, Comfrey leaves, woven Jute blankets, bark, compost, cardboard sheeting or even plastic covering.
We wish you well with your winter garden and our team at Good Earth Organics is here to help with questions and products to ensure you’re ready for spring!
Written by Carly Culin