In many countries of the world especially that are in Northern Hemisphere, the autumn season hits the ground as you turned your calendar to September 1st. The countries like United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, India, and Pakistan for example start witnessing autumn in September.The daylight gets shorter and night is cooler. Now for me, it is the time to start preparing kitchen garden for winters. In fact, it is the time for every dirt lover involved in urban gardening to start preparing garden for winters.
You are now aware that today’s article will be highlighting some tips to safeguard your kitchen garden from freezing winters to have a healthy and fresh soil for spring cultivation. Preparing kitchen garden for winters is necessary because, you may postpone or challenge winter for a while by covering the vegetables or herbs in urban garden with a sheet, but you cannot force your plants from going into hibernation or halt due to chilling temperature and declining light. Plus, it is a good time to start collecting the ripened veggies or fruits and start cleaning the soil of your kitchen garden.
If you have sown carrots, turnip, sugar beet, beet root, reddish, garlic or leeks, leave them inside the soil to harvest in early winters. But make sure of putting mark for identification and mulch on them to protect ground from thawing so that you can pull them out in snow.
Here are five tips that you should follow in urban gardening while preparing garden for winters.
1. Cleaning the Garden Beds
Cleaning should be prioritized at first while preparing kitchen garden for winters. A messy garden is common by the end of the growing season. Do not panic. Just divide your time by selecting one bed or a particular patch in kitchen garden daily. Make sure there are no rotting fruits or veggies left in the garden as several pests and light blight can overwinter on them. It is wise to put any leftover fruits or veggies in your composting bin. After cleaning, put an inch or 2 inch layer of compost and mulch on the soil beds. This will help soil from freezing completely.
2.Testing Your Soil
By the end of the current season, your urban garden has feed you enough. Now it is time to check the health of soil. A good idea about soil health can be deduced by test of soil. Level of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, sulfur and magnesium can be estimated. Organic matter content and soil pH is also checked through a soil test. This test will also aid you in deciding about the amount of lime and fertilizer needed for your soil. Adding lime is always beneficial especially in winters, where it has sufficient time to mix with the soil and adjust soil pH.
3. Kitchen Garden Expansion
This is my top advice to every dirt lover. Winter is the best time to expand your kitchen garden. You can do this in many ways. One of these is adding few new raised beds or even following the modern day urban gardening technique of adding square foot gardens above the grass. That is why, many online stores, nurseries and plant stores sell packed organic garden soil during the fall. You should add compost as you prepare your new patch of kitchen garden. In this manner, not only your goal of preparing kitchen garden for winters fulfill but you will also have access to healthy, fresh and expanded space for gardening in early spring.
4. Collect Leaves
Winter season is truly a gold mine for kitchen gardeners and those who prepare their own compost. Collect leaves as much as you can. Put them in your composting bin. The fall brown leaves are rich in carbon thus are important in maintaining a good ratio of carbon-nitrogen in your compost bin. It is always best to hold these leaves with you if you are composting so that these can be added timely whenever nitrogen content of compost bin start accelerating. Another use of these leaves is to shred them and putting a layer of leaf mulch over the soil during winters. This will help in subdue weed growth, retaining of moisture and added nutrients as it decomposes in soil.
5. Tillage the Soil
Tillage of kitchen garden soil is the last step in preparing kitchen garden for winters. Why? The reason is simple. There are many pests and harmful insects preparing themselves to hibernate in your urban garden soil to overwinter. Till of soil exposes them and reduce their population. This allows you to have a peaceful farming during upcoming spring and summer season.
Happy Growing and Eating 🙂
Cite this Article in APA Style as:
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, September 05). 5 Tips for Preparing Your Kitchen Garden for Winters [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://aridagriculture.com/2017/07/23/5-tips-for-preparing-your-kitchen-garden-for-winters/[/box]