“Fall is not the end of the gardening year; it is the start of next year’s growing season.”
Some years I never get around to doing a full fall clean up of the gardens. This year almost everything is cleaned up. I really have to thank my mom for giving me a weekend of help! She came for a visit several weeks ago and we spent a good portion of the weekend cutting back the flower beds. I have one small flower bed to still cut back but the rest is cut back and cleaned up! What a wonderful feeling.
All the decaying plant material has been moved to our compost heap, which will help to keep the garden free of insects and diseases. I have weeded the strawberry beds and covered them with straw to protect them over the long cold winter. I have also added some composted manure to the rhubarb bed and covered it with straw. As I mentioned in a previous blog my garlic is planted and mulched. I even dug up my two rosemary plants and brought them inside for the winter. Nothing like a little fresh rosemary in the middle of winter!!
The last thing we did was to empty our compost bin that is close to our kitchen, into the garden. It was amazing to see the beautiful black compost! Once all these chores were complete we let the chickens have free range of the vegetable garden! They love it and in just a few weeks will have scratched every bit of garden soil. The surface of the garden will look like we’ve had a miniature rototiller busy at work! They eat up any weeds that have sprouted and pick up any lose bits of plant material. Plus it’s just fun to watch them busy at work.
Now the snows can come, my garden is wonderfully cleaned up and ready to face the winter. Before I know it those seed catalogs will begin arriving in the mail. I can sit by our woodstove and plan next years garden!