Putting Your Garden to Bed for the Winter
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Putting Your Garden to Bed for the Winter

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Want to get a head start on your spring garden, but not excited about maintaining it throughout the rainy season? In this class, we will discuss strategies—like cover cropping and sheet ...

Want to get a head start on your spring garden, but not excited about maintaining it throughout the rainy season? In this class, we will discuss strategies—like cover cropping and sheet mulching—for tucking your garden in for a long winter’s nap, and having it be rarin’ to go when you wake it up in the spring.

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Putting Your Garden to Bed for the Winter Presentation Transcript

  • 1. January 2012 © Independence Gardens LLC Download the handout that goes along with this slideshow! h p://bit.ly/wRv6IN Pu ing Your Garden to Bed for the Winter Independence Gardens Portland, ORTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 2. What We’ll Cover Today Intro we are Independence Gardens • We build raised beds, chicken coops, & other garden infrastructure • Help with garden planning, prep, and installation • Teach edible gardening classes • & make Doo Tees!Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 3. What We’ll Cover Today Preview Topics We’ll Cover Got Questions? • When is the off-season here? Please ask as we go along. • Winter garden timeline • Soil needs & strategies for protection • Cover cropping • Sheet mulching • Other garden protectors • A quick run-down of other fall garden activitiesTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 4. When winter’s here... USDA Zone 8 • De ned by minimum temps Sunset Zone 6 • De ned by range of temps and moistureTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 5. Fall-winter timeline Know your frost dates: • Conservative: Oct. 24 • Experimental: Nov. 15 • Pushing it: Dec. 5Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 6. Winter garden needs Tuck your garden in properly: • Protect the soil from compaction and erosion • Reduce nutrient loss from leaching • Suppress weeds • Replenish organic ma er • Improve soil structureTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 7. When soil is happy... Microorganisms are happy • Symbiotic relationships are maintained You are happy • Much easier to work in the springTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 8. Soil protection Cover crop/green manure • Loosens and aerates the soil • Adds organic ma er and nutrients • Enhances soil microbial activity • Improves soil structure Lasagna gardening/sheet mulching • Easy way to prep new ground for springTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 9. Cover crop strategy Mix & match • Tall, deep-rooted structural crop + N- xing legume • Suggestions: hairy vetch and winter rye, crimson clover Plant ASAP • Give it time to grow before frost Chop up and dig in before maturity • Otherwise it could become weedyTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 10. Sheet mulching instructions Do it early • Give the process enough time to work Lay it thick • Loosen soil & remove noxious weeds • Lay newspaper or cardboard • Build in ~1 inch layers of alternating “browns” and “greens” • Put a layer of dirt (compost or garden soil) on topTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 11. Sheet mulching instructions Do it early • Give the process time to work Lay it thick • Loosen soil & pull noxious weeds • Lay newspaper or cardboard • Build in ~1 inch layers of alternating “browns” and “greens” • Put a layer of dirt (compost or garden soil) on topTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 12. Sheet composting YESes GREENS BROWNS - fruit & vegetable scraps - coffee lters - coffee grounds - houseplant cu ings - rice & pasta - stale bread - eggshells - paper napkins & towels - tea bags - clean cardboard/paper - owers - leaves - plant trimmings - straw or hay - hedge clippings and - small twigs/chips other yard debris - dried grass & weeds - fresh grass (small amounts) - animal bedding (sawdust) - animal manures (not cat, - wood ash dog, or human)Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 13. Other garden protection • Straw • Leaves • Buckets, bags, baskets, boxes, milk jugs • Cloches • Cold frames • Hotbeds NOTE: You cannot and should not try to • Greenhouses recreate spring or summer during fall and winter, but you can protect your plants from ge ing • Sunrooms beaten up, frozen, or blown to smithereens • Windowsills (with supplemental light)Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 14. Other fall-winter activities • Harvest/storage/ preservation • Garden cleanup • Weed management • Invasive species removal • Pest control • Soil amendmentTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 15. Final notes • Remember: Your primary goal is soil protection and nutrient retention through the rainy months • If you don’t cover crop or sheet mulch, at least cover vacant beds with straw or leaves • Fall is a good time to add lime to acidic soils, and a good time to add slow-release organic fertilizers • And you could still grow some food through the winter...Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 16. Questions?Tuesday, January 31, 2012