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It’s Fall and things are finally winding down in the garden. Everything has been dug up and dealt with. Now it’s time to start putting the garden to bed for winter. Here’s what we’ve done so far this season with our garden harvests.
Root crops are being stored in our cold room.
The canning is almost finished for the season and we’re happy to see jars full of home canned goodness on our shelves.
We’ve canned green beans, made and canned strawberry jam and a few cases of pickled beets.
We’ve made Salsa (delicious!) and even managed to can fish.
After dealing with garlic all season, we’re happy that the new crop of Garlic has been planted.
The Garlic beds have been mulched with old hay and the tools are slowly getting picked up and stored for winter.
Half of the main garden has been taken over by Garlic.
If you want to learn more about how to grow and harvest Garlic, check out our 4 part series.
But now, it’s time to get to work putting the rest of the garden to bed for winter.
Putting the Garden to Bed for the Winter
I never like to leave our garden soil exposed over the winter time. Part of putting the garden to bed for the winter season is taking care of the exposed soil.
I would rather have it covered with a green manure that will hold that topsoil in place.
A cover crop of green manure will also help to keep amending your soil.
You can see a bare area in the middle top of the photo above. Once that area was given a good weeding, I raked the area into raised beds.
We added a LOT of well composted manure to the empty garden. We have pushed a lot of heavy wheelbarrows!
Once the upper left part of the garden was cleared out and weeded, I scattered Fall Rye seed.
This will become a cover crop and in turn will act as a green manure to help amend the soil.
Sometimes I use Buckwheat, especially in the late summer.
Buckwheat doesn’t need much time to grow, so if you have a free area and 30 days of growing time left in the season, try Buckwheat.
From mid Fall into the early Spring, I like to cover with Fall Rye. Planted before the real cold sets in, it will start growing roots and a bit of top growth.
Then it will go dormant for the winter. In the Spring, it just starts growing again.
If we till the garden in the Spring, this gets tilled in.
If you want to learn more about green manure (cover cropping) click on the link.
Putting an Asparagus Patch to Bed for Winter
You can see the Asparagus patch on the far left in the photo above.
We pick Asparagus freely here until the end of the first week in July, and then we leave it alone.
The stalks grow and turn into fronds, starting to yellow in late summer.
Some people cut the stalks down in Fall, but we leave ours alone and do the cutting in the Spring.
Those fronds will add a bit of protection to the roots below the surface.
Before the snow flies, I’ll mulch the Asparagus with old spent hay to add further protection.
This is the only thing that is needed in a northern climate when putting this part of the garden to bed for winter.
This will get removed in the Spring and the Asparagus will grow again.
The leaves are gone now from most of the trees; Fall is slowly turning to Winter here in the Cariboo.
If you like gathering leaves to add to your garden soil, now is the time. Or add them to your compost pile where they will break down.
We haven’t had snow yet; thank goodness. Now is the time to finish outdoor homestead projects and make sure things are cleaned up and put away.
Leave some potatoes in the ground
I still have to mulch the strawberry beds, but I’ll do that when I do the Asparagus. We are also leaving a row of potatoes in place and not digging them up.
We will dig those potatoes up in mid-March or so. It depends on the amount of snow we get, but we are looking forward to a few fresh and delicious potatoes to enjoy in the Spring.
Try this sometime; you can leave potatoes in the ground over winter!
Just don’t leave them in the ground too long. Don’t let the ground get too wet or they will rot.
If you have to, dig them up in February and then put them in your cold room.
We are already enjoying the extra rest we’re getting; sleeping in a bit is always the bonus of October.
More posts about putting a garden to bed for the winter:
Tucking the Yard in for Winter – The Garden
5 Outdoor Things We Have to Do Before Winter