Monday, December 5, 2011

Putting the Garden To Bed...

Being that it's already December, I think it's time the garden gets put to bed for the winter!

I've been trying to think of ways to enrich my garden's soil without using chicken manure this year, since it's very high in nitrogen. 

I used to admire our neighbor's garden soil...each fall he would put a lot of his leaves (and he had a ton of them) on his garden and leave them to decompose over winter.  His soil was like black could tell just by looking at it that it would grow great veggies...and once you ran your fingers through it, any doubt remaining was soon gone!  So this fall, I used a leaf vacuum, which shreds the leaves as it vacuums them up, to collect leaves from around our house, in my flower beds, and in hard to rake places.  I dumped numerous wheel barrow loads of leaves on the garden, and spread them thin...

But apparently not thin enough...

I often had to lift up the tiller so that the leaves clogging the tines could be released.  Then I had to kick them around behind me as I went on.  It didn't help that the soil was still a little too wet, but today was probably my last chance for a while to even think of rototilling.  It's to rain again tomorrow and then get cold.

It's not a great job, but it will have to do!  We'll have enough rain, snow, freezing and thawing before next spring, that those leaves should decompose and do their thing...

And I hope they do, because I'm hoping for some great veggies next summer!


  1. Hope it work for ya ! Have a good day !

  2. Looks like you did a great job! Here's to a bountiful harvest next year!

  3. Your plants will thank you with plenty.

  4. we amended with leaves,tandem truck loads of them, we used a manure spreader to put them on,lol.
    It greatly improves the soil.
    you can also use them as mulch and just spread them to plant in,they will still break down.
    Google Ruth Stout,her gardening books and ideas work wonders,I highly recommend her.

  5. Like Farmer, I don't till mine in this time of year. Just pile them onto the beds (6-8") thick. The snow will pack them down over winter from the top and the worms will eat them from the bottom (the real soil enrichers). By spring all I have left to till in are some shreds and lots of leaf stems. Black gold, indeed!

  6. I am horrible about actually cleaning out the garden in the fall. I just let all the weeds and garden plants decompose over the winter. Sometimes (when it's a good year) I will use old hay to mulch and help with weed control, and it will decompose and enrich the soil for the following spring too. Do you have a compost bin? You could put stuff in there to create a nice rich compost too.

  7. I love putting my gardens to bed. I'm distressed right now, because I didn't get to tuck my roses in before the snow. I worry how many I will lose with the winter winds.

  8. Can you come do mine next. It's still covered in weeds and dead tomatoes.

  9. Oh I bet it will work! Pap says when he was a boy they gathered leaves for the fields each winter-and just let them lay on top. I try to put them on my beds-each year but don't always get it done : )

  10. An awesome companion to chicken manure is sawdust. Some of the nitrogen in the chicken manure is tied up breaking down the sawdust. The sawdust helps break up our clay soil. Sawdust creates a more acidic environment so keep that in mind. We need all the help we cn get to push our soil to the more acidic end.


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