ground cover recs needed for Zone 6a

Hi all,
I have a small (15 sqft) raised bed garden which I planted for the first time this past summer. I've pulled up most of what was in there except for a perennial lavender I have in one corner. Can anyone recommend some kind of ground cover to plant for the winter? Or should I just mulch it? Just don't want to lose that precious soil I've got in there.
I'm in Boston, zone 6A.
Thanks for any advice you can give!
Laura
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Laura J Wrote:

Hi Laura,
If you are going to plant flowers and/or shrubs in the spring, I'd pu on a 3" layer of compost and cover with shredded mulch. You're soi will love you and so will your plants in the spring.
New
-- Newt
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Thanks, Newt. I am actually going to be planting vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, basil, greens, beans, etc). Is the advice the same? I had planned to work some compost in to the soil come spring--is it better to do it now?
LauraJ
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Laura J Wrote:

If you are going to plant veggies, it would have been great to hav planted a cover crop (sometimes called green manure) that you coul turn back into the soil in the spring. I'll give you some links o that.
Since it's too late for that, you could do the compost now and it wil have time to improve the tilth (consistency/texture) and add microbe to your soil. Another option would be to build a lasagna bed there. It depends on how much work you want to do. I would do one or th other now so that mother nature has time to improve the soil over th winter. The healthier your soil the healthier your veggies will be an better able to fight off pests and diseases. Here's a bunch of link you can read over the winter.
Understanding your soil: http://tinyurl.com/69rfy http://tinyurl.com/5s8xh http://www.attra.org/soils.html http://tinyurl.com/4w24g http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/soil /
Peat moss - to use or not to use: http://www.ondelmarva.com/peat.html http://tinyurl.com/6odtz http://tinyurl.com/3sjhn
Compost: http://tinyurl.com/5kv9p http://www.oldgrowth.org/compost / http://tinyurl.com/4opdo http://tinyurl.com/4a5w7
Lasagna gardening: http://tinyurl.com/22hp5 http://tinyurl.com/37rht http://www.farm-garden.com/primers/26 /
Cover crops: http://tinyurl.com/62ho9
Companion planting: http://tinyurl.com/56bs8 http://tinyurl.com/3ov5r http://tinyurl.com/5h9ut
I realize that I've given you quite a bit of reading, but I think i will all be helpful. Don't hesitate to ask more questions.
New
-- Newt
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"Newt" <> wrote in message

Wow, that is a ton of info! Thank you! I would have liked to plant cover crops--actually that is what I was originally asking about but I see that I worded my question poorly. But you are right, it is definitely too late for that (next year, no going away in September/October--too much to get done in the garden!), especially since the garden is under 5 inches of snow right now :( It shouldn't stay that way for too long, though, so I think I will take your recommendation to work some compost in to the soil and cover it with mulch.
Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question and for all that info!
LauraJ
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It's allready freezing, mulch it with shredded leaves or topdress with compost.
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"Beecrofter" > wrote in message

Thanks! I will do that, as soon as the snow goes away :(
LauraJ
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Laura J Wrote:

Hi Laura, You are very welcome! If/when the snow melts, you could even just pu the compost on top of the soil then and turn it under in the spring. The nutrients will trickle down over the winter. I did that one year. New
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"Newt" wrote in message

That is exactly what I will do this weekend! Thankfully, the snow has mostly melted already.
LauraJ
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