How to prep a garden for winter..

I have about a 20 x 10 garden that I started last year. It overgrown with a pumkin vine and some other weeds have gotten into as well. As soon as I harvest the pumpkins I want to prep the bed for next year. What do other people do to prep their gardens for the next season? I think I should ..pull as many weeds as I can.. maybe rototill and add some nutrients..fertilize? can I mix in my grass clippings until the end of the grass cutting season ? Any other ideas?
Thanks,
Steven
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On 15 Sep 2003 09:01:47 -0700, steve snipped-for-privacy@mverify.com (Steve Sagerian) wrote:

Yes.
Yes. Although I would probably not fertilize till next spring.

Yes.
You can also chop up fallen leaves (by mowing over them with your lawn mower) and mix them in. They're very good for this purpose.
Pat
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I can,t think of a reason to fertilize, but other than that you answered your own ?,s. PS. the organic breakdown from the materials tilled in are somewhat of a fertilizer anyway.
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The only thing I can think of to add to all this discussion is that you might want to consider a cover crop for the garden. Clover or winter rye (make sure it's an annual, not a perennial) would be good for the soil. Makes good green manure in the spring.
Philip

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Steve Sagerian wrote:

.......................
Don't add garden fertilizer in the fall. The nutrients, especially the nitrogen, tend to wash out during the off season. All you are doing is polluting and wasting your money. Fertilize when the garden is growing and the plants need it. If you need to add lime, you can do that in the fall. Also anything organic can go in now such as chopped leaves or the grass clippings. I thing your other ideas are all good.
Steve
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I'd go with the green manure crop, it will keep any weeds down over the winter months and just before spring you cut it down and its an instant manure crop. Maybe add a little manure at the same time as you cut the winter crop. Its cheap, enviromentally friendly and requires little work. Clover is an excellent manure crop. I put it on all my 'unused' winter beds, the ones that don't get much winter sun.

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Before the ground hard-freezes, I cover the garden area about one foot or more deep with grass clippings and leaves, and have it roto-tilled. By planting time it's just right, and doesn't need another tilling.
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