This was my first year ever for wife and I to plant veggies. We plannted
beans, zuchinni, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Now that the season is
over and all we have left are a few failed last attempts from teh plants to
bud more fruit, what do I do. Basically garden season is over here. Do I
just leave them all in the ground and in teh pots to die? do I cut them
down? I want to be able to reuse the soil in the pots and the garden area
again next year for more veggie plants. I'll probably start snowing here in
about a month and start frosting regularly in a couple of weeks. Thanks
For most of the plants you mention, diseases can propagate from one
year to the next and so it is best to remove the dead or dying plants
now, including the roots. You have then several options. You can put
them in the garbage, you can put them on the lawn away from the garden
and mow them into smithereens, you can hot compost them to kill
pathogens and use the compost in the garden again, or you can cold
compost them and use the compost in a flower bed away from the garden.
I use options 2 and 4, by using them as mulch for flowers and fruit
shrubs, or just mowing them where I feel the lawn needs a little boost.
I leave less disease prone plants in the garden, however (mostly greens
and alliums), to compost where they fell.
Surely after one year of gardening the soil, specially in the pots, has
been exhausted and so it is a good time now to dump a few inches of
fresh organic matter into garden and pots (I use wood chips, manure,
grass clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps, and wood ash). If the organic
matter is nutrient-rich (manure, kitchen scraps, and wood ash) you can
avoid fertilization entirely next year.
Cedar may inhibit weeds, but it seems to inhibit everything else too.
Pine shavings make wonderful mulch and so do dead leaves.
Drive around town right now. Many idiots are discarding bags and bags of
raked leaves. It is fanTAStic mulch for the winter!
And it's free. ;-)
"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
It does help to move the garden or rotate the crops to give it a chance
to recover naturally. I would add organic materials now and let them
work over the winter to improve the soil.
Remove all the old plants first.
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