If you aren’t growing any cool season crops, it’s time to get your raised organic garden beds ready for winter.
Winter weather is devastating on garden soil. Leave no section of your garden beds or walkways uncovered. The cold winter winds will erode your soil and the sun will bake it dry. Covering the exposed soil with a mulch or cover crop will protect the soil from freezing and thawing, and against compaction.
Cover raised beds, with 2-3 inches of compost, topped off with another two inches of mulch (straw is excellent for this). The compost won’t break down much over the winter, but when those warm days come in early spring, it will go to work. You might also consider planting a cover crop.
Clean up any diseased vegetables or plants and toss them in the garbage – don’t compost them.
In your perennial beds, mulch around new transplants and cover exposed soil.
Also, don’t forget to mulch the roots of newly planted or sensitive trees – mulching will help them retain moisture during the winter and will protect sensitive feeder roots from freezing and thawing.
And lastly, save the leaves that fall from your trees in a separate compost pile – work them into the soil in the spring and they’ll provide a host of micronutrients your plants will love!