It is the end of summer, the depths of harvesting, tomatoes in our region are just hitting their stride with the abundance that accompanies them: salsa, plum and stewed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and soups. It is easy to get burned out this time of year, throw your hands up and declare a truce with the garden bounty. YOU WILL PREVAIL! Many this time of year are starting to take the garden down, preparing for autumn and winter. If you have preserved, donated, and shared all you want start preparing your garden for it’s winter’s slumber.
This is a critical time of year in any garden when it is easy to let things fall by the wayside. It is critical to nip disease and pest issues in the bud NOW instead of letting them overwinter and appear in force once again in the spring. Taking the time to prepare your soil now will save you many headaches next year. Although early autumn is a busy time of year for us all ~ school, autumn sports, last vacations, remember your garden in your priority list as well.
A few pointers to get you started:
* if it is diseased or infested with pests, out it goes, and not into the compost pile but OUT it goes
* pick up and dispose of fallen/rotting fruit and veg as it keeps the big and tiny pests away
* as you harvest your crops either plant a new crop or cover crop such as fava beans, winter wheat, or austrian peas, or mulch heavily to keep the weeds at bay, the rains from compacting the soil, and the micro and macro-organisms happy through the winter
* if you haven’t done so already, make a list and/or map of what was planted where; you will need it when planning for next year, rotating your crops at least every four years
* as the leaves fall rake and save them in a bin of their own so you have a ready stash of fairly dry browns at hand during the wet winter months.
As always, take advantage of the UFS private garden consultations. We’re here to help you find the potential in your space no matter the size or location.