Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall Clean-up and Overwintering Options

The October 25th pot luck and work party signals the official end of the summer growing season for the Hazel Heights p-patch. 

But the growing season doesn’t have to end if you don’t want it to.  With our temperate Pacific Northwest climate, we can plant February through November and harvest year round.

Here are some things to consider if you are interested in overwintering.

What to Plant
  • Root crops, brassicas (broccoli, kale, cabbage), salad crops and peas. Can be enjoyed up to the first frost of November or longer if the winter is mild. 
  • Hardier crops like fava beans, garlic, purple sprouting broccoli, and hardy greens like kale, collards and Brussels sprouts will keep growing through a wet winter. 
  • And don’t forget, the Giving Garden harvests all year round as fresh vegetables are needed no matter the season. With fewer gardeners growing duing the colder months, overwintering has an even bigger impact for the Giving Garden.

How to Prep
  • Loosen the soil where other plants have been harvested, use compost to mulch around the new plants when you set them out
  • Too much nitrogen in the soil increases the water in the soil and plans for faster growth but makes plants more susceptible to frost damage.
  • Use no fertilizer at all September through February. Come spring, you can top-dress the soil around your overwintered plants with a high-nitrogen organic fertilizer or composted manure to spur faster spring growth.

Plan ahead for the Spring
  •          What you do with your garden in the fall can make a difference to your spring planting.
  •          Plants pull different types of nutrients from the ground so consider where your vegetables were planted in the fall and plan to change locations.
  •          Different plants breed or are susceptible to different types of pests, take inventory of your soil and plantings to ensure you aren’t hosting a breeding ground for pests.

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