- Clean out all the annuals. Any plant that isn’t going to come back next year needs to be pulled out by the roots and disposed. Once they’ve stopped producing, get them out of there.
- Cut back perennials. (Should be non-applicable for RRCG.) Many herbs (and some vegetables) will come back year after year. Cut them to about 2 inches above soil level once they’ve completely gone to seed and are no longer producing usable leaves.
- Compost all disease-free material. Use all of the plant materials from this year’s garden to help nourish next year’s garden. Add raked leaves to the compost pile too.
- Turn your soil. Turning the soil will help eliminate some pest problems next spring. Any grubs or eggs from undesirable insects will be broken up, brought to the surface and feed the birds this fall.
- Plant a cover crop. Planting a cover crop is easy. Oats, peas or buckwheat get scattered over the garden, covered with a light layer of soil and watered if needed. The cover will crop will die during the first hard frost and stay on your garden to protect it from weeds until you turn it under in the spring. Winter wheat and rye will regrow in spring and are very hard to turn over, even for our tillers.
This year, instead of putting mulched leaves on your garden bed, plant a cover crop. (This should be done ASAP.)
Why a cover crop?
- It will grow quickly and then die with the first hard frost, leaving a protective cover on the garden all winter so the soil doesn’t blow or wash away.
- The cover crop will block weeds from growing in the garden.
- In the spring, the cover crop is easily turned into the soil and becomes a nutrient rich fertilizer for next year’s plants.
- Clear your soil of weeds-you can leave larger plants in place and underplant them. Cover with 1-2 inches of compost or other type of mulch (not Bark Mulch) Dig in. Plant cover crop seeds in between existing rows. A layer of straw will be helpful.
- When your cover crop gets to 12 inches, cut it to the ground, or mow, and leave the trimmings in place as a mulch. The crop will regrow until frost kills it.
Vegetable Garden Suggestions:
Do A Soil Test:
catalogue.extension.oregonstate.edu__how to interpret your soil test
For each 100 square feet of garden space, add the following as needed (check your soil test results):
New Garden Bed Old Bed Moderate Fertility
10 lbs 5 lbs
Espoma Rock Phosphate
10 lbs 5 lbs
Gypsum (for clay soils)
10 lbs 5lbs
2 lbs 2lbs
Epsom salts (DO NOT over apply)
1/3 cup 1/3 cup