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October 13, 2014

Putting the Veggie Garden to Sleep

About a month ago I decided I was through fighting the weeds and heat in the vegetable garden. The tomato plants had all "given up the ghost". The pepper plants were seriously wilting in the heat and late summer sun. I'd planted spinach and turnips for a fall garden but neither one grew. Everything else had been harvested, eaten by predators (mostly grasshoppers), or overtaken by weeds. I was done. I harvested the rest of the peppers, walked out, and hadn't been back since.

Over the weekend I walked past the garden and looked over the fence. The pepper plants looked good, and had a few small peppers on them. The mortgage lifter tomato plants that I thought had died were green. I found 3 small red tomatoes and several large green tomatoes.

We really haven't had much rain in the past month, but we've had some heavy overnight dew on many occasions. I guess it was "enough".

The bermuda grass in the garden is so thick and tall that I'm considering just mowing it down. The tomato plants are in the front corner so I can work on the rest of the garden and leave them alone for awhile longer. Maybe I'll get a few more red tomatoes before the first frost hits, usually at the end of October.

Then I'll spread spoiled hay and goat bedding on top of the garden and put it to bed for the winter. I have a huge pile next to the garden that has been aging over the summer. The pile has settled but it's still four feet high.

How do you prepare your garden for winter?

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. So glad you still have a few things to glean from the garden. I'll bet that composted really gives you a great head start come spring! Thanks for sharing your outdoor post on this week's Maple Hill Hop!

  2. Thank you, Daisy - this is the first year I will spread the bedding on the garden in the fall; in the past I've waited until spring. I'm hoping it will work out better!

  3. I've always had good luck spreading leaf mulch- aged shredded leaves and aged compost from my chickens on my gardens in the fall. The worms spend all winter turning it in for me. This year we are adding a layer of goat shed bedding that's been sitting and being picked through by my chickens. After we spread it all out, we'll let the chickens into the garden for the winter. They add to the compost, dig it in and eat any weeds that sprout. It's handy to have a working flock!

  4. Tami, that sounds like a wonderful way to refresh your garden for spring!

  5. Great way to get rid of the soiled hay and make the garden happy!

  6. Yes! Don't you love it when you weave it all together and everything benefits?!

  7. Thanks for the tips. I am new in the country and this is my first fall here. I look forward to vegetable gardening next spring and your tips will help me prepare my soil now!

  8. Mei Ann, anything you can do now to prepare your garden for spring is time well invested. I hope you have a wonderful first spring in your new home!

  9. What a fun surprise! We are getting a few cherry tomatoes now that the heat is gone. We garden year round so in August I planted buckwheat in the beds that were finished for the summer and we are using this fall/winter. I turned that under and have planted most of our fall/winter garden. The rest of the beds will get either chicken bedding or a heavy layer of leaves and coffee grounds. This is my favorite time to garden. Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thurday; hope to see you again this week.

  10. Hi Angi. The nice thing about Texas is that you can garden all winter. :-)


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