Unless you have been asleep for the last decade or maybe you're just really out of touch you are bound to heard of the No Till movement that is sweeping the nation in both the farming and gardening sectors of agriculture. Like the term implies no till is a method of growing crops on both large and small scales without tilling the soil. To those of you that have been raised in what became industrial farming/gardening this idea of not tilling the soil will seem just backwards and potentially a waste of your time.
When people think of a garden they most likely think of the annual garden standards,
But that thinking is missing out on great resource that they can use to reduce work, fertilizer inputs, watering needs and did I mention work. For me the reduced work is a big seller when it comes to gardening and the amount of work it can take depending on your techniques can be staggering. That is why I am a big fan of perennial crops in place of annual crops wherever possible.
Fall that wonderfully cool time of year that signals the end of summer's heat and summers work in the garden. The fall is actually a very simple time in the garden with only two tasks left to accomplish, the removal of the last of the year's produce and the prepping of the protective cover of mulch that will enhance your garden's soil over the winter.
The most important thing you can do for your garden is the removal of anything that might contain any diseases like powdery mildew or wilts that could overwinter till next spring. If you don't have any issues like that than you can just go ahead and lay down the leftover stalks and stems from your plants right in the bed.
Leaving as much as possible in the garden is important in maintaining soil fertility and health as everything you grow removes necessary nutrients from the soil. This can also be a good time to add residues, manures or other fertility adding materials to the garden.
One thing that I am going to try this fall is the addition of coffee grounds straight onto the garden beds. I know they make a great addition to my compost bins and they promote high heat active composting. The same principle could maybe apply right in my beds and work for me all winter in enhancing the soil for next spring.
Once that is done the best thing you can do is leave the garden alone till spring rolls around again. Everything even soil needs a rest period and winter is that time for your garden so let it rest by giving it some "food" and leaving it alone.
When you grow a large crop of carrots you can end up with a problem like I have. You can't possible keep all the carrots you grew in the fridge and you don't have a root cellar where you can store them either.
What does that leave you?
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.