Jerry and I have been steadily working at cleaning up the garden to put it to bed for the winter. We’ve taken out the raised beds (which were falling apart), pulled up everything that was finished producing for the year along with many tall weeds (a work in progress), and filled the compost bin with all of the scraps. We cleaned out trash, put the empty pots in the shed, and cleared off the potting table.

Yes. Our garden is resting until Spring.

I would still like to put in a few things, maybe in one or two new raised beds. There is still time to plant garlic, shallots, and onions. And the strawberries still need to be relocated. But right now I’m just focusing on getting reorganized again, first.

There is a lot I can be doing right now to be preparing for planting time in Spring.

We’ll be tilling it up again sometime next week, and then top dressing the soil in the garden to work in organic matter. I’m thinking more of a lasagna method idea. Spreading around leaves, hay or straw, manure, grass clippings (from untreated lawn), woodchips and pine needles, layering them with compost, and allowing these things to break down over the winter is a great way to build the soil’s richness, and loosen our dense red clay. This mulching will also help prevent new weeds from growing up and taking over.

You could plant a cover crop (which would also build up the soil and fight weeds), to be tilled in come Spring time, but I think it’s too late for me to do that here.

I’ve already been thinking about how I want to improve next year’s garden, how I want it all laid out, and what I can be doing now to get it ready.

One of the problems I had this year was not getting stuff staked or trellised before it got too big. I’m hoping to go ahead and get trellises in place over the next couple of months, so they are ready to go come planting time.

I also need to get out there and mulch around my perennials (my artichokes, fruit trees, herbs, and elderberry bushes), to keep them warm through the freezing temps that are sure to come.

So, even though planting and harvesting times are over, the work is never done! There is still plenty to do to keep me busy in the garden until Spring comes again.

What about you, how do you prepare your garden space to rest through the winter? And what types of things do you do now in order to be one step ahead once planting time arrives?