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Garden cleanup and soil improvement

Food gardens are in transition in October. Cool-season crops hit their stride and cover crops replace tired warm-season crops. Rather than put the entire garden to bed we may decide to coax more food from the ground with row covers, cold frames, and over-wintering crops. Either way, fall cleanup (“garden sanitation”) and soil protection and improvement this fall help ensure a healthy and productive garden next year.

Cleanup Tips:

Remove perennial weeds with a metal rake (ground ivy and grasses in this case).

Soil Protection and Improvement Tips:

Partial root systems of eggplant at season’s end.
Bury plant-based food scraps in garden soil. This keeps them out of the landfill and recycles plant nutrients in the root zone. Unfenced gardens may attract wildlife.

Invasive jumping worm removed from a deep layer of garden leaf mulch.

By Jon Traunfeld, Extension Specialist. Read more posts by Jon.

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