Long periods of unwelcoming weather can adversely affect the soil in our gardens. Consequently, we need to recharge our garden beds during the winter months so that we can harvest flavorful, nutrient-rich vegetables and herbs and vibrant, healthy flowers and plants.
There are several things you can do to replace essential nutrients within your soil, protect it from the harsher months ahead and ensure that your garden is a hospitable, nurturing place for any growth you hope to encourage in the spring.
The first thing you want to do is to clear out any old plants. Plants left in your garden beds, no matter how past their prime they may appear, can continue to rob your soil of vital nutrients; and old stems, roots and leaves can invite disease and pests into your garden. This is also the time you want to cut back your perennials.
Then, you want to revitalize the area by restoring all that good stuff your plants crave. You can do that by adding a layer of compost or manure – neither of which you need to work into the soil. A top layer of several inches will seep into your soil on its own. A word to the wise about the manure though…Aged manure is more pleasant, as it doesn’t possess the smelliness that fresh manure does!
Then, simply cover it all with a protective layer of mulch. A few inches of depth should serve you well. This mulch will also help prevent erosion and any potential weed build-up.