Garden tasks in the slow season

Perhaps you’ve planted some cool weather crops – chard, kale, broccoli, lettuce – in your plot. If so, you can help protect them from freezing temperatures by covering with row cover (lightweight fabric stretched over hoops) before projected freezing temperatures occur. Check online garden supply sources for row cover in varying weights appropriate for different degrees of protection. If you plan to give your plot a rest, clean out all plant debris, then add a layer of compost or decomposed leaves or wood chips. Keep in mind that your soil has structure which benefits plant growth. Aggressive plowing destroys this structure, so just layering on the compost is sufficient. Then start planning for the next growing season: what worked last year? Did you end up with too much of one variety? Is there a veggie you’ve never grown before that might be fun to try? Draw a schematic of your plot and allocate space for the plants you want to grow. Enjoy dreaming about your next garden!

– Carol Hassell – Master Gardener