While it's been exciting to see all the flowers bloom this year, temperatures are steadily dropping and it's time to start preparing the field for next year. It is also a good time for reflection and thinking about what worked and what could have been better (I'll make another post about this), but for now, let's talk about ways to winterize your field and give you the best crop yield ever next year.
First thing I do in my field is clean up all the supplies I can. This includes rolling up my drip lines and taking down any stakes or hoops that are out in the field.
The next step is digging up all the tubers. I planted 8 dahlias this year and wanted to make sure I saved as many tubers as possible for next year. Make sure to check them for signs of rot and dispose of them, keep the healthy tubers stored in a dry location, such as a box in a garage or shed.
After that, I went to work digging up as many weeds as I could. I specifically focused on pulling invasive plants that grow in the area, such as elm trees, and plants that produce goat-heads or stickers, that spread and multiply quickly. Depending on your land, you may be able to pull every weed around, for me this was just not going to be possible, but I did the best I could.
Next I used my cultivator to start turning the soil, this step may not be necessary for you, but one thing I wanted to improve upon was the quality of my soil and to do that I need to turn in the dead, organic matter from the garden which will put more nitrogen in the soil. The cultivator I use is this one from Greenworks. It is small, portable, electric and works well for my acre.
Once I am done tilling my field, I'll be planting a cover crop. This will help improve the nitrogen content and drainage of my soil, as well as reduce weed pressure.
I hope you found this helpful, good luck winterizing your gardens!