Preparing my small garden for winter.

Joined
Jun 13, 2023
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Hi! I am really new to gardening so I have lots of questions about how to approach this winter. I only have a small garden, some pots and two small raised beds. I wanted to ensure my soil can improve during the winter, as I don’t have anything I want to plant at the moment. Today I shredded all my own dead plants into the raised beds and buried it under, with coffee grounds and egg shells. I’m not sure if covering this with tarp is a good idea? I’m also not sure what else I can do to help my soil, as there doesn’t seem to be any worms or other insects digging around. The lowest temperature it’ll get in the garden is around -5. Is there any advice on what I can do to improve my soil and garden for next spring? Thank you!!
 

Meadowlark

No N-P-K Required
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
2,541
Reaction score
2,047
Location
East Texas
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
You have "done good" by adding organic matter to your soil. If you have access to compost you could do "more good" by covering the beds with a few inches of it. "Really good" would be planting a legume cover crop and turning that under next spring...although it is probably too late for that in your area.

Regarding adding lime, proceed with caution. It is important to know the PH of your soil currently if you are changing it...and lime will change the PH, raising it.

As the referenced article states:

Most plants fall into either of two categories:


  • Those that prefer soil that is neutral to slightly acid
  • Those that prefer soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline
Lime will raise the PH of your soil. If that is what you need, then go for it, but slowly. If not, then don't use lime.

Let me give you a simple example...let's say you wanted to grow some potatoes in your raised bed. Potatoes like a PH of 5.3 to 6. If your existing soil PH is above 6 and you want to grow potatoes, you absolutely do not want to increase PH further by adding lime. The potato crop will suffer.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2023
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
You have "done good" by adding organic matter to your soil. If you have access to compost you could do "more good" by covering the beds with a few inches of it. "Really good" would be planting a legume cover crop and turning that under next spring...although it is probably too late for that in your area.

Regarding adding lime, proceed with caution. It is important to know the PH of your soil currently if you are changing it...and lime will change the PH, raising it.

As the referenced article states:

Most plants fall into either of two categories:


  • Those that prefer soil that is neutral to slightly acid
  • Those that prefer soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline
Lime will raise the PH of your soil. If that is what you need, then go for it, but slowly. If not, then don't use lime.

Let me give you a simple example...let's say you wanted to grow some potatoes in your raised bed. Potatoes like a PH of 5.3 to 6. If your existing soil PH is above 6 and you want to grow potatoes, you absolutely do not want to increase PH further by adding lime. The potato crop will suffer.
Thank you so much! I will try to get my hands on some fresh compost. Is there any way I can introduce worms into my soil or will that slowly happen naturally?
Maybe I will avoid lime for now, since I’m not sure what I aim to plant next spring. I appreciate the response!
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
390
Reaction score
219
Showcase(s):
1
Country
United States
I can’t see anything about Lyme for gardens.. what is this?
Not a bad idea to use a bit of it (Lime) if you can get it - it can assist in decomposing the organic material quicker. You don't need much though, just a slight dusting.

Leafy vegetables should grow well with the lower lighting of Winter.

If you want to plant right away, suggest buying one or two six packs of lettuce, digging holes and planting them in with good potting soil.

Let us know how things grow. 😊
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2023
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Not a bad idea to use a bit of it (Lime) if you can get it - it can assist in decomposing the organic material quicker. You don't need much though, just a slight dusting.

Leafy vegetables should grow well with the lower lighting of Winter.

If you want to plant right away, suggest buying one or two six packs of lettuce, digging holes and planting them in with good potting soil.

Let us know how things grow. 😊
Thank you! I might need to try to lime. I do have plenty of lettuce seed packs, the only issue is leafy plants never seem to grow happily in my garden. Maybe I’ll attempt and update :)
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
390
Reaction score
219
Showcase(s):
1
Country
United States
Thank you! I might need to try to lime. I do have plenty of lettuce seed packs, the only issue is leafy plants never seem to grow happily in my garden. Maybe I’ll attempt and update :)
If you have any issues, please post a photo. 😊
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
26,417
Messages
255,005
Members
13,195
Latest member
Jerry Doe

Latest Threads

Top