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Putting Your Garden to Bed

Putting Your Garden to Bed. (and other Fall Gardening techniques) Author XX@sss.sls. Maryland Master Gardeners Vision: a healthier world through environmental stewardship. Mission: to educate Maryland residents about practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes, and communities.

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Putting Your Garden to Bed

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  1. Putting Your Garden to Bed (and other Fall Gardening techniques) Author XX@sss.sls

  2. Maryland Master Gardeners Vision: a healthier world through environmental stewardship. Mission: to educate Maryland residents about practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes, and communities.

  3. Fall Gardening • Putting the Garden to Bed and other Fall chores • Preparing for Spring NOW • Extending the season • Fall vegetables and fruits • Using and Storing the harvest

  4. Fall Chores and Preparing for Spring now

  5. Fall Chores For a Healthy Garden • Deal with weeds • Annual weeds • Perennial weeds [GOOGLE: Rutgers weeds] http://njaes.rutgers.edu/weeds/thumbnail.asp

  6. Fall Chores For a Healthy Garden • CLEAN DEBRIS from garden. • Leave vegetable roots in place • Dig in or remove summer mulch • Add new mulch only after ground freezes.

  7. Fall Chores For a Healthy Garden • INCREASE ORGANIC MATTER! • Dig in compost or other organic matter – leave until spring

  8. Increasing organic matterforLong-term soil improvement • Large amounts of organic matter may be needed for several years. • Thereafter, 1 in. of compost will help maintain high yields.

  9. (What is organic matter?) • Leaves, grass • Vegetable scraps- peels, etc. (no butter!!!) • Manure (from vegetarian animals only) • Other plant parts (disease and pest free, please) including cover crops

  10. Reminder • No fats, meats, or dairy in the garden ever! • (Egg shells are OK without the egg) • No salt

  11. Usingleaves • Dig into garden in Fall OR • Collect and chop leaves • leave them in plastic bags with some water until they become leaf mold OR • Save for making compost

  12. Using vegetable scraps • You can bury nitrogen-rich materials, like grass clippings, coffee grounds, and peels, in furrows or holes • OR add to your compost pile

  13. Using manure • Purchase composted manure to stay friends with the neighbors OR • Add to compost pile • Never use FRESH manure in the garden • Never use cat, dog manure

  14. Adding manure Manure must be composted or it will burn the plants

  15. A few words about compost • Compost is plant matter that has decomposed • Supplies trace elements • Makes soil crumbly • Use to improve soil, continue using even on excellent soil

  16. Making compost –5 Ingredients • Green materials – the source of nitrogen • Brown materials – the source of carbon • Air (oxygen)- so the aerobic bacteria work, and the anaerobic bacteria don’t • Water (but not too much)- bacteria require moisture to work • The bacteria – add a shovel full of compost to help get it started.

  17. Everything contains both Carbon and Nitrogen in different amounts C:N carbon above 40 Leaves 55:1 Corn cobs 98:1 Wood chips 600:1 Phone book 770:1 C:N carbon below 40 Vegetable waste 13:1 Grass17:1 Coffee grounds20:1 Horse manure 30:1

  18. The Slow, Easy Way: Sheet composting $ Some people who use the “lasagna” method do not turn over the soil. They plant through the layers. (Do early in Fall)

  19. Adding Organic Materials Using cover crops • Cover crops are planted in the fall and then dug into the garden in late Spring

  20. Cover crops Are living mulch Improve and protect soils Increase soil organic matter. Mine the soil for nutrients. Protect soil from erosion. Add nitrogen to the soil*

  21. Cover crops Buckwheat attracts bees. They then help pollinate the garden. Some crops, (clovers and other legumes like peas), increase the amount of nitrogen in the soil. A one-time purchase of “nitrogen fixing bacteria” improves this action.

  22. More about Cover crops  A tiller $ makes turning under the cover crop easy. Hand turning is far less expensive. Rye and Winter wheat are difficult to hand turn, but their massive root systems improve heavy clay soils.

  23. Extending the Season

  24. Extending the season • Protection • Tunnels • Cold Frames • Cloches • Mulch • Using the rightplants • Providing • Sufficient nutrients • Sufficient water

  25. Extending the season – Protection • “Bell jars” – bottles • Water tubes • Tunnels • Cold Frames

  26. Extending the season with cold Frames Plans: GOOGLE: garden gate cold frame

  27. Extending the season with Cold Frames • Use to: • Grow seedlings started under lights in the spring • Plant cool weather crop or root vegetables in fall. • Protect tender perennials in winter. • Insulate with blankets during cold snap nights • Lift lid to prevent excessive heat on sunny days • Keep plants lightly hydrated

  28. Mulch Potassium in soil Spinach Snow Peas Lettuces Growcold-loving plants ProvideProtection KeepHydrated !

  29. Vegetables and Fruits in Fall

  30. Perennial vegetables • Perennials are plants that return each Spring if cared for properly • Examples: Asparagus, rhubarb • It is important to protect them from damaging frost – cover with mulch

  31. Caring for Perennials • Asparagus -Cut to 2 inch stubs after frost, Add 4 to 6 inches mulch • Rhubarb - Top dress with composted manure • Strawberries - Mulch with straw or organic materials 4” deep after soil freezes • Raspberries/blackberries - In winter, remove floracanes which have borne fruit • Blueberries - Protect with pine bark mulch, rotted sawdust, or compost around the base of the bush

  32. Planting Fall Crops: Garlic! • Purchase bulbs to plant in October from a seed/plant company; not from grocery store! • Choose full sun location • Weed area and amend soil with compost • Separate cloves and plant them pointed end up, 2 inches deep and 5 inches apart

  33. Top dress with compost or mulch to deter weeds • In Spring add fresh layer of compost or mulch • Remove any flower stalks to insure large bulbs • Harvest when foliage yellows and falls over. Usually in July here. • Store in dry cool location

  34. Using and Storing the Harvest

  35. How to Store the Harvest • In-ground growing • Unheated attic- onions • Unheated basement – Winter squash and pumpkin (stems on) • Root cellar • Pits with containers • Specialized treatments (tomatoes)

  36. How to Store the Harvest • Drying • Freezing • Canning • Preserving • Pickling

  37. Reminders for “Putting the Garden to Bed” • Remove all rotten fruit from the ground around trees; insect infestations last through winter. • Leave vegetable roots in place but remove diseased tomato, potato, and squash foliage to prevent disease. Do not toss these plants in the compost. Bag and discard. • Remove dead branches from roses and fruit trees (no pruning yet).

  38. Leave dried flowers, ornamental grasses, and seed heads that look good and provide food for birds. • Protect perennials from frost heaving by mulching after the ground freezes. • Protect ornamentals such as azaleas and berry bushes from bud-eating deer with deer netting.

  39. Build a simple compost bin or add to your present one all Winter long. • Plant spring bulbs. Including garlic • Plant cover crops after harvest to correct soil compaction. • Clean and sharpen tools blades • Plan next year’s garden!

  40. Thanks for coming- let’s talk!

  41. Composting

  42. Making compost- Which method? • Cold composting • Slow (may not be ready for up to a year) • Hot composting (The heat is created when certain bacteria work on the right combination of materials) • Requires a lot of material at one time- • Leaves- collect now • Grass- Early spring grass is full of nitrogen!!!

  43. The winning formula: 30 parts Carbon: 1 part Nitrogen

  44. Making compost - Directions • Gather both kinds of materials – in small pieces • Add alternate layers, with a few larger pieces interspersed to assure better air circulation • Allow rain to water the pile (or do it yourself)

  45. Directions for making compost 2 • Incorporate air any way you can. A pitchfork is ideal. • Cover if a lot of rain is expected • Check on consistency- is it ready? (Wear gloves). • Screen to remove chunks (return them to the pile) • Dry and store, or use immediately

  46. Tips • If making cold compost, you can continue to add coffee grounds, peels, egg shells, etc. and balance with chopped leaves, shredded paper, etc. • GRASS is ideal for heating up the bin! • Store carbon source in fall and winter to use in summer when nitrogen source becomes available

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