My Winter Garden

IMG_2665 We’re enjoying broccoli, snap peas, chard, spinach and lettuce from the garden right now. You don’t have to be an expert to grow a thriving winter garden, but a couple things are very important: soil preparation and pest control.

At the end of the summer, we rototill all the straw I use as mulch into the garden plot. Then comes some compost from out back. (If I don’t have enough of my own compost, I like “Navlet’s Planting Mix.”) Then a couple bags of manure. I like “Dr. Earth” fertilizer. I sprinkle a little along the rows. And you know all those leaves you rake up and bag for the garbage man in the fall? Save them! They make a wonderful winter mulch and also enrich the soil. (Watch out for the slugs and earwigs though.)

IMG_2666About those pests…fall is nutting season for the squirrels, and they are furiously digging, digging, digging all over my garden. (Remember the Beatrix Potter tales about Squirrel Nutkin and his friend Chippy Hacky?) So I have to cover everything until the furry creatures get over their frenzy. You can get plastic trays for free from the nursery. There’s also a thin, white gauzy material you can buy at the nursery to cover your rows of seedlings.

Now watch and wait. Your leaf mulch will keep the weeds down and preserve moisture. And when the weather warms, you’ll have garden bounty!

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