After a successful gardening season which yielded plenty of fresh produce and beauty, it’s time to put the garden to bed. With all the other fall landscaping tasks to do, it may be tempting to leave your raised garden bed alone and let nature take its course. But don’t do it! How you treat your raised bed in the fall can determine how your garden will perform in the spring.
Here’s how to winterize your raised garden bed
- Clean out your raised bed.
Pull out weeds, clean up dead plant material and remove sick plants. Leaving dead plants in your raised bed can cause disease or insect infestation. Removing them now will help ensure healthy soil come spring. If weeds have completely taken over an area of your raised bed, cover them with black plastic or cardboard for the winter to kill them.
- Refill soil as necessary.
If your soil level seems low, add some to reach your desired level. You may also want to add in soil amendments at this time.
- Add a protective layer.
Protect your soil by adding an organic layer such as compost, leaf mold, mulch, or leaves you raked up in your yard. You may also consider planting a cover crop to reduce weeds and maintain soil health.
- Care for the structure.
Inspect the frame of your raised garden bed to make sure it’s in good condition. Clean off the outside of your raised bed and make any necessary repairs to ensure it’s ready to go in the spring.
- Take notes.
It’s helpful to take the time now to write down what worked and what didn’t work in your garden bed.
Preparing your raised garden bed for winter doesn’t take a lot of time and will save you lots of work in the spring.