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Fall Garden Clean Up Tips

October 2, 2011

Our first pumpkin (roughly 5 inches)! Started out green and then turned orange.

Just went outside and planted some garlic for the first time.  I’m still enjoying walking around the garden even though it’s looking pretty sad.  Fall is here – boo.  Beans and carrots are still growing –unfortunately, I have grown over 6 pounds of beans and am sick of eating them!  So while I snack on some more beans, let’s talk about your fall garden clean up tasks.

Harvest what is left!  I picked all of the remaining tomatoes – even the green ones.  My husband’s grandmother once told me to put them in paper bags and store them in a cool place.  They will ripen on their own.  We have been doing this now for years!

Clean out finished or dried-up plants in order to throw off pests and diseases.  Do not place diseased tomato, potato and squash plants in the compost. Bag and discard.  After my squash bug infestation, I pulled all of my squash plants and threw them deep into the woods.

Want to confuse the pests even more?  Map out your garden to remember what was planted and where so that you can rotate your crops next year.

Mulch, mulch, and mulch! How? Run the lawnmower over leaf piles 6 inches deep (hopefully with a bagger).  Empty the bag into the garden until you run out of leaves or have a large enough pile.  You want to cover the soil in a layer 2 to 3 inches deep.  Later, around spring time, turn the leaves into the soil after they’ve decayed and no longer serve as mulch.

Now that you are done – sit back and relax!  I typically get through the cold months by planning for next year’s garden.  Think about this year’s successes and failures.  Figure out what went well and what didn’t work.  Order some seed catalogs – even if you don’t start from seed you can learn a lot about the veggies by reading the catalogs.

UPDATE: If you have been following my blog, you knew I grew potatoes in the potato grow bags.  We harvested almost 6 pounds of potatoes.  I never recorded how many seeds I bought so I can’t rate how well we did.  But it’s fun and the kids love it.   I suggest that if you grow them – watch Gardener’s Supply’s Slideshow: How to Plant and Harvest the Potato Grow Bag.  Even after using the bags two years, I still learned something new and will adjust my technique.

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