Vegetable Gardens

   / Vegetable Gardens #1  


Epic Contributor
Mar 20, 2000
Corinth, Texas
We've discussed a lot of things about our vegetable gardens in the past, but I'm curious about what some of you do with your gardens in the off season. I know some folks who just leave theirs alone until time to plant in the Spring. Of course they usually have a lot of weeds and grass to mow before they plow and/or till. I also know some folks who "bed" their gardens, i.e., with a double buster or bedder to leave it in hills on the theory that water gets down deep better. Since we don't have much freezing weather, and almost NO snow, I've just been running the tiller over mine several times during the Winter to keep the soil loosened up and to keep down any weeds or grass. At least that's all I've been doing the past 4 years, but today I decided to put the turning plow (moldboard) on and plow all the garden just as deep as the plow would go, then went back over it with the tiller to loosen it up a little deeper than I could get with the tiller alone. Any other theories or ideas of the best way to keep it in shape for the next season?

   / Vegetable Gardens #2  
Bird, we get cold weather and snow, so I'm not sure if my system will work good for you. I just like to use the turning plow to turn the old garden vegetation under and leave the soil rough. If I till it before winter some of the dry fall or winter cold fronts will cause soil to blow. Then I like to just dump lots of manure and mulch on the rough soil. The open furrows let moisture penetrate deeply and allows frost action to help uncompact the soil. In the spring, I till the manure and mulch under and get ready to plant.
   / Vegetable Gardens #3  
Not much we can do up here w/ our gardens durning the winter months. /w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif
After the moose and deer are done picking thru the garden,I set the tiller as low as it can go and chop everything twice than add some fertilizer.
Than about April w/ couple of inches of snow,I spread load of cow fertilzer heavy..boy oh boy do the turkeys and crows like that /w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif.. and when the ground dry enough I till the grow at least 3 times.

I wish we had a longer growing season like you folks,but between the winter and the mud and bugs no so. /w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif

Hope all is well down there and the water table back to normal.

Thomas..NH /w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif
   / Vegetable Gardens #4  
Bird, In the fall I usually cut it lightly and sow crimson clover and winter rye for a good cover crop. The rye holds the soil and prevents the soluble N from leaching and the clover adds its own nitrogen. In the spring about 3 weeks before planting time I turn it under about 6 inches. This adds organic matter to the soil and improves the soils ability to hold moisture and breathe.
Greg H.
   / Vegetable Gardens
  • Thread Starter
Greg, that sounds like a good idea, but does any of the clover or rye re-sprout after you turn it under?

   / Vegetable Gardens #6  
This thread is worth bumping back to the top./w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif
All that white stuff and -below and wind chill and ice storm stuff is depressing.
I do the same as Greg, but just red clover. Mine dosen't re-sprout, but any that is missed along the edges is one tough plant, roots in all directions. It is a little tough to till in the spring, rolls up in the tines. I till two to three times to get it broken up good. The soil doesn't warm up enough here until the middle of May, planting earlier may work some years but generally not, by that time the clover is near knee deep. I am only 5' 5" so that isn't all that high /w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif
   / Vegetable Gardens #7  
Winter rye is good choice up north gets started and grows well in cool weather. Does anyone use black plastic mulch?
   / Vegetable Gardens #8  
Good sign that spring will get here SOMEDAY,got our first seed catalog in the mail today.
   / Vegetable Gardens
  • Thread Starter
Less than 6 weeks until time to start planting here if it isn't too wet to plant. I tilled in the leaves we raked up out of the yard before the last round of rain arrived, and of course, as soon as it's dry enough I'll till it again.

   / Vegetable Gardens #10  
Bird, I am glad this post surfaced again. The seed catalogs are arriving daily. Here we spend New Years Eve pooring through seed catalogs and planning. It will be time to start lettuce seed in a few more weeks and grow it on the back porch.

For ground covers you may want to refer to the Peaceful Valley Seed catalog. They have an excellent section on ground covers, the benefits and the contents of the seed mixtures. They also have a web page