Putting the Garden to Bed

Uploaded by TheUniversityofMaine on 14.10.2010

So as you finish up harvesting anything in your garden, whether it’s green beans, carrots
or cantaloupe, and those spaces become available, now is the perfect time to think, “How can
I add organic matter to my soil so that next year my garden’s even better?”
You can put a layer of compost on, a half-inch deep at the most. You could grow a cover crop.
Crops that could grow right now are oats, barley or, if you’ve got a good heavy tiller,
you could put on winter rye. So here you are, you’re in your garden,
you’re done with green beans, and you look back and now you’ve got all of these dead
or almost-dead green bean plants — what do you do? You can harvest them out and put
them in your compost pile if they are disease- and insect-free.
If you don’t compose and you have a tiller, you could till them in. They would break down
over the course of the winter and be ready for your garden soil next year. Or you could
toss them right into the woods.