Some Thoughts about Preparing the Charlottesville Vegetable for Winter
This was my vegetable garden mid-summer…
At this point, the asparagus were finished, the cukes were coming in, I had a late crop of tomatoes (though my husband got his 25 plants in on time in another part of the property), the sweet potatoes were flourishing, the herbs were very happy, peppers were so-so this year, and the beans were taking off! Though I had a very very late start, the garden was productive overall.
Now, the garden is going into hibernation. I have asked my husband to place ALL leaves/cut grass in the beds this year, and I will not be doing cover crops. I’m not sure why, but I left a lot of green manure (plant material) in the garden this year after it was done, and I think that, along with the grass and chopped up leaves, the soil will benefit.
I really want the garden to become a natural place that I just serve. I believe it will then serve me.
I have a compost area that will be in in its third season next summer. I love my compost area. I will use compost in the beds next Spring, of course. I plan to begin early next year, and that’s one reason why I didn’t plant cover crops this Fall. I’m not sure where I will be planting what this Spring, so it was easier to add the organic material this way.
I do believe that the cover crops I’ve used in the past have made a GREAT contribution to the development of my soil and resulting success in the garden. I have used Red clover, Winter Wheat, and Austrian Field Peas. Once the crop comes up, you can turn it over before planting, or, as I have done… simply dig right into the cover crop, plant your start (this would not work with seeds), and allow the cover crop to be your mulch. This is what my garden looks like in the Spring when I’ve put cover crops in during the Fall.
If you are considering purchasing or selling a home in the Charlottesville area, please allow me the opportunity to help you put the pieces together. Virginia Gardner, Roy Wheeler Realty Co., (434) 981-0871 – Email Virginia