Putting Your Garden To Bed


Are you putting your garden to bed yet?  This post is the plan for our garden and few other tips for yours.  Enjoy!


When should you put the garden to bed?

I get asked this question now and then.  For me, this generally happens a few days before our first frost.  Unless there are Brussel’s sprouts, greens or cabbage in it.  That bed will stay put as most of these vegetables will survive over winter.  I just bury them with straw or hay and leave them.  The cabbage, to get it to stop growing, just needs a little twist.  For this you just grab the cabbage head close to the ground and give a gentle twist to the root.  This will stop the growing process, but not kill the cabbage plant.  It can stay until spring when it will bolt, or until you pick it for sauerkraut or cole slaw over winter.

This year we do not have a fall garden due to deer damage and plans to rebuild the garden to prevent this next year.


How do you put the garden to bed?

For us, we are going to pull any remaining plants and add mulch to approximately three feet deep.  That is my plan.  We need to kill off a lot of grasses because this used to be pasture for cattle so there are a lot of different types of grass, everything from Johnson grass to crab grass and other immensely irritating weeds.  Parts of the pasture will stay pasture, however, since we do plan to get animals in the near future.

How do I make the dirt better for spring?

I am going to sheet compost the entire garden if I can come across enough of the things I need.  Just pile them up until I reach three feet and then let it sit over the winter to break down into a rich, black compost to put my plants in for spring.

There are also other ways to create a better space for your plants to grow.  You can fork the dirt, double dig, use cover crops and even more.  I will get to the cover crops probably next fall.  We’ll see.

What do I add?

You can add leaves, manure, hay or straw, some grass clippings, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, etc.  Even brown paper bags, newspapers or cardboard (usually as a base for the mulches). You can use anything that is not dairy or meat related.  Also, don’t use dog or cat poos.  They can contain elements you don’t want in the garden or in you.  If you use grass clippings mix them with one of the other elements as they can compact and become impenetrable.  If water can’t get through things don’t break down properly.

Should I till?

I personally don’t want to till my garden anymore.  It seems to me like the more I till the more weeds I get.  I have read that this does happen because you bring up weed seeds from below the soil line and turn them up to the top where they can get the light they need and they can grow.  This will not be done for spring in the gardens here.


Our plan is simple.  Broken down:

  • Pull any remaining plants.  We are digging up three peppers (hot) to put in the greenhouse.

  • Squash any grasses or weeds that are present. Don’t remove them, just smash them down.

  • Add mulches to three feet deep or so.

  • Add a VERY TALL fence( to hopefully keep the deer out).

  • Wait for spring.

When spring comes the mulches will have composted and become rich, black dirt that will feed your plants as well as be easier for them to grow roots in.  We have hard clay dirt here, not much fun for people or plants to dig down in to. 


If you want to continue further or garden with the kiddos into fall check out my friend Jill at AdventuresinNanaland.com.  She has two posts on gardening with kids; life lessons from the garden.  I think you will enjoy the read.  She is an amazing Nana and writer.  Click HERE for the posts.

What do you do to put your garden to bed?  Have you started a garden yet?  Do you want to learn more about gardening?  Let me know what you have going on in the comments below.  I would love to know how your garden grows.


Well, I hope this answered a few of your questions.  If you have any more questions put them in the comments below and I will answer them as soon as I can.  Just remember to have fun in your garden.  It can be one of the most relaxing experiences of your life.  Now comes the fun part.


Thank you so much for stopping by.

I gotta go get into something now, lol.


Love you bye,

Kelly Jeanne