Your Vegetable GardenYou can still keep your veggie garden alive for a bit with a few tricks, but if you didn’t get anything done before the cold temperatures last week, you’ll probably find your plants wilted and dead. All is not lost though. If you have root crops like carrots, turnips, beets, rutabagas, or parsnips, those can be left underground well after the first front. In fact, you really just need to harvest them before the ground freezes. Potatoes can also stay in the soil, but they do need to be dug out and removed the garden quickly. You do not want to leave your potatoes on the soil surface.
Leafy greens can often become sweeter with a light frost so you may find that you’re still harvesting some items from this family. Cabbages and Swiss chard can also stand up to chillier temperatures. Lettuces, though, aren’t strong enough to handles low temps.
If you have other plants like tomatoes, zucchini, peas, beans, or pumpkins, they can be pulled up and disposed of. You can compost them if they are free of disease, otherwise, you can discard them in the trash or burn pile. Pull up the stakes, clean them and store until next year.
Final Gardening Tasks to Wrap UpHere are a few things you can do to make next year’s gardening season even easier. It’s okay if you cry a little, we’re here to sympathize with you as the 2018 gardening season is brought to a close.
- Empty your outdoor containers and store them upside down. This will prevent them from cracking.
- Mow your lawn as late into the fall as the grass grows. If the grass is left too long when snow arrives, it can develop brown patches in the spring.
- Drain the fuel tank in your lawn mower or other power equipment when you are finished using it until next year. Refer to your manual for other winter maintenance.
- Hang a bucket over a hook in your tool shed or garage and used it to store hose nozzles and sprinkler attachments.
- Don’t leave the fallen leaves on the ground. Rake them up into a large sheet or tap and drag them to the compost pile. You don’t want to rake everything, though. Be sure and leave some leaves around the bases of trees for extra protection during the winter.
- Cover your compost pile with plastic or a thick layer of straw before any snow arrives.
- On a mild day, you can run your garden hose up over a railing or over the shed to remove all of the water. Then roll it up and store it.