When the gardening year is drawing to a close, it is time to make the vegetable patch winter-proof. Here are our 5 tips for the right winter protection.You have to dig up very heavy soils
When the harvest season in autumn and thus the gardening season is over, it's not just about emptying the pool, raking leaves and storing the garden furniture (reading tip: make the garden winter-proof - small checklist). Then you also have to get to work and make your vegetable patch winter-proof. This is important, because this way you can prepare your vegetable patch optimally for the next gardening season.
Let's take the potato as an example. When growing potatoes, it is important that you properly prepare and fertilize the soil in autumn so that the potato harvest will be very profitable next year.
But how is a vegetable patch made winter-proof and is there something to consider? Our tips tell you all this.
Tips for the right winter protection
➤ Tip 1 - dig up very heavy soils:
In autumn you don't really have to dig your beds. However, this does not apply to very heavy soils. Here it is even important that you dig them up, otherwise there is a risk of silting up and, moreover, adequate ventilation is not guaranteed.
So dig up the vegetable patch in November with a spade about 20 centimeters deep. If there are still soft remnants of onions, spinach or lettuce on the bed, this is not a problem. You can simply work these into the earth. Only the solid stems and diseased plant parts should be removed and disposed of on the compost.
➤ Tip 2 - loosen up normal soils:
On the other hand, normal soils should simply be loosened up a little and it is best to incorporate some manure or mature compost there. However, you should carefully remove the weeds beforehand, because then you do not have to expect a sudden increase in the coming spring.
If you don't have any manure or ripe compost ready, you can also start a foundation and plant clover on your vegetable patch, for example. The green manure then protects and warms the soil with its covering plant mass and also supplies it with nutrients.
➤ Tip 3 - cover the beds:
In addition, you should also cover the loosened soil over the winter with a layer of straw or leaves. So the soil survives the cold season optimally and is also supplied with enough nutrients.
Since we're on the subject of nutrients, you should never fertilize your vegetable patch at the end of the gardening season. That can do more harm than good. Except for a foundation, no other fertilizer is allowed in the vegetable patch. You should only work fertilizer in the soil again in spring.
➤ Tip 4 - Protect planters:
If you do not have vegetable beds in the classic sense, but perhaps have planted vegetables on the balcony, you must now adequately protect these planters from the cold in winter. It is of course best if you overwinter the planters in the house. If this is not possible, you must wrap them up thick. Proceed as follows:
- Wrap bubble wrap around the pot or planter
- give a burlap sack to the bubble wrap
- Place planters on polystyrene plates
- Cover the earth with brushwood
➤ Tip 5 - protect vegetables:
In November there are actually hardly any vegetables left in the beds because they should be harvested by then. You can only leave plants that are intended for green manuring and hardy vegetables such as leeks and cabbage. You won't have any work with it during the winter, but you can still harvest. Cabbage tastes even better after the first frosts.
If the temperatures drop very sharply, you can protect the plants with a garden fleece. You should also pile them up with some soil.