Fall Clean Up and Planning for Spring

August 17, 2013

I did a lot of garden clean up this week and some more fall planting. I ripped out my corn and threw it in the run. The chickens have been enjoying it for the past few days.

stripped corn(One of the many joys of a Back to Eden Garden: I literally gave each stalk a tug and they came out, easy as pie! Gotta love mulch ๐Ÿ™‚ ) cleaned corn bedsI have decided to let these corn beds rest until spring (unless I am really hard up for more planting spaces). I am going to add chicken manure as I clean out the coop but other than that, I am going to let them be.

I ripped up some bush bean plants, and planted some more fall crops where the chicken tractor used to be (built in fertilizer). I planted peas there two weeks ago and so far, they are looking great! I planted carrots, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale, and broccoli (the last three are covered (see broccoli plant).

new plantingsLast week, I ripped up four layers of tarp & mulch for our 2014 potato patch. I noticed this area stayed wet longer than other areas. It is also surrounded by tarp (we had weed invasions this year in our potato patch) AND it is right next to the house – a major plus!

final potato patch(The different colored mulches is just varying stages of wetness. It took me many days to get this done so the lighter colored mulch is just mulch I put down first and it has dried out)

I ripped up the tarp, laid down veggie compost and chicken compost, and covered it back up with just a few inches of mulch. Right now, I am talking to a friend about aged horse manure. I think I’ll put that down and then put down some more mulch so it will be ready for planting in the spring!

I am thinking about planting potatoes this fall…but I haven’t made up my mind yet. Paul Gautshi harvests his potatoes in September and replants the best ones at the same time (he does not rotate crops). So, I am thinking about looking for potatoes at the farmer’s market and go ahead and planting them this fall. There are no potatoes available from seed catalogs and we have eaten all of our 2013 potatoes already so that would be my only option. I’ll let you know what I decide and how it turns out!

I have also decided to look for sweet potatoes from the farmer’s market. Slips are pretty expensive and slips seem pretty easy to grow so the plan is to buy a variety of sweet potatoes this fall from local farmers, preferably organic, store them all winter (that will be the hardest part – not eating them), grow slips in the spring, and plant our own slips! Has anyone done this before? Any tips for me?

As far as fall plantings go, I continue my succession planting (planting every two weeks), looking at last year’s notes to determine when to stop/start. Because I plant every two weeks, I do not plant an incredible amount so I can afford to lose some seeds if an early frost comes or an unusually cold winter. Being in NC, however, I tend to find that we are surprised more often than not by warm weather in the winter and in those instances, I am rewarded ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you planting a fall/winter garden? I read Four Seasons Harvest three years ago. It gave me the motivation to attempt to garden year round and I love it! Some people really need a season or two off from gardening after all of the heat, bugs, and especially weeding all summer long. Gardening with mulch, Back to Eden style, allows me to garden without weeding as much and in turn, there is no weariness after many seasons…well…I’ve been weary of the critters this year but…it doesn’t stop me from wanting to garden! ๐Ÿ™‚


5 thoughts on “Fall Clean Up and Planning for Spring

  1. Nancy Davis

    I am feeling like I am ready to put my gardens to bed but want to plant a few Kale and Lettuce seeds and maybe some spinach yet. I still am planning to do part of the garden next year with the Back to Eden method. The little I have done I have noticed that with the mulch you don’t have to water near as much. The thing I am not clear on though is when you want to plant small seeds like lettuce do you just plant on top of the wood chips and throw a little dirt over them or how do you plant small seeds. If your mulch is 4 or 5 inches deeps and you dug down to the ground the seed would be lost! Can you clear any of this up for me? Thanks. Nancy

    1. newbiegardengirl Post author

      You rake back to the soil, throw seeds, then I sprinkle some compost (aged chicken manure lately) on top & pat it down. Then I sprinkle mulch back on top of the seeds (I don’t rake 4″ back over, just sprinkle to cover the dirt/compost). Doing this, I do not even need to worry about seeds like carrots – they stay moist! It may take a bit longer to pop through the mulch but they come through strong ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. The Homesteading Hippy

    I can never decide whether it’s sad or satisfying to take down a garden in the fall. It gives me a sense of fulfillment that I made it though another successful growing season, but it’s hard to take down what I’ve spent so long growing. At any rate, your garden looks great!
    ~ The Homesteading Hippy


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