We’ve still got time before the first frost, but it’s not too early to think about preparing your garden for winter. Just because it’s not growing any vegetables doesn’t mean it can’t be doing useful work to get ready for spring planting. Check out Mother Earth News and How Stuff Works for more tips on prepping the garden for winter.
Clean out the old.
Annual crops, as most vegetables are, need to be pulled out when they’re done producing. Add the stalks to your compost pile so the heat of composting will kill off insects that might be hiding in the plants.
Bring in the new.
Fresh compost can burn tender young plants, so the best time to compost is in the fall. Once you’ve cleaned out the dead plants, and before the soil freezes, till in fresh compost so it has a chance to season over the winter.
Cover it up.
Prevent your hard-cultivated soil from erosion with ground cover such as red clover. Not only do the roots hold your rich soil firmly in place, in spring the tender plants will provide extra nutrition for your crops when tilled into the soil.
Some crops, like garlic and onion, should be planted in the fall for spring harvest. Go through your planting list for next year and make sure you know what needs to be started now.