How to prepare a metal raised garden bed for winter?

How to prepare a metal raised garden bed for winter?

In the fall, gardeners should start taking steps to ensure their garden beds are ready for seeds and transplanted seedlings before the next gardening season. For some, they see this as a to-do list for their garden. While you want to skip all the work after the growing season, you must take the time to prepare your metal raised garden bed before the cold season arrives. Taking care of your metal raised garden bed before winter settles in will help promote soil health and prevent disease and weeds. This will prepare your garden for next year's harvest. So, here are 3 things you should put on your regular to-do list.

1. Deal with dead plants

It is best to dispose of dead plants as soon as possible. Be sure to remove old plants once they start to die. Leaving dying plants behind can cause a lot of problems for the soil. Rotten roots, stems and leaves are easy targets for pests and diseases. Although they are dead, these plants still get valuable nutrients from the soil. If you're growing perennials in metal raised garden beds, now is the perfect time to prune them. Like other plants and leaves left behind throughout the winter, perennials can provide cover for harmful pests. Finish it by covering the plant with a few inches of winter mulch.

2. Covering soil in winter

Considering the idea of ​​planting a cover crop is one of the best ways to protect and complement a traditional garden. If you already plant a cover crop, you can ensure that the soil is protected from erosion and all the problems winter can bring to your metal raised garden. bed. However, if you're going to use aged or composted manure, you'll still need to cover each garden bed. You can cover the bed with thick leaves. The leaves also provide the same nutrients as soil fertilizers. Straw mulch and grass clippings can also be used. This binds fresh organic matter to the soil as the mulch breaks down. Alternatives to these materials are black plastic sheeting or tarpaulins, which not only protect the soil surface from ice, wind and snow, but also keep weeds and weed seeds out of the soil.

3. Weeds

Unattended fall weeds can eventually breed disease and could set the stage for more weed problems in the future. Weeding is an important task you should accomplish in the fall, especially when most of your crop has stopped growing. Most people will probably skip this part, but it's one of the important things to do. Many weeds produce weed seeds at this time that may remain viable for the next 40 years. If you notice parts of your metal raised garden bed being covered with weeds, you can cover those areas with black plastic or cardboard. Take it all winter. This will kill existing weeds and stifle any sprouting weeds. You may be tempted to till the soil to expose any harmful pests lurking in the soil and prevent weeds, but it is recommended that you avoid doing so. This will help keep the soil healthy. Till on metal raised garden beds unless the soil is compacted. However, in this case, that doesn't mean anything. If you can avoid tilling, try doing so, and the soil and garden beds will thrive for years to come.

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