Putting the Garden to Bed–Wild Ones Style

| How-to, Learning

Putting the Garden to Bed–Wild Ones Style

The best time to get ready for next year is now. 

1.Get rid of any invasives. 

2.As you remove some of these plants, you might bring up hibernating insects like ladybugs and spiders. Tuck them back in the best you can, so they can do their good work next year. 

3. Put some leaves around your plants.  Skip mechanically shredding leaves because whole leaves are a better food source for soil organisms. Animal shredders like sowbugs and earthworms do the work of breaking large pieces up. Fungi decompose the woodier bits, which is good because you want to feed your fungi. Fungi form a symbiotic relationship with your plants; they deliver nutrients, water, and even pathogen protection to the plants’ roots while the plant delivers carbohydrates to the fungi. Shredded leaves are eaten up by bacteria very quickly, which means shredders and fungi don’t get a food source. All of the plant material will add organic matter, helping the soil percolate water and hold onto it.  The  more organic matter, the better the water holding capacity.  

We created a sign to help communicate why we are allowing gardens to stand through the winter. Please feel free to download, print, and hang in your garden. It’s a PDF:  No-Fall-Clean-Up-                    

That’s it!  Have fun and enjoy this special time.