When winter comes to visit, you have the perfect opportunity to improve your garden’s soil conditions.
Here are the steps you can take to get everything ready for the spring planting in the next few months.
1. Add Compost
Incorporating decomposed organic matter into the soil helps it maintain a neutral pH level. It also keeps the density levels low to reduce the risk of common garden diseases.
2. Get the Soil Tested
You won’t know what adjustments to make until you understand the soil’s type and current status. A testing kit can let you see readings for everything from calcium to sulfur so that you can add an appropriate fertilizer.
3. Mulch at the Surface
Mulching helps the soil retain more moisture while insulating against temperature changes. If you use organic products, this layer will slowly erode into the ground to offer additional improvements.
4. Prevent Soil Erosion
If your garden is on a slope, the winter months give you the perfect opportunity to shore up runoff problems. This step could involve everything from preventing soil compaction to building a retaining wall.
5. Rotate Your Crops
When you grow the same crops each year, the soil’s nutrient profile gets depleted of its nutrients. It can also lead to more disease problems. Try to follow a three-year cycle to give the ground enough time to let pathogens die.
6. Grow a Cover Crop
Cover crops provide year-round soil benefits. Some of them work as food products. Peas, legumes, ryegrass, and clover are excellent choices for the winter months.
7. Add Aged Manure
Aged manure is cool enough to avoid burning the plants or introducing potentially harmful pathogens. You’ll need to use products that are at least several months old and have not been exposed to pesticides or herbicides.
When you take these steps, you’ll find that it is relatively easy to care for your garden over the winter months.