Everything you wanted to know about putting your garden to bed to prevent winter kill and ensure a jump start on spring.
Once again Dale Wilker will bring us the latest in Permaculture, caring for the earth in a sustainable way while ensuring the expensive plants we’ve invested in are here to enjoy for years ahead.
Date: Sept 28
Time: 6:30 to 8:30
Location: The Old Blue Truck Farm
Cost: Members: $15. Non-Members $20
Facilitator: Dale Wilker
Note: No matter how many times you do a workshop at the Old Blue Truck Farm you always learn something new and important to improve your own garden.
Things to Bring: Dress in layers, garden gloves, comfortable shoes for standing.
After a couple frosts in the fall (end of Sept or in to Oct) and your plants are dying you can start to get you raised garden bed ready for winter. Our focus is on creating living soil that will naturally feed your plants. Living soil is teaming with microorganisms, worms and other insects which turn your soil into soluble food for your plants. By adding compost, manures and mulch you are feeding and keeping alive these important communities of microorganisms, fungi and bugs in the soil: Living Soil! Following these steps:
- Remove weeds and put in compost.
- Remove stakes and trellises.
- Clean up dead plants and put in compost. Chop large plants up so they will breakdown easier in the compost.
- A good time to collect seeds for next year. You can leave some of your plants to go to seed and collect the seed before composting. Dry in a paper bag, or on a plate in a warm dry place. Some plants like arugula, you can take the plants in bunches and hang to dry. Taking the seeds from the pods once dry.
- Add about 2 inches of compost and other organic material; worm castings, composted manure, compost to you bed, no need to dig it in. Your plants next spring will love this!
- Add another couple inches of mulch on top of the leaves, straw, grass clippings. If no mulch available cover with jute coffee bags from Kicking Horse Coffee or even plastic. Hold down with rocks, bricks, wood or pots of soil. You can also put these bags over your mulch to hold it down and so it won’t blow away.
- Take care of perennials. … the perennial beds plants at each site could use weeding and cutting back. If you have herbs in your raised bed that will overwinter, leave in the garden and mulch around them.
A mantra of the serious gardener is never to leave bare soil. One of the simplest techniques for making sure soil is protected and enriched is using mulch. “Mulch creates a great environment for the development of soil biology,” Kempf says. “When we mulch the soil, we get good levels of biological activity, nutrient availability and aggressive plant growth the following spring.”
Mulch is a blanket that protects plant crowns and roots from the extreme temperature fluctuations of winter. One of the best mulches is a good snow cover, but even very cold regions occasionally have winters with little snow. Thus it is important to mulch with plant material that does not compact and retains a certain degree of “fluffiness.” Chopped leaves work well, as do straw and grass clippings.
Website for more info:https://hellohomestead.com/how-to-prepare-a-raised-garden-bed-for-winter/ There are lots of great videos online. Search around and find one that speaks to you.
Ellen Wilker will guide you through scheduling and prioritizing what you need to do to tuck your garden safely up for the winter:
- What to do with your compost
- How to winter seed
- How to protect your soil
- How to keep biodiversity over the winter so it is still there come spring
- How to protect your plants, shrubs, trees from animal damage
- How to overwinter your plants
- How to clean up and protect your perennial beds
- How to care for your tools, structures and greenhouse so they are ready for spring
Date: Sunday, Sept 18, 2022
Time: 1:30 – 3:30
Location: Old Blue Truck Farm – 1076 Swansea Road Invermere BC
Cost: Members – $20.00
Non Members- $25
Notes: – Groundswell will be doing separate workshops on dividing tubers and seed saving.
– Please meet at the Old Blue Truck Farm 10 minutes ahead of the start time to provide ample time for parking.
– Things to bring: Your garden journal and pen, your water, bug off, layered clothes as we will be outside and on dirt so choose the appropriate shoes and be prepared to handle rain, sun and everything in between.
You may want to bring cash to be able to purchase produce or amendments from their stand.
Ellen has a BSc in Environmental science and Geography, and currently doing a diploma in Environmental Restoration. She started her journey in agriculture as a farm hand at edible acres. It was here she fell in love with developing a reciprocal relationship with the land, for her community. After school she joined forces with her family in order to get The Old Blue Truck Farm off the ground. Her plan is to combine her love for agriculture with the environment in order to restore agroecological systems!