How to Prepare A Garden for Winter?
Many people have questions regarding the best way to prepare their vegetable gardens for winter. In coastal South Carolina we don’t usually have the extreme, sustained cold temperatures so our preparation is not as drastic as up north. We do recommend clearing the beds of all plant debris and if mulching it, removing to an area a distance away from your garden beds. This will prevent insects which bring disease that may be in the plant debris from getting into the soil. Once the beds are cleared it’s a good idea to cover with pine straw. Fall tilling is another good idea; it gives you a jump on things for the spring and interrupts the life cycle of some insects and disease which will give you a healthier garden next year. Covering a garden with organic matter is always the best choice and vegetable gardens that have an over-winter crop or covering will start spring way ahead of an uncovered garden bed. What to plant depends on your geographic location both for growing and planting. Clemson University has an excellent graph for correct planting times throughout the state. The success of your vegetables is directly related to planting at the right time and choosing the correct vegetables for your region. Another option for over winter planting is a cover crop. These are not for eating or even admiring, their purpose is to enrich the soil. Many cover crops such as winter rye, oats, ryegrass or legumes work as a natural weed killer or nitrogen producer as well. As you can see there are many options to prepare a garden for winter which will help your growth the following year