How do you prepare your vegetable garden for the new season?

How to prepare your beds for the new season

Preserving a bountiful harvest of vegetables and berries every year and putting in the effort is not a dream! In addition, at the dacha we can grow the most delicious, most vitamin and organic products, which give us health, excellent health and a lot of joy. It is no coincidence that the most expensive vegetables and fruits are those grown in organic private farms. You have such a farm – it’s your garden. But without care, it will not give a good harvest.

This is how the beds are prepared for the new season. Photo by the author

Therefore, prepare the beds for the new season. Photo by the author

2 cornerstones of autumn seedbed preparation

One of the most important fall activities – preparing beds for winter. Many gardeners believe that it exists only in the winter ditch, and all the important things will happen in the spring. Now they say that it is necessary to do something, because nature sleeps in the winter. But this is a misconception! Only fall is crucial for the next season: we plant vegetables in the beds in early spring, at which point everything should be ready there.

The future harvest requires preparation from the fall. Photo by the author

The future harvest requires preparation from the fall. Photo by the author

1. Do you need a trench?

You have to find out (because it’s hard work), whether it’s around a vegetable garden, an orchard, or around the bedding circles of ornamental shrubs. The notion that everything in the garden needs to be trenched, as you say, a legacy of days gone by, is in no way borne out by today’s level of knowledge. The shovel should only be picked up for digging, planting and replanting. Otherwise it only spoils the earth, disrupts its fertility, because the soil is a whole world with its existing interrelationships, which we destroy and over-dig everything. Soil bacteria need to be cultivated in every way possible – and not to break their symbiosis by rough and frequent tillage. So the shovel should be used as infrequently as possible, only in emergencies. However, tilling the soil is necessary, so the basic tool for tilling is a flat spade.

To dig or not to dig - that's the question

To dig or not to dig – that is the question, but not everything is so unambiguous. It should be understood that the flat tiller is suitable for more or less cultivated loose soil: it cannot be moved even on virgin soil. This means that we start working with a shovel, and in subsequent years we create and maintain fertility with a flatbed.

2. Does it matter what has grown on our beds?

It does, and some of it does! Any vegetable crop does not grow in a vacuum – it releases certain phytohormones and other biologically active substances that interact with the floor biota. All infections characteristic of a certain kind of vegetable, including in the ground. The same goes for pests, many of which are only in the ground in winter. By fall, this or that bed collects phytopathogens characteristic of the crop that grew on it, and our task is to take this into account when preparing the beds for the new season.

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All garden plants, even salads, leave certain substances in the soil. Photo by the author

All vegetable plants, even lettuces, leave certain substances in the soil. Photo by the author

How to prepare seedbeds

Of course, competent crop rotation brings real benefits, but in addition to following your rules, it is still better to carry out special control of specific phytopathogens. In addition, it often happens that there is no possibility to strictly observe the correct change of plants, especially on small plots. Accordingly, after the new season you need to disinfect the soil first – and then saturate it with the necessary nutrients, improve the floor microflora and let it go to work for the benefit of our future crops.

Soil disinfection.

Due to the above disinfection, the number of pathogens only increases every year. The easiest and most accessible means in this case are the well-known disinfectants potassium and pharmacoid. They are always on hand, you can buy them in the nearest pharmacy. The plants need to be diluted in water so that a medium-sized solution is obtained, which is diluted with “pharmacode” at the rate of 1 ml of the drug per 1 liter of water. Then both preparations are used at the rate of 2 liters of solution per 1 m² of floor.

A solution of potassium culprits to disinfect the soil. Photo by the author

Solution of potassium culprits to disinfect the soil. However, the author’s photo should be remembered that these preparations are destructive to both pathogenic microflora and good, essential soil bacteria. To avoid this side effect and double work, it is better to use special microbiological preparations for soil health, but in this case they must be bought in advance. After disinfection, it is advisable to wait 1-2 days, and then proceed to the next stage of fall preparation of beds.

Bringing fertility back to the beds

Our seedbeds have worked well during the season. They need to be thanked, given back and even increased fertility. In addition, we need to understand that the nutrients we put in the ground will have to “earn” immediately next spring, because the planted vegetables will not wait. It is also necessary to improve the structure of the soil.

  • Natural organic fertilizers. This is manure, humus, compost. It is important for beds – they can be applied only in the fall and not under all crops. For example, you can not apply fresh manure to the bed, which is also intended for root crops in the fall.
  • Green fertilizers. This refers to the laying of certain plants that passed green mass – marigold, gout, nettles, barchanthes, nasturtiums, onion and garlic sheaths;
  • Special organic and inorganic additives. For example, stove ash, milk whey, duck speed (if there is a water body nearby), sand, perlite, vermiculite, diatomite and zeolite filler (only volcanic, not water-soluble zeolite). And, of course, do not forget such a valuable substance as people;
  • Broth fertilizer. If you prepare for the next season in advance, you can use a popular recipe – bread fertilizer. This method has mainly proved itself on berry plants, but is also effective for increasing the yield of other beds. Such a fertilizer is made in the most ordinary barrel for irrigation. It is necessary to pour water into the barrel and put for some time green nettles, plums and stale bread. Bread should predominate, the proportion is approximately this: 70% of the bread and 30% of the greens. Potato peels can also be added. To speed up the process and avoid odor, it is better to tie the barrel with an oil stick (like a lid). In about 1-1.5 months will be ready a wonderful fertilizer, which can be used during the season for fertilizing vegetables, and for autumn dressing.
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Fertilizer for autumn dressing of beds Biomix autumnal. Photo by the author

Fertilizer for autumn fertilization of beds “Orinonmix Herbst”. Photo by the author, what is good about organic fertilizer for the beds in the fall? Yes, because it helps to enrich the soil with beneficial genital microorganisms. They do not live in every floor in the right quantities and conditions. Just like that, they will not appear: you need organics. Chemical fertilizers and general substances that are not found in nature kill soil bacteria. Mineral fertilizers are usually difficult for plants to assimilate because their roots have been adapted to completely different substances during evolution.

We improve soil microflora

The fertiliser we add to the soil needs to be converted into a form which can be assimilated by the plants. Floor microorganisms are the main helpers in this endeavor, and there should be plenty of them. But even if you prepare the perfect floor substrate, it is not a fact that you will successfully multiply in it. Many factors influence this process: cold, lots of rain, heat, drought, drastic weather changes, not quite the “right” compost – you name it! As a result, the micro-organisms can stop multiplying.

Therefore it is necessary, firstly, to stimulate their activity, and secondly. It should be considered that it is not enough to create any load or type of micro-organisms. There must be many different tribes of them.

Bokashi presents in the beds in the fall. Photo by the author

Bocasci are presented in the beds in the fall. Photo by the author One of the best ways to infest beds with beneficial microflora, is the addition of bokashi. These are specially made bran bars with beneficial microbial stems on them. You will find many tips on the Internet on how to make bokashi by hand. It is a long process and you need to strictly follow the technology, otherwise the desired product simply will not work. But there are ready-made Bokashi, such as Botkashi Bio-Compom. Sometimes it’s easier and faster to do it yourself and not to do it.

Accelerating the work of soil microorganisms

In the fall, temperatures get cooler and the work of the soil bacteria slows down. But we just don’t need that! We need them to at least partially recycle organic matter before winter. In the spring, of course, you will continue your work, but by the time you plant your vegetables, something has to be in digestible form. That’s why you need to stimulate soil bacteria in the fall.

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What is needed to do this? You can add solutions of EM preparations to the beds, the effect of which enhances the jam (you need sugar!), you can make ACC (ventilated compost tea). For information on the special benefits and your own preparation, see What is Ventilated Compost Tea (ACC). You can purchase special preparations to speed up composting, but they are primarily for compost production, not for use in beds.

Organicmix EM Patu can be applied in the fall to activate floor microorganisms. Photo by the author

You can add “OrganicMix EM-Melasse” to activate the floor microorganisms in the fall. Photo by the author One of the best options is to use a solution of “Organicmix EM-Melasse”, it acts directly on the microflora. A tablespoon of “EM-Melasse” is usually dissolved in 10 liters of water and spilled seedbeds with this solution.

Are seeding machines necessary?

In most cases, yes. And not even because they saturate the soil with nutrients and nitrogen: there are other arguments in favor of it. First, green manure is at least partially, but already crop rotation, which reduces the activity of some phytopathogens. Secondly, there is a kind of all-elopathy: a lot of green manure, but tissues in the root zone, which destroy certain pathogens.

Do I need to sow any cider plants? Of course they do! Photo by the author

Are you sowing green manure? Of course I do! Photo by the author You probably know such a disease of cucumbers, as peronosporosis. After harvesting the green mass from the garden, this fungal plague remains in the ground. And sowing rapeseed allows you to destroy it, because the plant exhibits a fungicidal effect against this infection. By the way, the drug “Rapsol”, produced on the basis of rapeseed oil, is also used to treat peronosporosis of cucumbers. What an unfortunate coincidence!

Autumn is the evening of the year, but you shouldn’t step away from gardening without preparing your beds for the next season. The foundation for the future harvest is laid in the fall. Now that you’ve done a good job, start a vegetable garden for next year and you can look forward to a bountiful harvest again.

Fall planting or storing until spring. How to prepare your garden for the new season

It's not too late to plant onions in November.

Autumn, especially its second half, is a great time to make plans for next season. After all, most of the work has already been done and there’s time to finally think about upgrading your garden.

Is the ground frozen?

This is the time to make decisions about what types of vegetables we will grow next season, what fruit and berry crops we would like to have in our garden. There is a great selection of planting material on sale in the fall. If we talk about seedlings, it is not always possible to find the right varieties at the right time. Sometimes it turns out that we find them too late – in November, when all deadlines for planting have already passed. And it also happens that we find seedlings in the online store and order on time, but for some reason the parcel is significantly delayed, and we will receive our order almost before winter. What to do in this case – plant or store until spring?

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We've done a good job decorating the flowerbeds.

In this case it is better not to pay attention to the standard rules. R, in these rules are given quite early terms, but we have an abnormal situation. Yes, it is better to plant apple trees in early October. However, that does not mean that it is too late to plant it in November. Even bulb flowers, such as tulips, are better planted in October. But they will almost certainly die if stored at home. So your best bet is to plant in November if your bulb parcel is late. November is not yet winter. Yes, wet snow and frost pass, but warming follows, and more than one. Here December is really the time when it’s too late to plant, and only a joke for seedlings from fruit trees to spring.

What criterion should be used? Just the condition of the soil especially in your region at your site. It’s simple – try digging over the floor with a shovel. If the shovel digs to the bayonet, it doesn’t matter what month it is, you can plant. But if the shoveling isn’t there, opt for storage because the ground is already deeply frozen.

Insulate and insulate.

If you are afraid of sprouts, especially stone plants (and they are usually recommended only for early fall or spring planting), you can help a little – the roots “insulate”. To do this, pour 1-2 cups of pregnant grains of any complexity on the bottom of the planting bowl. This releases heat, and for the first time seedling seedlings are warmed. However, it is worth remembering that in November all the plants are already alone and not particularly susceptible to cold exposure.

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It is also possible to insulate late plantings – the bedding circles of fruit seedlings are covered with fallen leaves and enclose a piece of film on it, so that the floor in the bedding circle does not freeze for as long as possible. There are special coconut mats for bedding circles available for sale. With such mats you can insulate the ground around the seedling. It is also recommended to cover a thick layer of fallen leaves and hairy perennials after planting. And the sashes can be covered with a tight binding. Yes, usually perennials do not need humus, but if it is a fresh planting, it is better to insulate them. In subsequent years, the need for such insulation is no longer necessary.

Doing the planting

If you see that it will not be possible to get a package with seedlings before December, take a closer look in advance and prepare a place for your botanites. This place should be in an elevated area, out of reach of tallow and groundwater flooding, away from garden buildings. Prepare a ditch at least 50 cm deep, it should be with a slight slope. The ditch should be prepared in advance, because if the ground freezes, you simply will not be able to dig it out.

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In pots until spring

Preserving seedlings until spring planting is quite difficult. The most difficult plants to store seedlings can be bulbous flowers. However, there is a way out, if there is a basement in the dacha. You just need to plant all the bulbs in large pots and place them in the basement. In the spring, you can plant a large-bulb tree on the right. Except that it is impossible to keep bulbous flowers warm for a year in the city apartment, because they are not planted in the spring, and planted in the fall. It turns out that you have to keep them until the next fall.

Storing root vegetables thaws in the refrigerator.

Cellar or loggia

But preserving seedlings until spring is more realistic. Specimens of fruit and ornamental plants in containers and seedlings with a large clump of soil in a cool, preferably not too well-lit place, for example, in the basement at the cottage. But you can leave them on the floor in the apartment, close to the balcony door, in an unoccupied garage or on an isolated loggia.

Wrap small plants in wrapping paper and send them to the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. If herbaceous perennials are large enough, remove them from their packaging and place them in a box with moistened soil. Place the box in the basement or on the loggia. Make sure that you all dried and damaged discs and even more so all the leaves and flowers and throughout the storage period, the soil that the plants are in is lightly moistened before you remove the storage to dry out all the leaves and flowers.

The best option for longer storage is when the plants are in a horizontal position, that is, they are modeled. However, this requires large long boxes. In them, the seedlings are laid horizontally and covered with peat or a light bottom, on which the moisture is sometimes fed. You can also put seedlings in sand.

But seedlings of needle plants should be kept in an upright position until the emergence of austere plants. At the same time, they should not be lowered into the basement, as they do not tolerate a lack of light. Simply place them in a large pot and place them, for example, on a logical loggia or porch in a private home. Keep the soil in which the plants are placed lightly moistened and the needles sprayed with water throughout their life.

Spring pears (lilies, decorative arches and others) – i.e. those that are planted in the spring, store before planting in the basement in the sand or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator and pack with paper. When sprouts over 5 cm appear, plant in pots, take to a cool but well-lit place in the basement or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. With sprouts over 5 cm plant in pots, cool but well-lit.

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