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[Tomato Dirt #92] How to Get Your Garden Soil Ready for Winter
November 19, 2015

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 5, Number 19

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

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FEATURE: How to Get Garden Soil Ready for Winter

Image: Tomato Dirt

After you’ve cleared out the tomato plants, removed the tomato stakes, cleaned them, and stored them, it’s time now to turn your attention to the garden itself.  Your garden is still busy during the winter … just underground. Earthworms and microbes in the soil process leftover summer’s remaining mulch and other organic material. You can help things along.

  • Burn debris before you turn the soil. Pile discarded leaves, straw, grass clippings, and other yard debris in your vegetable garden. Then burn them.  Burning adds wood ash to your garden.  Trace minerals are in the ash, thereby replacing those nutrients in the garden. Burning also destroys weed seeds, fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms that overwinter in the soil. 
  • Turn the soil. Break the ground deeply. Cultivating hardened soil allows winter rains to be deeply absorbed. This step will greatly improve the quality of the soil for your upcoming crop as it will allow wood ash and other organic matter to be restored. Then spade or rototill organic matter into the soil, mixing well to a depth of 8 to 12 inches.
  • Mulch. Straw, compost, or mulch help your garden maintain an even temperature during the cold months. But the biggest benefit arrives next season during the wet spring. Mulched planting areas are protected from becoming a muddy, clumped mess. When you’re ready to plant, you can pull back undecomposed mulch, straw, or compost and get your crop in the ground on time.
Learn more about preparing your tomato garden for winter

… and get more helpful tips on our Fall Garden Clean Up Pinterest Board.

Tomato Growing Tip #19: Mulch Garden NOW for Easy Spring Planting

Image: Tomato Dirt

See more ideas on our Fall Garden Clean Up Pinterest Board.

Best Tips for Growing Tomatoes

Tomato Growing Book

To Help You With Garden Clean Up

Check out these tools mentioned in this issue that can help you clean up your garden so it’s ready to go next spring.

NeverKink Ultra Flexible Garden Hose, 25-Feet Marathon Yard Rover Green Wheelbarrow

More About Fall Garden Clean Up

8 Steps to Fall Tomato Garden Clean Up Garden Cleanup: Best Ways to Remove Spent Tomato Plants What to Do With Tomato Stakes, Cages, Trellises in Fall Take These Steps to Get Started Composting This Fall

That’s it for now. More next time.

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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