Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Cleanup: Do you agree or disagree?

I read an article several weeks ago (sorry I can’t remember from what website, or I’d mention it here), but it isn’t the first time I’ve read this.
In the article I looked at, the writer talked about clearing out their gardening beds in the fall, to remove the dying plants and adding them to a compost bin. By doing so removed the threat of diseases from spreading. They also suggested rototilling it then laying down a layer mulch or a cover crop.  For perennial beds, they suggested cleaning it out and applying mulch.

I guess I’d say I have to disagree, I generally don’t clear out my vegetable beds or my perennial gardens until spring. Perhaps it is a matter of preference or I never encountered the problems they did.

I understand that by depositing dying plants into a compost bin, the gardener is creating additional fuel for his compost for the following year.  But I’m wondering if they haven’t created just more work for themselves by clearing out the beds in the fall then again in the spring. 

Nature, for the most part, provides a natural mulch with leaves and the dying growth from the current year. By leaving the natural layer, it provides the animals with things to nibble on in the winter as well. I don’t mind the spring cleanup because after being inside for the winter, I enjoy the work.

However, I am, by no means am married to either process, so I’m asking you—do you agree or disagree?  Do you prefer to clean out your beds in the spring or the fall?

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