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Keeping Your Garden Clean & Healthy This Fall

Why Keep Your Garden Clean and Healthy?

If you are not a big fan of planting in the garden year-round, we recommend keeping the garden area clean and healthy instead of letting it grow up with grass and weeds every year. If you allow the area to grow up with grass and weeds every year you will have a continuous battle of fighting them off once you are ready to plant. When planting in the fall there are several benefits such as warm soil temperatures, fewer pest pressures, and cooler air circulation. Another benefit behind maintaining the garden area is the decrease in weed germination. Weeds can become a serious issue if they remain in your garden soil so removing them quickly will help eliminate them populating and making a home in your vegetable garden. In order to keep your garden area clean and healthy all year-round, you should always be looking for ways to improve your soil. A good soil structure will help your garden remain manageable and reduce disease problems that you may experience during the growing seasons. Overall, keeping the garden clean and the soil healthy will allow for better vegetable production during all the future growing seasons.

Three Methods for Maintaining the Fall Garden

On this week's episode, Travis explains three methods to keep your garden clean and healthy for the growing season. The first method in keeping your garden clean and healthy is to grow fall vegetables. Many crops like cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, and Brussel sprouts are wonderful to grow during the fall because we don't have to worry about bolting when temperatures become warmer. However, if you prefer to not grow a fall garden you can plant cover crops instead. Cover crops have many different benefits for the soil such as erosion control, weed suppression, pest management, and nitrogen fixer in the vegetable garden. The cover crops will help keep new weeds from germinating and cover the ground until you are ready to plant vegetables in that area. Depending on your location if you live in a more warmer climate you can plant cover crop varieties such as Sunn Hemp, Sorghum Sudangrass, Buckwheat, or Brown Top Millet. While if you live in a cooler climate area you can plant varieties such as Crimson Clover, Hairy Vetch, Tillage Radish, or Broadleaf Mustard. All of the cover crop varieties improve different characteristics so when choosing what to plant you can achieve different benefits depending on the variety you plan to plant in the vegetable garden. The third method for maintaining the garden area is to simply tarp the entire garden plot with our silage tarp. The tarping method is used as a preparation technique to eliminate new weeds from obtaining sunlight which will cause dying off once they germinate in the vegetable garden. It also helps once you are ready to plant in the spring you are able to pull the silage tarp off and the area is ready for quick planting in the vegetable garden plot. Another benefit of using the silage tarp is it can be a great way to extinguish a cover crop and prepare a garden area. You can simply mow the cover crop and place the tarp over the garden plot. Then, after a couple of weeks, you are able to remove the tarp and clean the area off and start planting in the plot. The silage tarp allows for you to incorporate a no-till method meaning no gas-powered equipment is used in the vegetable garden. Overall, Travis plans to use all three methods during his fall garden season this year.