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How to Get Raised Beds Ready for Winter: Protecting & Recharging the Soil

It’s time to start getting your raised beds ready for a lengthy stretch of cold and terrible weather because winter is coming quickly. Changes in temperature and humidity can quickly deplete the fertility of the soil in your raised bed.

Even though raised beds are excellent and relatively low-maintenance, they nevertheless require care on occasion. Especially with regards to yearly soil recharge and protection within their walls.

With that in mind, here’s how to prepare your raised beds this fall and set yourself up for tremendous success next year!


1. Get Rid of Dying Plants

Fall raised bed maintenance begins with weeding off old vegetation. In reality, it’s preferable to quickly remove spent vegetables, annual flowers, and herbs.

When plants in raised beds rot, they cause a number of problems for the ground underneath. Pests and diseases can quickly set up home in the rotting wood and vegetation. Those dead or dying plants are a drain on your soil’s resources.

Additionally, as the seeds of flowers and vegetables dry out, they fall to the ground. What is the outcome? There are likely hundreds of seedlings, if not thousands, that will germinate on their own next year. What a terrible weeding situation!

You should pull up plants by their roots as soon as they start to die. Also, remove any fruit or seed heads that may have fallen to the ground. Leaves and roots from nearly any plant are ideal for the compost pile in the fall.

You should trim back any perennials you have growing in raised beds right now. Pests can find shelter behind the ever-present foliage, just as they do on annuals. You can safeguard your perennials by adding a layer of mulch a few inches deep around them.

Leaving old plants in raised beds through the winter is asking for trouble. Not only is it unsightly, the decaying plants make it easy for disease and pests to overwinter.

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