Winter is coming...
But before the snow and frost arrives, there is still lots to do in your garden.
Cleaning up your garden for the winter doesn't mean stripping it of every last living thing. Many plants will survive and thrive for a while yet. Others can still benefit the soil if you dispose of their tops but leave the roots in the ground. If you are really keen, there is still time to start some winter-hardy plants for harvest in the spring.
Composting dead plants
The main task is to clean out dead and dying plants. Rotting vegetation can be a source of disease and pest infestation, so get out a wheelbarrow and move stuff over to the compost heap. For help on which plants to compost and which to leave for mulch, take a look at this article from Eco Family Life.
TIdy up your gardening paraphernalia
This is the time to clear your plot of the various bits of wire, string, wood and (oh no!) plastic. Tie up canes, supports, fleece, string and chicken wire for use next year. Sort, clean and discard plant labels. If you have your own garden tools, give everything a good wipe down. Some may benefit from a little oil. Starting again in the spring will be easier and happier with clean, sharp tools that are free from lingering disease. Sort out your seeds, making sure they are stored in a cool, moisture free place if you hope to use them next year.
Mulching and soil preparation
Leaving soil exposed to the winter elements is not always the best choice for the vegetable garden. Learn about different mulches and coverings for your soil. This article might help, but there is a world of knowledge out there if you need more advice.
Plant for spring!
There is still time to plant out some hardy vegetables if you have them ready in pots. It's garlic planting time too, if you dare. This guide from WestCoast Seeds gives a pretty comprehensive overview of what you can plant in Fall and Winter, as well as advice on crop protection and winter mulching.
3rd November - No Dig Day!
End of season doesn't necessarily mean digging or tilling your plot. There are many advantages to a No Dig Garden. Charles Dowding is a well-known and fascinating expert on the subject. Read an article from his website in time for November 3rd - which has been made the official No Dig Day. According to Mr Dowding, November is the perfect time to start a no-dig bed.