Getting beds ready for the winter

If there are any beds or pots that you won’t be using until next spring, then it’s worth putting them to bed for the winter and giving the soil a chance to replenish its nutrients and improve a little before planting again.

To get them ready, first pull up any old veg plants, get rid of any diseased plants, and make sure the beds are weed free. If you’re pulling out tomato plants, try and make sure you pick up fallen tomatoes as they have a tendency to reseed quite easily!

If the soil is very compacted then dig it over a little to loosen things up before adding a thick layer of well rotted manure or compost (or leaf mould if you have any). Making sure this layer of compost/manure is nice and thick (2-3 inches) will really help to suppress any weed seeds so that next year you have a clearer bed. Now, cover the soil with black plastic, weed membrane or even long strips of cardboard and make sure it’s all well secured with heavy stones to hold them down on windy wintry days. When it comes to spring, the soil will be in much better condition having been worked on by many worms and having been protected from frosts, snow and heavy rains.