If you’re getting ready to plant a few veggies to grow over autumn and winter then be sure to dig in plenty of good quality compost or fertiliser. Existing beds are likely to be low on nutrients after a busy summer of successful veg growing. Here are our top tips:
- Remove any old summer veg plants that are no longer cropping. Leave the roots of bean plants in the soil as they help to put nitrogen back in the beds.
- Pull up any weeds making sure you get the roots out – if they’re big then it’s easiest to use a hand fork but you should be able to do it mostly by hand.
- Assuming the soil is still quite nice and fluffy rather than being compacted down you can just add a thick layer of good quality compost/fertiliser or well rotted manure on the surface. If you feel your soil is too compacted, then dig it over a little beforehand to loosen things up again.
- You may prefer to dig in the compost a little before planting, but this is entirely up to you. If you go down the “no dig” school of thought then leaving the soil underneath untouched will help to keep down weeds, whereas digging it through will bring weed seeds up to the surface.
- When you plant your seedlings, add a handful of wormcast fertiliser to the hole before popping the seedling in place. This is a great way of keeping each plant well nourished over the autumn and winter season as the worm castings release nutrients slowly over several weeks.