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When cleaning out the garden

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When cleaning out the garden

Post  bwaynef on 12/5/2012, 10:40 am

Frost/freeze has finally taken its toll on my tomato and pepper plants. Those were the last things growing in my garden. I've already removed the pepper plants but haven't gotten around to cleaning out my tomato bed.

I was wondering what the thought(s) is(are) about cutting the tomato plant at the base and leaving the roots in the ground. I'm figuring they'll decompose/compost by spring.

Experience desired, thoughts accepted!
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Re: When cleaning out the garden

Post  littlejo on 12/5/2012, 5:48 pm

I tried that my first yr. In the spring, the roots were just like I left them. Of course, I did not keep it damp like a compost pile.
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Re: When cleaning out the garden

Post  plantoid on 12/5/2012, 7:40 pm

My take on it ......
Lift them out , the fine hair roots will rot without much difficulty once severed from the main root system .

If you leave the main root you leave a home for bug and associated creepies as well as the possibility of root infections developing as it tends to decay on a much slower time scale & has a bigger volume to decay that can be used as a host or food for the bugs and disease etc. .
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Re: When cleaning out the garden

Post  camprn on 12/5/2012, 7:42 pm

I usually just pull the whole plant, roots and all, if the ground is not frozen. Then, if the plant is not diseased, I cut up the spent plants and toss the bits into the compost pile. Then I stir up my Mel's mix a bit, add fresh compost, rake it level and leave it until it's time to sow or plant.

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Re: When cleaning out the garden

Post  yolos on 12/5/2012, 8:35 pm

Camprn - I have been cleaning out my beds as the veggies die off. I have topped them off with MM because they settled just after I planted them. Next year I will just add compost whenever I pull out one crop.

My question is, if you put compost in the bed now, won't the nutrients become less as the MM sits there over the winter?
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Re: When cleaning out the garden

Post  camprn on 12/5/2012, 9:24 pm

Even if I fill the bed up to the top and mix in the compost, it all settles over the course of the next 4.5 months when planting time rolls around... Then I will add more compost in the spring. Very Happy
I have never had problems with the fertility of my beds if I add the compost in the autumn.

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Re: When cleaning out the garden

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/6/2012, 12:37 pm

@camprn wrote:Then I stir up my Mel's mix a bit, add fresh compost, rake it level and leave it until it's time to sow or plant.

Camp, you put the compost on top of the MM? Is there any reason not to stir them together now? Maybe the compost is like a winter protection?

In the spring when you add more compost, do you stir it up a bit then? Or just top it off again?

Your garden is so great that I want to emulate everything I can. thinking

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