Winter is Coming!: Overwintering a raised bed

By lawrence

Well, it’s mid-December and the freezes have been getting harder and harder (it might even snow tomorrow!). My yard-sharing buddy and I overwintered our raised bed a few weeks ago and I figured I’d just write up a little summary of what we did.

My friend, Travis, and I are both transplants to the Northeast (haha, transplants, get it? Man, agriculture puns just never get old!) and neither of us have ever had to worry about “overwintering” anything. In fact, neither of us really knew what that word even meant! Given our lack of knowledge, I took it upon myself to do a little digging (so punny). The most popular search result was this one: How I Prepare My Raised Beds for Winter. The blog author gives a good bit of information of exactly what he does and why.

1502743 10201571553146508 652279982 OThe suggestions included therein are really good, but Travis and I were on a limited budget and timescale so we took a slightly different approach. I remembered that I had some chaff from Barismo leftover from our End-of-Season Potluck and I grabbed my handout from our buddy and teacher of sustainable agriculture, Jon Orren (link!). Travis and I set out to pulling up all the plants and their stakes and seeing what was still edible. About 20 minutes, several of our housemates joined us to pull up the carrots and chit chat while we worked.

After we pulled up everything (except for the rosemary, swiss chard, and some parsley we might get to use before it freezes), I started dumping the chaff and Travis worked it into the soil and that was pretty much it! At some point before the first snow I’m going to work in some compost from our pile and cover the bed with a layer of leaves, but that’s as much as we’re going to do. 1493444 10201571555626570 183949476 O

Oh, yea! And I heard about putting garlic in the ground to overwinter during early November so we did some of that, too; more info about that here.

So that’s that. Hopefully all the things we did this year will help our our little plot do even better next year!