This column usually does not address tasks-of-the-month-type issues. But, with this year’s unusual weather, more questions concerning tasks for the end of our most recent gardening season have been asked of me and, so, that path of discussion will dominate this month’s information. My short answer to most inquiries for the last two months has been, “Yes, gardening for this season is nearly over, AND there are still several tasks which can be completed now in order to make your initial spring gardening efforts easier to manage.

First, do a clean-up of garden debris. This is especially true for the vegetable garden.  The remnants of herbaceous plants, leaves, stalks, etc., should be removed and added to the compost pile. If the plant was diseased or infested, put it in the yard waste container for removal. Our home compost piles simply do not generate enough of their own heat to destroy all overwintering insects and pathogens. After cleaning the beds, spread some (i.e., 1”-3”) of compost on the area and let it fuel next spring’s growth. Time permitting, digging-in this amendment will also aid in loosening the soil for the next planting cycle. 

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