Protecting the soil during the winter months is a priority for me in my organic garden. I have a nutrient-rich clay soil, but in the cheapest part of the year it is not easily watered and can be easily contaminated.
Soil protection in a winter garden is primarily about protecting the soil cover as much as possible and keeping the soil alive. This includes cultivating winter crops in appropriate fields and using cover crops or green manure that will stay in place during the winter, pruning and falling in the spring, or after the colder weather.
Growing winter crops
I live in the UK where winter temperatures fall between late October and mid-April, but not below 14 F / -10C. But to grow a lot of crops throughout the year, I have an unheated polythene that usually stays frozen.
It is especially important to protect the soil in the polytunnel ye, as good fertility is essential for the areas used throughout the year. Fertilizers are essential to maintain fertility throughout the year.
I cover polytunnel beds in the spring with home-grown mold, and again in early summer when summer crops emerge and winter crops arrive. In addition, I grow plants during the flowering period, along with comfrey and other volatile compounds, such as tomatoes. And fruiting season. For example, I add spring leaves as a protective straw around crops such as onions.
I practice crop rotation, especially nitrogen fixation, to protect the soil. In the polytunnel, winter crops such as fava beans and winter peas are important in this plan. They help add nitrogen to the brazilian and other crops that follow in the spring or early summer.
In addition to overgrown grains, I also grow polytunnel soil by cultivating other crops – Asian greens, winter lettuce, mustard, daikon radish, etc. Food in the winter. Onion and onion varieties are included in my annual crop rotation plans for over-cultivation.
Winter cover crops or green manure
In the annual outdoor production beds, I usually do not grow crops that are eaten all year round. While some broccoli, yeast, onions, and garlic can survive the winter months (the latter with protective coatings), I usually use cover crops or green manure in most areas to protect fertility and protect the soil.
Green manure covers the soil during the winter and prevents the nutrients from washing away. Planting green manure instead of losing nutrients in the growing environment ensures that these nutrients are collected in the roots of plants. When these are cut and scattered on the surface of the soil, they return to the top layer of soil, which can be picked up by the next growing plants in the area.
I found it useful to be a useful green manure for the winter months. These show better tolerance than common fava fruits. And still, just like the fava beans that I grow mainly to eat in polythene, they also absorb nitrogen. I sow these in September or October, sometimes between rows of food crops such as kale or winter cabbage.
Bean sprouts are often grown as a winter cover crop (about 17 grams per square meter), which improves soil cover and weed control. Oats are good at absorbing nitrogen, which can then release up to 90% of the residual nitrogen.
Alternative crops that can be considered in winter cover crops or green manure are gardens, or winter weeds (Vichia sativa). Note, however, that this is not suitable for dry or very acidic soils and is popular with pigeons, snails, and birds. Also, seeds should not be sown for a month or more as they release a chemical that inhibits the growth of some small seeds (such as carrots, parsnips and spinach) after cutting and falling. ).
Winter can be a good cover crop to protect the soil during the winter. In my forest garden, I use clover as a ground cover. But they can be part of an annual crop, such as cover crops or green manure.
One last green manure I use is mustard. This member of the Brazika family includes many organic ingredients to improve soil texture and moisture retention. In the snowy conditions where I live, mustard is damaged, but the ice-damaged leaf can remain in place as a cover. So if you live in an area with similar climates, you don’t even have to worry about cutting and throwing in the spring. Planting mustard before filling potatoes can reduce wire damage and reduce nematodes and pathogens.
It is important to find the right cover crops and green manure for your particular site. What works best in my area may not be the best solution for you and your community. But maybe learning how to protect the soil in my garden during the winter will help you start planning a sustainable winter management plan for your property.