In the Garden: Doing less this fall

If most of your vegetables and perennials are done for the season. Prioritize leaving as much plant material in the garden as you can.

Here's why:

  • If you haven't planted a cover crop by mid-November leaving your garden plants in the ground is a good idea. They will help keep your soil covered, prevent erosion and compaction, and in the spring prior to preparing your garden beds can be pulled be easily pulled up.

  • Leaves are your friend. Not just in the garden, but around your yard leaf piles can suppress weeds and provide important habitat for pollinators. Learn more from the Xerces society here.

  • If an area in the garden needs to cleared, consider trimming back the plants back at the base and leaving their roots. These roots will help maintain a healthy soil structure and fungal network for future plants.

Here are a few exceptions….

  • Don’t leave any plants in your garden that experienced heavy pest pressure. It’s common for pests to overwinter in this plant debris. Find examples of crops to remove from the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association here.

  • Get rid of any pernicious weeds. If you have any troublesome plants that have an extensive root system, like Johnson grass, or likely to drop a lot of weed seed in your garden best to pull them up now.

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