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Art Knapp
So Much More Than Plants
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Art Knapp Articles

Getting Your Vegetable Garden Ready for Fall

in Informational

Getting Your Vegetable Garden Ready for Fall

At the time of this writing, we are experiencing smoky skies and warm conditions on the Lower Mainland, but winter is not far away. And none of us knows how much longer our vegetables will produce. Some vegetables and flowers may be finished already. So, what should we do with our vegetable beds when summer is over?

There is no shortage of theories on what we should do with our vegetable gardens to get ready for fall. And there is no one correct way to manage your garden. In our blog today, we are going to give your several different suggestions on what you could do with your vegetable beds as we head into winter.


You cannot go wrong with covering your vegetable garden with mulch. The mulch will break down over the winter and enrich your soil in the spring when you turn it over. You can pull your waning vegetable plants or you can leave them alone and mulch around them.

Cover Crop

You can imitate the real farmers and plant a new and different cover crop for the fall. If you do this, plant something unrelated to what you planted this past summer and plan to plant next summer. Planting something different enriches the soil and baffles the pests. In the spring you can just turn the soil over further enriching it. Examples of cover crops are peas, mustard, oats, winter rye, or plain old clover.

Grow a Winter Vegetable

There are vegetables that will produce during the fall and like the cooler or cold weather. You could plant, for example, lettuce or arugula, or a root vegetable like carrots which you can pull all winter as long as the ground is not frozen. If you are going to grow a winter vegetable or cover crop, you may want to amend your existing soil or add fertilizer depending on what you want to grow and the quality of your soil.

Leave It Alone

Another perfectly good thing to do is NOTHING. Some plants will continue to grow for a while and then eventually go to seed. When you leave your dead or dying plants where they are, that is good for insects and birds over the winter. It can be unsightly, and not everyone feels comfortable with it. However, there is nothing wrong with just leaving your vegetable beds alone for now, and then tending to them again when the worst of the winter is over, in March or April.

Growing a vegetable garden is as much art as science, and there are many variations on what we can or should do. Enjoy your garden, and feel free to talk to us about how your vegetable garden is doing.

Art Knapp has 15 locations across British Columbia and is well known as the go-to garden centre for everything garden-related. Art Knapp, himself, began the business in the 1940's, and now, 80 years later, you can find more than he ever dreamed of in our stores. Come and see us on King George Boulevard in Surrey. 

If you have any questions about this article or want to talk to us about gardening, just give us a call at (604) 596-9201.

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