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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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When cleaning out the garden Toplef10When cleaning out the garden 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

When cleaning out the garden I22gcj10When cleaning out the garden 14dhcg10

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When cleaning out the garden

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littlejo
bwaynef
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When cleaning out the garden Empty When cleaning out the garden

Post  bwaynef 12/5/2012, 10:40 am

Frost/freeze has finally taken its toll on my tomato and pepper plants. Those were the last things growing in my garden. I've already removed the pepper plants but haven't gotten around to cleaning out my tomato bed.

I was wondering what the thought(s) is(are) about cutting the tomato plant at the base and leaving the roots in the ground. I'm figuring they'll decompose/compost by spring.

Experience desired, thoughts accepted!
bwaynef
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Post  littlejo 12/5/2012, 5:48 pm

I tried that my first yr. In the spring, the roots were just like I left them. Of course, I did not keep it damp like a compost pile.
Jo
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Post  plantoid 12/5/2012, 7:40 pm

My take on it ......
Lift them out , the fine hair roots will rot without much difficulty once severed from the main root system .

If you leave the main root you leave a home for bug and associated creepies as well as the possibility of root infections developing as it tends to decay on a much slower time scale & has a bigger volume to decay that can be used as a host or food for the bugs and disease etc. .
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Post  camprn 12/5/2012, 7:42 pm

I usually just pull the whole plant, roots and all, if the ground is not frozen. Then, if the plant is not diseased, I cut up the spent plants and toss the bits into the compost pile. Then I stir up my Mel's mix a bit, add fresh compost, rake it level and leave it until it's time to sow or plant.

____________________________

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https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  yolos 12/5/2012, 8:35 pm

Camprn - I have been cleaning out my beds as the veggies die off. I have topped them off with MM because they settled just after I planted them. Next year I will just add compost whenever I pull out one crop.

My question is, if you put compost in the bed now, won't the nutrients become less as the MM sits there over the winter?
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Post  camprn 12/5/2012, 9:24 pm

Even if I fill the bed up to the top and mix in the compost, it all settles over the course of the next 4.5 months when planting time rolls around... Then I will add more compost in the spring. Very Happy
I have never had problems with the fertility of my beds if I add the compost in the autumn.

____________________________

43 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  CapeCoddess 12/6/2012, 12:37 pm

camprn wrote:Then I stir up my Mel's mix a bit, add fresh compost, rake it level and leave it until it's time to sow or plant.

Camp, you put the compost on top of the MM? Is there any reason not to stir them together now? Maybe the compost is like a winter protection?

In the spring when you add more compost, do you stir it up a bit then? Or just top it off again?

Your garden is so great that I want to emulate everything I can. thinking

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