• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook puts a vegetable garden to bed for winter.

    1. Remove all debris and dead leaves from the garden bed with a spade fork and garden rake. Use a wheelbarrow to move the debris to the compost pile.
    2. Spread 2 inches of compost over the garden bed with the rake.
    3. Sprinkle ground limestone over the bed to raise the pH of the soil to an acceptable level (about 6.8). Lightly work the limestone into the soil with a spade fork.
    4. Spread winter rye seed over the garden bed, then rake it into the soil.
    5. Water the garden bed everyday for three straight days.
    6. Come spring, use a rotary tiller or spade fork to turn the rye grass into the soil.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Requires some raking and debris removal, but nothing too arduous
Ask TOH users about Winter Upkeep

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        Spade fork
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      Ground limestone, used to raise pH level of soil

      Winter rye seed, used as a winter cover crop