End of Season cleanup information
I hope it was a successful and enjoyable gardening season for everyone this year. Now as the days get shorter and colder, it is time to prep for winter. If you have a bed in the regular plots, all you need to do is remove any hard stuff - fencing, stakes, decorations, etc. that would get in the way of a rototiller in the spring. When the leaves fall, our youth will rake leaves over the plots, so anything left behind will be buried and hard to see in the spring when we go to till.
You may leave all your plants in place. As they die over the winter, they will fall and begin to decompose, which adds to the soil fertility in the spring. Why pull them up and put them in the compost pile only to bring that back to the plot in the spring? But, if you feel you must pull them up, put them in the compost pile.
If you used anything from the shed - tomato cages, stakes, etc., please return those things to the shed, neatly, please! If you brought your own fencing, stakes, decorations, etc., please take them home. Anything left in the shed will be considered community property, so unless you want to donate your garden stuff, please take it home.
As I mentioned the youth will rake leaves onto the plots when they fall. Please have your hardware removed by that time. I don't have a date scheduled for that, you will have to watch the leaves. The plot markers with your name on them should be placed in the shed in the bucket with the blank ones. Trash can be left in the bucket marked "trash" if it is small. Large trash needs to be taken to the dumpster across the street in the church's parking lot. If tomato cages appear unusable for another season, please consider them trash, or if you desire, you can scrap them. Anyone who wants to take the rusty antique hose reel in for scrap that is sitting outside the shed is welcome to do so.
Raised beds can be left as is. If you want to remove your plants when they die, put them in the compost pile next to the shed. Leaves or other mulch should be placed over the beds going into winter. I will remove the tomato cages and stakes from the demo plot when the plants die. I will then cover the bed with leaves. We will add compost in the spring to replace fertility lost over the growing season.
I will send out an email in the spring asking if you want to participate again next year. If you know you want a particular plot, or if you know already you want the same raised bed, or you want a raised bed for next season, please let me know. We can build more raised beds before next season if there is interest.