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For the past 15 years or soFor the past 15 years or so we have benn tilling in chopped leaves/pine straw/composted materail each fall, prior to covering the garden with 10 mil black plastic sheeting. This seems to help the breakdown of material oer the winter, and keep "stuffe" from sprouting. Also aids in preventing winter rain "washout". garden is uncoverd for 2 to 3 weeks prior to spring till. looking forward to another good season of fresh veggies here in Maryland..