It’s important to get the garden beds cleaned up in the fall. Here are some helpful tips.
Any of the plant remains and the leaves need to be moved into the compost. Otherwise, they can hide insects and foster disease conditions for next spring. Leaving a nice, clean bed helps you to get a head start after the winter.
If you live in the United States east of the Mississippi, as I do, you will also need to lime your garden beds. We tend to get acidic rain so a dusting of lime is necessary each fall.
Any crops that you want to continue to pick should be covered. Ideally, there is some sort of support that can hold plastic above and away from the actual plants. Kale often continues to grow even in the late fall as well as spinach and lettuce.
Chickens will continue to lay eggs if they are given some extra light. I have mine on a timer so that the light comes on at 4 AM and goes off at 7 AM. This gives the chickens some “down” time for sleep but it also makes their day long enough for continued egg production. Be sure to clean up the cobwebs that have accumulated during the summer as they are flammable.
In the coldest climates, the chickens’ water will need a bit of heat to remain unfrozen. You can purchase some electric heaters that keep the temperature around 38 degrees. This way, they don’t use too much power but will keep the water from freezing.
Here are more tips on autumn chore and garden cleanup.