In another week or so I can dig up all the dahlias and store them for the winter. That's usually the last thing I do. Meanwhile I keep weeding and try to prep as many empty beds for next year as I can manage. I would prefer to prep things in the spring but the farm site is low and poorly drained. The soil is usually not workable until pretty late in the spring, later than I need to start putting things in, so I try to do as much as I can now.
The farm now has 105 4'x25' raised beds. I added 21 this year and that will hopefully be about all I will need. The beds are "raised" by virtue of adding 1 or 2 yards of compost when I create them, but they are not held in by anything. Fortunately, I do not need to prep all of these in the fall because more than a third of them contain perennials and spring bulbs. For the ones that do need to be prepped, the procedure is:
- Remove perennial weeds, especially thistles and grasses since they will come back from root fragments.
- Till the bed with my big, bad ass Merry Tiller International
- Cover the bed with about a yard of compost
- Till again
- Re-hill the bed with all the soil the tiller has tossed onto the path.
- Cover the bed with straw to prevent the winter emergence of cold weather weeds like mustards.
Merry Tiller International
The goal is to have a relatively weed-free, prepped bed all ready to go in the spring. Right now there are about 45 prepped (counting the 21 new ones) and another 10 in various stages of being prepped, and probably another 10 that have not been started.
Beds cleaned and prepped for next year