Take the time to clean out old gardens now to save time when planting a garden in 2013, said Frank Watson, a Cooperative Extension agent in Wilkes County.
First, take note of any particularly productive or unsatisfactory crop varieties and any problems encountered this past growing season. This information will be very useful during garden-planning time next spring.
Then, start dismantling last spring’s gardens.
UGA Cooperative Extension experts recommend:
• Taking up any plants that are not producing. Remove diseased or insect-infested plants. Old plants can harbor disease and pests through the winter. Left in your garden plot, this plant material can sicken your new plants and give pests a head start in your garden next spring.
• Removing, composting or plowing under dead plant material because pests such as cucumber beetles, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles and European corn borers all pass the winter in garden debris.
• Learning about composting since landscape refuse, such as grass clippings, dead plants, trimmings and fallen leaves, can no longer be placed in landfills. Composting helps control yard waste, and the finished compost product can be used to make garden soil more productive.