sc-square

Join the Seasonal Club.  Ditch the processed life! Learn to grow, source, preserve, and prepare real foods ALL YEAR LONG!  LEARN MORE >>

Join the Seasonal Club.
Ditch the processed life! Learn to grow, source, preserve, and prepare real foods ALL YEAR LONG!  LEARN MORE >>

5 Ways to Prepare Garden Beds for Winter

5 Ways to Prepare Garden Beds for Winter | Roots & Boots

Let's Grow! Garden-Planning Course | Roots & Boots

Plan your best garden with simple, step-by-step instructions!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
See my full disclosure here.

Wondering how to prepare garden beds for winter? There are several ways to maximize your garden beds during the off season.

5 Ways to Prepare Garden Beds for Winter | Roots & Boots
  • Save

5 Ways to Prepare Garden Beds for Winter

Even as we head into the winter months, our garden beds can still produce food, build healthy soil for next season’s veggies, and even save us time next spring. Here are 5 ways to get the most out of your garden beds this fall and winter and get a head start on next spring’s harvests.  

Watch some of these methods in action in my own northern Virginia garden!  Can’t see the video?  Click here to watch.

1. Grow fall greens and carrots

This is one of my favorite ways to use my garden beds in the fall.  Granted, it’s probably too late to start seeds now for greens and carrots, but you can tuck this tip away for next year.  

Simply plan to sow seeds for carrots, spinach, chard, lettuces, or other greens in late summer or early fall.  

This will allow you to harvest in the fall and then choose between overwintering without protection or with the use of a cold frame (for greens) or heavy mulch (for carrots). 

Fall planted carrots can actually be stored right in the ground and used as needed through the winter.

More details here:
16 Best Veggies for your Fall Garden [BLOG POST]
How to Grow Winter Carrots [VIDEO] 

5 Ways to Prepare Garden Beds for Winter | Roots & Boots
  • Save

2. Overwinter spinach, chard, lettuce, and other greens

Depending on your hardiness zone, you may be able to plant greens in late summer or early fall, and then overwinter them until spring.

Basically, this means your greens will stop growing during the cold months, but they’ll still be alive.  It’s like hitting the pause button.

The benefit of overwintering greens is an EARLY harvest in the spring.  Overwintered greens will grow earlier, bigger, and faster just as soon as the weather begins warming up even a little.

Overwintered greens probably won’t last through the spring and summer, but that’s why you’ll plant a spring crop as well. You’ll get an early harvest from the overwintered greens and then your spring-planted greens will kick in to carry you through the spring and summer.

More details here:
How to Overwinter Greens [BLOG POST]

5 Ways to Prepare Garden Beds for Winter | Roots & Boots
  • Save

3. Grow under a cold frame

If you’re able to add a cold frame, and depending on your hardiness zone, you can experiment with growing greens through the winter.  

This is my plan for this winter!  I have fall-planted spinach, chard, and lettuce growing in my raised bed kitchen garden and I plan to add cold frames over these veggies to see how long they’ll supply me with fresh greens.

My cold frames are pictured below; stay tuned for more specifics that I hope to share soon.  

UPDATE: Get the instructions and WATCH us build a cold frame from scratch: Extend Your Growing Season with a DIY Cold Frame.

5 Ways to Prepare Garden Beds for Winter | Roots & Boots
  • Save

4. Build soil with cover crops

One way to build healthy soil is to sow cover crops in your garden beds in late summer or early fall.  These crops will hold the soil over the winter and add nutrients for next year’s veggies.

More details here:
How to Plant a Fall Cover Crop [VIDEO]

5 Ways to Prepare Garden Beds for Winter | Roots & Boots
  • Save

5. Protect and build soil with heavy mulch

This is probably the easiest way to put your garden beds to bed for the winter.  Adding a thick layer of organic material like leaves, straw, or grass clippings will save you so much work next spring while also adding to the nutrient level of your garden soil.

A thick layer of mulch will prevent weeds, which will be a huge time saver in the spring.  I often leave the mulch in place at spring planting time, simply planting small seedlings directly through the mulch.

Over time, that mulch will break down and contribute to healthy garden soil.

More details here:
3 Ways to Prep Garden Beds for Winter  [VIDEO]

Which of these ways will work best for YOUR garden?

  • Save
3 ebook covers (1)

Sign up NOW for my best tips delivered weekly to your inbox!

You’ll also get instant access to my library of free ebooks and resources.

You might also like...

Kathleen | Roots & Boots

Let's get real! I’m Kathleen Henderson, your Natural Living Mentor. I’m on a mission to help families see the joy in real food, while finding natural remedies and creating a nontoxic home. Learn more about my story >>

Leave a Reply