How to prepare a metal raised garden bed for winter?

In the fall, gardeners should start taking steps to ensure their garden beds are ready for seeds and transplanted seedlings before the next gardening season. For some, they see this as a to-do list for their garden. Although you want to skip all the work after the growing season, you must take the time to prepare your metal raised garden bed before the cold season arrives. Taking care of your metal raised garden bed before winter settles in will help promote soil health and prevent disease and weeds. This will prepare your garden for next year's harvest. So, here are 3 things you should put on your regular to-do list.

1. Deal with dead plants

It is best to dispose of dead plants as soon as possible. Be sure to remove old plants once they start to die. Leaving dying plants behind can cause a lot of problems for the soil. Rotten roots, stems and leaves are easy targets for pests and diseases. Although they are dead, these plants still get valuable nutrients from the soil. If you're growing perennials in metal raised garden beds, now is the perfect time to prune them. Like other plants and leaves left behind throughout the winter, perennials can provide cover for harmful pests. Finish it by covering the plant with a few inches of winter mulch.

2. Covering soil in winter

Considering the idea of ​​planting cover crops is one of the best ways to protect and complement a traditional garden, and if you already plant cover crops, you can ensure that the soil is protected from erosion and all the possible problems winter can bring to your metal raised garden bed. However, if you are going to use aged or compost fertilizers, you will still need to cover each garden bed. You can cover the bed with a thick layer of leaves. Leaves also provide the same nutrients as soil fertilizers. Straw mulch and grass cuttings can also be used. As the mulch decomposes, this binds fresh organic material to the soil. Alternatives to these materials are black plastic sheets or tarpaulins, which not only protect the soil surface from ice, wind and snow, but also keep weeds and weed seeds away from the soil. This also prevents soil erosion in the long run.

3, weed

Untended fall weeds eventually breed disease and could set the stage for more weed problems in the future. Weeding is an important task you should complete in the fall, especially when most of your crops have stopped growing. Most people will probably skip this part, but it's one of the important things to do. Many weeds produce weed seeds at this time, which may remain viable for the next 40 years. If you notice that some parts of the metal raised garden bed are covered with weeds, you can cover these areas with black plastic or cardboard. Leave it all over the winter. This will kill existing weeds and smother any that sprout. You may be tempted to cultivate the soil to expose any harmful pests lurking in the soil and prevent weeds, but it is recommended that you avoid doing so. This will help keep the soil healthy. Unless the soil is compacted, plough on metal raised garden beds. But, in this case, it doesn't really mean anything. If you can avoid farming, try to do so , an d the soil and garden beds will thrive for years to come.