Once you've harvested your summer crops, you may think you're done until spring. However, we urge you to reconsider.
While you may already till at the start of the season, doing it again at the end of the season can also have its advantages.
Tilling in the roots and stems of harvested crops, along with amendments like compost, provide added nutrients for springtime gardening.
Compost will improve your soil quality by adding nutrients and more absorbent materials, which produce healthier plants.
After harvesting your crops for the year, cover the area with compost. Spread a consistent layer about 3-5 inches thick.
Tilling It In
You've covered your garden with compost, but now it's time to stir it in. There should still be leftover roots and stems under the compost.
Churning them in with the compost will add nutrients to the dirt and improve its' tilth. You can also add shredded bark, peat moss and manure to improve the soil's structure and contribute humus that will help to aerate the soil and prevent some diseases from overtaking your crops.
For heavily dense clay soil, you can also add things like sand to help improve runoff. Choose amendments that will help improve your soil structure and feed your plants in spring, then till them into the garden at the end of the season so they have time to break down over the winter.