What should I do now to improve my soil for next summer?


I live in South Portland. Every summer for about 10 years I’ve had a vegetable garden on the same 50 x 25 ft plot. This year I won’t have time for a garden. What should I do this spring, summer and fall to improve the soil for next summer?


Tori Lee Jackson, Extension Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources

This sounds like the perfect opportunity to use cover crops and green manures to improve your garden soil and potentially break some pest cycles. I recommend Bulletin #1170, Cover Cropping for Success for a listing of species and purposes for each, as well as when to plant and how to kill or incorporate them back into your soil. The keys to the process are not to let your soil stay bare and not to let any of your cover crops flower and go to seed or you could end up with a years-long weed problem.