I got an email from our liaison at Winona Health asking us to please clean out our plots for the winter.
Different people have different definitions of what this means, but here is what I am asking everyone to do:
Remove all trellises, stakes, tomato cages, decorations, buckets, sheets or other ground covers and store away for the winter.
Harvest or compost all remaining squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, leeks, etc.
Pull up all dead plants and compost them or use them for mulch on your plot.
Many of you have carefully piled your dead plant material in the corner of your plot to use for compost/mulch. (thank you! thank you!). It's now time to spread it around on your plot so that it is no more than 6-12" high (1st choice), or put it in the north compost bin.
Pull all vines from the fence.
Some of you have let broccoli, etc, go to seed. If you are wanting to save seed for next year, harvest it now. If not, pull it and compost it.
Kale can stay until the frost kills it. Also, if you've left onions or carrots in the ground for spring, that's fine, too.
Cut back perennials in the flower strips or plots that are getting rangy. Also, remove and compost large plants like sunflower stalks.
If you want to put in a volunteer hour or two, stomp down the south compost bin, When this gets done, there are sheets of metal to cover it with.
In a word:
Anything that is not a plant, remove it from the garden.
Reduce all plant material to a 6-12" layer on your plot or compost it.
I emailed back that we would have it cleaned out by November 30. Don't let me down. Our continued lease with Winona Health is contingent on a good relationship with them.