Summer garden

How To Overwinter Your Garden

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After cleaning out my garden in the Fall, I like to add all the “good stuff” to it to help add nutrients for next year’s crops. Here is how I overwinter my garden.

I have a decent garden area in the front yard. 2020 was our first year of growing crops since we bought this house. The soil was baron and definitely lacked nutrients. Since I was in a hurry that year to plant a garden, I bought some compost and garden soil from Home Depot and just layered it on top of the existing soil. But this year I want to overwinter the garden right!

overwintering the garden 2020
Garden 2020

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Our 2021 garden crops were…minimal.

Our 2021 garden
Our 2021 garden

Easy additive!

The easy stuff to add to help overwinter our garden area were the leaves from the existing plants. These breakdown over winter and add nutrients to help with next year’s garden.

It is almost impossible to clean out our garden area completely. That being said, there is also some veggies that are left over from the previous year that breakdown over winter. There were definitely some tomatoes and peppers I saw that got left behind. These will breakdown and some will mostly likely seed next year as “volunteer” plants.

Have farm animals?

Chickens Make Great Fertilizer

We mainly raise poultry here. The poultry we raise happen to create a lot of poop throughout the year. This poop is great for gardens! I like to add it in the late fall so it has time to breakdown before we start planting in spring. If it does not get enough time to break down, it can hurt your plants.

Rabbit poop can be added fresh as long as it does not touch the plants.

When we clean out the coops in the fall, we just take all that “waste” and spread it in the garden area. This waste consists of poop, and straw from bedding. It then has all winter to breakdown into nice rich fertilizer for next year’s garden.

We also butcher our own animals. The blood and feathers are collected in buckets and tossed into the garden as well. The feathers are buried as we do not take the time to dry them and create meal from them.

To Mix Or Not To Mix?

With this being our first winter in our garden, we will be rototilling our soil so it can get a bit deeper with all those added nutrients. In future years, we will probably not rototill it together. So this step is completely optional and up to your personal preference.

Garden almost cleared and fertilized
Garden almost cleared and fertilized

Our soil has been preparing for a couple months now, and it’s almost time to start seeds indoor! I don’t know about you, but I am super excited! Yet, I am also scared because our baby will be due right at the beginning of Spring this year and I keep thinking I won’t make the time necessary to take proper care of the garden. I guess we will have to see how things go this year.

Good luck to you on your gardens this year!


Unknown Homestead

Hello! Welcome to Unknown Homestead! I'm Erika. While I would love to say we have an amazing, huge homestead that is complete and bringing in the's a work in progress on just over 2 acres. We bought this property in 2019. I had big dreams but this fit the price range. Being built in the 1980's it was not an old house like people buy, but it still needed some work to be done. I handle the animals and yardwork, while Greg handles the smoking/grilling of meats and still works a fulltime job until this homestead is complete and profitable. Having 3 stepchildren does help get some things done around here, but now there is another one on the way. We started out as (I guess you would say) normal people. Depending on grocery stores for food and binge watching whatever TV show or movie we were into at the time. Our ways have since changed (and are continuing to change). We have added chickens, ducks, turkeys, and pigs to our Unknown Homestead (along with our dogs and cat of course). While this property is not that old to us, I have been trying to change my ways for many years. This blog shows what we are doing and how, with the hopes it can help some of you with your hopes and dreams as well!

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