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The leaves have fallen, the clocks have turned back, it’s official: Fall has come full swing. Are you tired from the summer of working outdoors? I can promise your garden is too. Whether it’s roses or rutabagas, peas or periwinkle, your plants want to tuck in for the winter, and your soil’s microbes are hungry for some nutrients. “But anonymous Purple Cow Organics writer”, I hear you say, “whatever should I do to feed my plants for the long-awaited season of rest?” Fret ye no longer, for I have the solution!
There are significant benefits to putting compost into your garden before the ground gets hard and the winter season sets in!
First off, your garden doesn’t actually take a break in the wintertime. Even though the temperature dives well below freezing for several months, the microbes in your soil are still hard at work breaking down organic material and preparing the soil for the coming Spring. As the season goes on, much of the biology in your soil dies off due to a lack of nutrition. Feeding these microbes with compost in the fall allows the nutrition in your compost to soak into your soil, and provides energy throughout the season.
Your microbial health leads to another important factor in soil health, which is water retention. As the microbes in your soil break down organic material, they loosen the dirt and aerate the different layers of topsoil. The snow melt in the spring, combined with the rain that comes with the changing seasons, is able to soak into those spaces and be held by your soil. Rather than a big muddy hole for the frogs, that water can help to jumpstart your seedlings in the spring, as well as reduce the need for watering over the course of the year. In areas where drought is an issue, healthy soil with a large water holding capacity can reduce the amount of water needed to grow healthy crops. This also leads to less runoff of topsoil and fertilizers into rivers and streams, which can help to build a healthier planet.
Another benefit to composting in the fall, is that organic composts and soil amendments need time to fully release their nutrients into the soil. When you compost in the spring, you provide nutrients that will slowly release over the spring and summer, and will give your garden the nutrition it needs to grow a great crop for harvest in the fall. However, you miss out on the nutrients that could give your plants a head start in the Spring. Putting down compost in the Fall helps to prepare your soil for the spring by slowly releasing nutrients so there’s a stockpile of microbial goodness ready for your plants and seeds when the weather warms.
An Autumn application of compost makes it easier to grow things in the Spring for more reasons than just having extra nutrition in the soil. A thick layer of compost over the wintertime can help your soil stay warmer throughout the season, and allows your soil to thaw faster. This means that it’s easier to work with your soil in the springtime, and you may even be able to plant earlier in the season. Composting in the Fall also forms a protective barrier between your soil and weeds, meaning that you’ll have less plants to pull when your soil is ready to plant.
When choosing what compost to use for your farm or garden in the spring or the winter, it can be hard to navigate the range of options you have.
Purple Cow Organics is here to help you find the right choice for your garden!
Is your soil lacking in rich organic material? Do you need to rebuild your overall soil quality? If you have a large area you need fertilized, but you don't know where to start, look no further than our Purple Cow Organics Classic Compost! Our Classic Compost is a carefully crafted soil amendment that acts as the backbone for many of our Purple Cow Organics composts and soil mixes. 100% plant-based and locally sourced, our Classic Compost is exactly what you need if you need to rebuild your soil quality, without restructuring your finances. If you live in Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, or Bloomington, Illinois, check the store locator on our website to find a bulk reseller for our Classic Compost near you!
Looking for way to rebuild your soil’s organic matter and add fertility at the same time? Our Purple Cow Organics Activated Compost is the right choice for you! Our blend of plant-based compost and our PCO Mineral Complex provides what your soil needs to rebuild it’s healthy organic material, and provide nutrients to your soil’s microbes. We offer our activated compost in 1 Cu/Ft bags and 2 Cu/Yd supersacks. You can also check the store locator on our website to find a bulk reseller for our Activated Compost near you!
Want to build the fertility of your soil without adding a lot of bulk material? Try adding our Purple Cow CX-1 mixed with our Bioactive Vegetable Supercharger to give your tired soil the boost it needs for next Spring. For best results: apply the CX-1 and Vegetable Supercharger mix on top of your garden soil, and then cover with a layer of dead leaves to lock in the nutrient richness.
For more information on the Purple Cow Organics’ product line or where to buy, feel free to send us a message through the Contact tab at the top of the page.