As the outdoor growing season comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about putting the garden to bed. Here are a few suggestions on what you can do.
1. Bring Your Caja Indoors
Continue the growing season all year round. If you have a very sunny window, you should be able to grow most greens/herbs. Microgreens are another great option that are fast to grow. For those without a sunny window, growing lights can also be setup to keep your plants growing all year round.
2. Leave It As IsYour Caja planter can be left as is over the winter. While the soil and residual water in the reservoir may freeze solid, the Caja is built to withstand our Canadian winter without any adverse effects. Depending on your hardiness growing zone, some of your plants such as mint, sage, and thyme will survive and continue growing again in the spring.
3. Store Your Caja in a Garage or ShedIf you have the space, you can store your Caja planter(s) in a shed, garage, or other covered and protected spot. This will give them protection from the elements, and prolong the life of a wooden or metal stand.
4. Cover the Cajas with a Tarp If you don’t have space in a garage or shed, and still want to give your Cajas some extra winter protection, you can cluster your boxes together and cover them with a tarp. Large waterproof tarps are available at most hardware stores and are recommended if you have a wooden stand.
What do I do with the plant stems/stalks?
Another common winter prep question we get concerns the plant stems and leaves that die back at the end of the year. Plants such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, lettuce, arugula, basil will not survive the winter. For these plants, we suggest leaving all visible parts of the plants as is over the winter, and then cleaning them up in the spring before replanting. These stems, stalks, leaves, and other plant debris can serve as valuable cover, protection, and habitat for overwintering insects and beneficial organisms.
If having a clean and tidy garden appearance is more important, you can trim back the stems and stalks to the ground/soil level and remove any larger roots. This will also help speed up the prep time when it comes to replanting in the spring.