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Once you have killed the existing weeds, rake the plant debris out of the garden, put down some good organic matter like compost or composted manure, and spread an organic fertilizer like Espoma Garden-tone at the rate recommended on the label. You can also add rock phosphate and Espoma Greensand according to the label for added organic nutrients. Here is a link to our soil prep recommendations for vegetable gardens: http://www.inthegardenradio.com/v.php?pg=47. I would not add the 10-10-10 to the soil until spring because it will leach out of the soil over the winter. Now is a great time to add these amendments because they will work into the soil over the winter. Till all of this into the soil and then either:
- 1. Seed a cover crop like winter rye or crimson clover over the whole garden. This will provide nutrients to the soil when it is tilled under in the spring (http://www.inthegardenradio.com/v.php?pg=878). It will also reduce weeds and prevent soil erosion over the winter.
2. Cover the garden with a mulch of several layers of newspaper and a layer of straw on top of the newspaper (the newspaper prevents the seeds in the straw from contacting the soil and germinating) or cover it with wide landscape fabric. The advantage of the newspaper and straw is that you can plant through it easily in the spring leaving most of it in place as a mulch; just rake it back to uncover a narrow area for seeding each row and planting your vegetable plants. It is harder to do this with the landscape fabric; landscape fabric usually needs to be removed or folded back.