This fall I determined to delay planting a fall garden to allow for time to till in compost and leaves into the soil. I have tilled in a truck load of compost from the fairgrounds, all my pecan shells, pecan husks, and leaves. I tilled in leaves I brought from my daughters place in Springville, leaves I bagged from the church, and leaves from my neighbors. I also tilled in late lawn clippings, which included fallen leaves and pecan husks. The lawnmower does a nice job of cutting the grass, leaves and pecan husks into small pieces, insuring they will compost more quickly.
With the fall rains, and repeated tilling of the ground, the leaves and material are already decomposing nicely. On Monday, December 15th, snow fell, a total of 9 inches in Toquerville. The snow cover, freezing temperatures, and the recently tilled soil will all contribute to a nice decomposition of the leaves and other material. By planting time in the spring, the soil will be ready for production.
I cannot emphasize enough, the necessity of composting leaves and other organic material into the garden every year, it is essential. I also throw in some commercial nitrogen when tilling in composting material, it expedites the decomposition process and adds nitrogen to the soil.
Still, in early November, I planted peas, lettuce, onions, carrots and beets. I'll see how they winter over. We've already had temperatures as low as 21 degrees.