Remember last year how you were going to have a better garden next year?
Some did better and some did not.
Many have already given up on this year's garden and are planning for 2010. One of the best ways to improve is to make a note of any particularly productive or unsatisfactory varieties or crops and problems encountered.
Such information can be very useful during garden-planning time in spring.
Clean up any plant material that is not producing. Remove any diseased or insect-infested plant material from your garden; it may harbor overwintering stages of disease and insect pests. If you leave this plant material in your garden, you are leaving diseases and insects that will begin to reproduce again next spring and add to next year's pest problem.
Such insects as cucumber beetles, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles, and European corn borers pass the winter in debris left in the garden. Remove dead plant material, and compost it or plow it under. This will limit your pest population next year to the insects that migrate into the garden.
Now's a good time to learn about composting. Landscape refuse, such as leaves, grass clippings and trimmings can no longer be placed in landfills.
Composting is one practice that we all can easily do to help with this problem. The finished compost product can also be used to make your garden soil more productive.
If you are unfamiliar with composting procedures, stop by the Extension office for more information.
Composting techniques are very easy to learn and the investment required to begin is minimal. We have a publication on composting that outlines this procedure in very simple terms.