Lazy bed prep– am I pre-killing my plants?
Through last summer the bed held peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, marigolds and squash (except for the tomatoes and peppers, everything else didn't stay from spring until fall-- it's a tiny bed). Winter came very quickly around here. Snow, cold and more snow and cold from November on. All of the plants died with the cold and stayed there. Today it is a balmy 55 degrees outside so I did what I probably should have done in the fall, cleared out the bed. I took out the big branches and raked what was left down. Including the wood mulch some rotten tomatoes-- I thought I had picked them all but, oh well. The ground is frozen solid two inches down, so there wasn't much actual tilling happening. The bed just looks much neater now. The plan is to buy some garden soil in April to put on top of this, mix it up real good with the soil underneath and lay whatever is ready from the bottom of the compost pile. Or left. In the fall the pile was over 5 feet tall. Today it's about 2 feet and frozen solid in the middle. I hope there's something good down there. My questions, and I do have some, are: Is this good enough veggie bed maintenance? And what happened to my compost pile? It sure didn't shrink and freeze like that last year.