Ask the gardening expert



As I close out my gardening season, I’m wondering what I should do with the raised bed where I had vegetables and the flower pots all around my garden. Can I winter everything over?

Have you sown a cover crop in the raised bed yet? If not, there is still time to plant something such as fava beans. Cover crops, also called green manures, improve your soil when you turn them under in the spring.

This also is the perfect time to add lime to your soil, if needed. Six pounds of lime per 100 square feet every two years is about right for most loamy soils. Clay soils need more and only every three years; sandy soils need less. Get a soil test for specific recommendations for your soil.

Now, for the containers. You cannot expect to winter over annual flowers. Move containers of perennials and shrubs that are exposed to the elements to a more-protected location.

Roots are the least hardy part of a plant, so plants that would be perfectly hardy in the ground can be killed when left in pots.

Celeste Lindsay is a WSU-certified master gardener. Send questions to