What you need to know to garden this fall – DiscoverEstevan.com

As the calendar shifts to September and cooler temperatures are sure to arrive, you may be thinking more about your garden.

Marilyn Simons, who is the Sight Market Manager at the Estevan Farmers’ Market, says there’s not really a rush to harvest your fruits and vegetables yet.

“You should be able to get most of your crops…you can keep harvesting them until frost,” Simons said. “Some things that are short season like peas, I find peas to be a two week (period). That’s all…they don’t like the heat. But almost everything else will grow and grow and push and produce and produce and produce.”

Simons said “hard frost” is what gardeners need to watch out for.

“The first frost might be minus one, minus two…it’s just a light frost that might not kill the whole vine, it might just damage it a bit, a lot of plants can survive that,” Simons said. “But when you’re talking about a hard freeze – anything less than minus three – then that will kill all the vines and sometimes damage your fruit or vegetables as well.”

Although most crops can be harvested until October, Simons says there are a few plants that need to be picked earlier.

“The biggest thing that’s a single harvest would be your squash. When they’re ready, you can just walk in and pick them all en masse,” said Simons, who added that some people have it in their heads that they don’t. not. I don’t want to harvest their pumpkins before Halloween. “Same goes for pumpkins, because they can’t stand frost. In this part of the country, you kind of have to pick them all probably before September 15th.”

Simons added that cucumbers can be picked until mid-October, while tomatoes can’t stand frost.

She said there are actually a few plants that people don’t usually plant until later in the summer, like garlic.

“Garlic is the biggest…hardneck garlic. The bulb needs cold to produce a big bulb next year,” she said. “Softneck garlic you can plant in the spring, but a hardneck garlic needs that cold to stimulate growth in the spring. So we usually plant ours in mid-October before the soil gets too difficult to work. And then you I will have a good harvest next year.”

Simons grows his crops in the Oxbow area. She says you can sometimes plant tough perennials in the fall, including rhubarb, asparagus, and onions.

Finally, she said rising grocery costs and inflation are as good a reason as any to start a garden now.

“If you can grow your own, then the benefit in terms of savings is (huge),” she said. “Because the cost of seed is minimal, even though seed prices have gone up a bit…it’s not at all comparable to what you would pay in the store.”

“Growing your own food is so rewarding…it uses the earth, it uses the soil, it uses your energy. You get your feet in the mud and it just gives you this euphoria.”

Terri S. Tomasini