Ways to help your garden for next spring

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Hello, this is Dan Drost, vegetable specialist at Utah State University. October is generally the end of the gardening season in northern and central Utah. Most of the high mountain valleys have experienced some frost and these tender vegetables which were not protected, have been severely damaged and no longer produce fruit.

If you cover your tomatoes and peppers, they might have survived. Now is the time to pick the remaining fruit before the next frost. Wait until the temperature of the day is around 60 degrees, then harvest the fruits that show a little color.

Store these fruits in a warm place and use them as a ripening. Watch for spoilage, as fruit exposed to cold decomposes faster than normal.

Pick your winter squash before they freeze. These can also have frost injuries, which whiten the flesh and rind and expose them to spoilage. Store in a warm place to completely harden the fruit, then use as normal.

Plant your garlic before the end of the month in northern areas. And you can do that until Thanksgiving in the south. Introduce them correctly and they will produce beautiful bulbs next spring.

If weeds are a problem, clean in the garden as well. Mow them or spray them. I like to use a bit of Round Up on my hard to kill bindweed. We all have a little. If I do it now, I have less of a problem with it next year.

Remember to take a soil sample if you haven’t had one for a few years. It can help you with your garden fertilizer program next year. If you use manure in your garden, spread it out in the fall and store it.

The USU Extension website has a good bulletin on manure compost application rates for gardens. You can find it on the usu.edu extension. Preparing part of the garden now means that you have time to start the garden quickly next spring.


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