This article was originally published on August 30.
As the calendar flips to September and cooler temperatures surely on the way, you might be thinking more about your backyard garden.
Marilyn Simons, who is the off-sight market manager for the Estevan Farmer's Market, says that there really isn't any rush yet to harvest your fruits and vegetables.
"You should be able to get most of your crops...you can continue to harvest them right until frost," Simons said. "Some things that are short season like peas, I find peas are a two-week (period). That's it...they don't like the heat. But most everything else will grow and grow and grow and produce and produce and produce."
Simons said "hard frost" is what gardeners have to watch for.
"The first frost is maybe minus one, minus two...it's just a light frost that might not kill the whole vine, it might just damage it a little bit, lots of plants can survive that," Simons said. "But when you're talking about a hard frost - anything that's lower than minus three - then it will kill all the vines and sometimes damage your fruit or vegetables as well."
Although most crops can be harvested into October, Simons says there are a couple plants that need to be picked earlier.
"The biggest thing that is a one time harvest would be your squashes. When they're ready, you can just go in and mass pick them all," said Simons, who added that some people have it in their minds that they don't want to harvest their pumpkins until closer to Halloween. "Same with pumpkins, because they cannot handle frost. In this neck of the woods you kind of have to pick them all probably by September 15."
Simons added that cucumbers can be picked right up until mid-October, while tomatoes can not handle any frost.
She said there are actually a few plants that people typically don't plant until later in the summer, such as garlic.
"Garlic is the biggest one...the hard-neck garlic. The bulb needs the cold in order to produce a big bulb next year," she said. "Soft-neck garlic you can plant in the spring, but a hard-neck garlic needs that cold to stimulate the growth for spring. So we usually plant ours in mid-October before the ground gets too hard to work with. And then you'll have a beautiful crop next year."
Simons grows her crops in the Oxbow area. She says you can sometimes plant hard perennials in the fall, including rhubarb, asparagus, and onions.
Finally, she said the rising costs of groceries and inflation is as good a reason as any to start a garden now.
"If you can grow your own, then the benefit in savings is (huge)," she said. "Because seed cost is minimal, even though the seed prices have gone up a tiny bit...it's not comparable at all to what you'd have to pay in the store."
"Growing your own food is so rewarding...it uses the land, it uses the soil, it uses your energy. You put your feet in the mud and it just gives you that euphoria."