This weekend has been beautiful in Edmonton. Actually the end of summer and beginning of fall has been absolute bliss in my books. I spent some time outside with my girls earlier in the garden and I realized that we are now officially in harvest mode.
Many of our vegetables have been picked, our fall harvest is almost ready to go, then it will be time to pull out the shell of what is left and turn over the garden for another year.
If you still have a garden growing, here are some quick fall gardening tips to get the most out of your fall harvest:
Tomatoes: Clip any branches not containing tomatoes. The plants are using up their last bits of energy now and cutting any non-bearing branches away will make sure that the water and energy is being spent on growing and ripening the fruit. You will notice that many of the branches are already dying off as the plant tries to focus so removing these branches will aid in the process. Don’t clip the tomatoes too early in the season as it uses the additional branches to help support itself.
Potatoes: Potatoes are ready once the flowers have bloomed (if there were any) and the plant starts dying back. If you notice that your plant has completely died back, get your potatoes out of the ground and prepare them for winter storage. Allow them to dry for a couple of days (you can lay them in the garden), then store them in a dark, cool place with good air flow.
Potatoes will keep for a long time, but you must make sure that you restrict all light to them, pack them loose with newspaper between rows, and check them every couple of weeks for signs of rot.
Donate your extras: If you have so much that you know it will go bad, drop by your local food bank as there are always families who could use fresh vegetables.