Fall gardening advice

Published: Sep. 20, 2016 at 5:25 PM CDT
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Fall is upon us. The Fall Equinox is officially on September 22nd, and as we all know, that means the temperatures start to cool down here in Cheyenne.

Having a garden can be a challenge in this climate with the hail, wind, late spring and early fall frosts. The leaves are starting to turn brown and the wind is picking up, but that doesn't mean your garden has to come to its end with those cooler temperatures.

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens says there is still time to get the most use out of your garden before winter arrives.

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Director Shane Smith said, "Frost is coming whether we like it or not. It's usually here around early October, although our average historical day- meaning 50/50 chance- is around September 20th." Smith says gardeners need to be ready.

He says frost can come at any time but added, "I find that frost tends to happen more regularly on the clear nights rather than a wet night."

Gardening can be a challenge in Cheyenne, but Smith says it is still possible save some of your vegetables, fruits and flowers up until November if temperatures don't get too cold.

Smith said the first thing you should be concerned about is fruits. He said, " If it's just a dip below 32 degrees, the main thing you want to cover are your fruiting crops." That includes tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and peppers.

Smith says many vegetables or "root crops" are able to handle frost better. That includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, lettuce, spinach, carrots and radishes.

The best way to be prepared for frost, Smith says, is to put stakes alongside your plants to easily put plastic or a blanket over them for protection.

Although a garden can last for quite some time, there is a certain point where it's best to just bring in your plants, vegetables and fruits. Smith said, "There is a time when you start to see you're getting repeated frosts, you're getting tired of covering things and those frosts are getting so cold that maybe a cover isn't going to cut it. That means we're getting down into the mid to low 20's."

For more information and advice on how to prep your garden for fall weather, visit the attached link.