SEO: Winter Gardening Tips for Saskatchewan.

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Making the most of the good weather while it lasts includes preparing gardens for the cold winter months ahead. According to a local gardening expert, there are simple ways to do this.

Ashley Eskin studied soil science at the University of Saskatchewan and has blogged and created YouTube videos to encourage others on their gardening journey.

She said the first thing to do to prepare for winter is to think about disease and pest prevention.

“So looking at the problems you’ve had in the last year, whether it’s cucumber beetles, flea beetles, powdery mildew, etc., and then looking at the right way to deal with the debris from that particular problem,” she told CTV News. .

“Gardeners usually say, ‘Well, I had cucumber beetles this year, I won’t have them next year,’ but the reality is that they’re kind of in your little micro-environment in your garden. And so if you can control them in your space, you can control them in the future. But if you give up, it’ll exasperate over time, it’ll just get worse.

Eskin explained that it’s important to avoid composting anything with powdery mildew because it will remain in the soil.

“Another thing to look at would be from the standpoint of whether you had flea beetles or whether you had thrips, aphids, or cucumber beetles, looking at organics that will actually eat the larvae in your soil.”

WINTER FERTILIZATION

She also recommends gardeners consider a two-stage fertilizer application.

“So whether they’re using organic or synthetic, whether they’re growing a single flower, ornamental perennials, or vegetable gardens, you can actually split your nutrient application and the benefits are huge,” she said. .

“If we take half of what we would normally apply in the spring, divide it in half and apply it in the fall, what ends up happening is that we end up recharging our soil all throughout the winter, and we don’t end up with so much loss.

Eskin said split application can be better for the environment and save money for gardeners.

“In the spring we dump a ton of fertilizer, and a lot of that fertilizer can be washed away by runoff and watering and you name it and the plant can’t just use it all up at once,” a- she declared.

SOIL CARE FOR WINTER

Another consideration for Saskatchewan gardeners is taking care of their soil.

“One thing people might consider is just planting loose peas,” she said.

“You can only get dried peas, chickpeas or lentils at the grocery store in big bags. And you can actually broadcast that on your soil, water it, and grow them a little bit, that will naturally put some nitrogen back into our soil.

She said another method is “cover culture.”

“Whether it’s clover or barley grass, that sort of thing. It will actually help with the structure of the soil and getting that soil to work again.

WINTER CROPS

Eskin said there are crops Saskatchewan gardeners can grow until late fall.

“There’s still plenty of sunshine well into late fall to early winter to produce things. As long as you stick with root veggies and leafy veggies you’ll be fine, I wouldn’t encourage anyone to get into flowers or necessarily fruiting plants because the season just isn’t long enough.

“You want to stick with things that are either root vegetables in the ground or you want to do greens that can handle a bit of frost,” she said.

“Kale and kale are great examples of that, they’ll take frost, they’ll actually be covered in snow, and you can still harvest them and they’ll be fine.”

She said she was able to grow collard greens, arctic char and kale without a cover last year and harvested them in mid-October.

According to Eskin, there are a few DIY tips for extending the growing season.

“You just cut the bottom off a milk jug, put it on top of the plant, and make it like a little mini greenhouse,” she explained.

However, this is not the only way according to Eskin.

“You can do things like bricks or rocks or even water containers where you put boiling water in a jug and just put it inside the low tunnel to keep them warm overnight. “

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