BANGOR - As the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter, the growth in your garden is probably starting to dwindle. Which means the hardier crops are ready to harvest. Our Erin Thomas has more in "Backyard Gardener."
The tops of your plants have probably started dying back, meaning it's time to harvest several fall crops.
Kate Garland, from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, stopped by to help us determine what's ready.
Once winter squash has hardened, it's ready to go. When it comes to harvesting, tools can make things easier. Using cutters to snip thick vines, and a hand fork to dig up root vegetables.
But not everything may be ripe, those plants still needs care.
Kate says tomatoes will ripen off the vine, and you can even speed up the process with a piece of fruit and a paper bag.
Crops that are done producing should be pulled. But the ground shouldn't be left empty. A cover crop will provide your soil with organic matter.
Kate advises sowing feed oats, which will grow 8 to 10 inches tall by mid-October. But don't worry about fighting a weed in the spring, the crop will die back in the winter and can be planted in, in the spring.
Erin joined the ABC-7 and FOX Bangor news team in February 2012. She was born and raised in Presque Isle, Maine where she attended Presque Isle High School. While in college Erin interned in the WVII news room before working as a Production Assistant. In May of 2012, Erin received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Maine, along with a minor in Anthropology. When she's not out covering local news, Erin enjoys running, skiing, visiting with family and friends, and traveling around this beautiful state. She is especially interested in outdoor adventure so if you have a story idea, send it her way!