By Montana Grant

Posted: September 13, 2018

It is about to get colder in Montana! This good and bad news. We all enjoyed the warm summer days, but our evening temps are about to chill. The upcoming long-term weather report is predicting low 30 degrees at night.

Gardens need to be picked now. A quick freeze will end all production. Squash, green beans, and tomatoes need to come out now. Some lettuces, spinach, carrots and onions can wait a bit. Potatoes can also stay in the warm earth a bit longer. Mulch your leaves and vines to add nutrients to next years soil.

Tomatoes can be saved a couple ways. Cover the plants with sheets or tarps overnight. You can also pull the entire tomato plant out of the ground and hang them in your garage upside down. They will turn red naturally. You can also add green tomatoes in to a paper sack and add an apple. The chemicals from a fresh apple will stimulate ripening. Potatoes and squash will also hold well stored in a box in the garage.

Canning and freezing are also options. Most hunters are already looking at meat so gardening is often left to those staying at home.

Outside hanging plants are about to take a hit. Bring them under cover or into the house overnight. In this way, you can enjoy them for a few more weeks. As the plants fade, store the pots and soil for next spring.

Snakes will head back into their dens as the nights cool. Bird hunting becomes safer without having to look out for rattlers. Cover becomes thinner as crops are harvested and begin to die off. Days may be shorter but are full of fun things to do.

Snowblowers need to take the front space in the garage or shed. Mowers can go in the back. Add some fuel stabilizer or run the gas tanks empty before storing. Put the hoses away after you make sure to drain them. Schedule your lawn sprinkler company to blow out and winterize your sprinkler systems.

Now, focus on hunting!

Montana Grant

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