Monday, September 5, 2011

September 5, 2011

White potatoes dug with a pitch fork
Happy Labor Day!  Hoping many of you are off work to enjoy some gardening.  On this extra long weekend we took time to dig potatoes (one of our garden experiments) and are happy with the results.  Last Spring we saved a few old, shriveled potatoes that had already sprouted, cut them up, and planted them instead of throwing them in the compost pile.  We have a good number of baking potatoes and a bunch of small "new" sized potatoes that will grill well coated in olive oil, Kosher salt, and chopped rosemary.  Digging was hard work!  We used a pitchfork, and we inevitably speared a few potatoes through the middle until we got the hang of lifting them out.  Those injured potatoes will be the first to the dinner table.  We've heard that sweet potatoes grow well here in the South, so maybe we'll try them for next year's experiment.

It's already been a very hot start to September, and we measured little rain through the month of August, so the ground is parched.  Noticing trees around the area are showing a little bit of color, not from the season so much as from drought stress.  We are looking forward to tropical storm rains this month and the inevitable cooling temperatures that will make gardening more favorable.  Since it is so hot and dry, we held off transplanting our cole crops out into the garden for another week.

A beneficial lady bird beetle forages for aphids and
insect eggs on top of a carrot seed head.
It appears that gardening has stopped as we transition between summer and fall, but small things are happening.  Green beans that we left to ripen last month are heavy and swollen with seed, and some are already starting to dry.  Carrots that sent up white conical flower stalks have set seed.  Tomato seeds left to screen dry will be saved for next year, while many annual herb seeds are dry and ready to be stored.  We package seed in small mail envelopes with sealing flaps and label the variety and year on the front.  We were successful this year in attracting beneficial insects to the garden and did not see any significant crop damage.  A few of those beneficials are still lingering around, such as this lady bird beetle.

Since pumpkins are finished we pulled up our soaker hoses and mowed down the vines (more weeds than vines).  All summer long we've been collecting a heap of twigs, sticks, and tree trimmings that we will move to this section to burn.  Not only will that kill any newly fallen weed seeds, but wood ash contains valuable potash which will benefit next year's garden.

In perspective: lady bird bettle on a carrot seed head

1 comment:

  1. May God bless all your hard work. Enjoy your site.


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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (