I left the hay over the plants for two nights. Now it's time to uncover everything and see how they fared in the cold weather. I wanted to find a way to do this without a great deal of stooping over, so I decided to try out a new tool that we have had for a while, but I have never used. I thought maybe I could use this three tine cultivator to gently lift the hay off of the plants without damaging them. It worked great and saved my back a lot of bending and stooping.
I had kind of built a tent of hay over the green beans since they were getting fairly tall. I accidentally bent several of them over too far, but most of them look great. While I was uncovering them I realized that all of this hay I had put out could be moved just to the side of the plants and used for mulch. That wasn't my plan originally, but now using the hay to protect from frost is turning into the added benefit of mulch, which is an unplanned bonus.
The cow peas, which are purple hulls, were just starting to come up good when the cold weather was forecast. They didn't mind being covered at all and are looking nice and healthy. We planted more than twice the amount we had last year to provide food for us, and to supplement the feed for the goats and the chickens.
The squash is growing very well and a few of the leaves had already started poking through the hay by the time I got them uncovered.
The okra was just barely breaking through the soil when I covered them. Some of them look pretty pale and others already have two nice green leaves.
The tomatoes were about the same. Some looked a little pale, and none of them are really showing signs of growth yet. I know they didn't appreciate the cold weather.
The peppers are sharing the same sentiments as the tomatoes. They're all alive, but are still pretty small.
The peas are finally growing quite a bit, but still haven't started blooming. I'm beginning to wonder if they will bloom at all.
The carrots are happy and growing right along. This trellis is home to the peas on one side and the tomatoes on the other. I planted the carrots on the east side so they would get morning sun, but be shaded from the hotter western sun in the afternoon. I also tucked the pepper in to the east of this trellis. I'm not sure how well they will like this location, so we will see.
The corn is just beginning to come up and is still quite small. I used my cultivator to get rid of some of the grass coming up between the rows. I will let it get about six inches tall, then mulch between the rows to keep the weeds down. That should take care of it for the rest of the summer.
The cucumbers are growing very well on the east side of this building.
The cabbage, broccoli, beets and onions are doing very well. I need to do some more weeding and then they will all get mulched.
The potatoes are growing great again after the foliage was killed by a harder frost a few weeks ago. The grass and weeds are giving them a lot of competition, so they are in need of some attention. Hopefully, I can get to that sometime this week, then I will hill them up again.
There are two spinach plants doing well in the strawberry bed. The others didn't make it. I don't know if they were eaten or just died, but I am glad to have a few plants we will be able to harvest.
Our new food crops are hopefully on the way to producing this year's harvest for us. There are always different challenges each year that give us the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. We know you can never learn too much and will continue learning every day as if our lives depend upon it. Because it does.
Until next time - Fern