We have had a faucet trying to leak on the north side of the house for some time now. Yesterday it decided to become a small, constant little stream. So, this afternoon, Frank replaced it. I thought it would be more difficult and take more time than it did. Having a husband that is able to fix just about anything is a blessing indeed.
Since the frost is coming tonight, I picked the last of the peppers and tomatoes this afternoon. It' kind of sad it's going to frost because the okra, tomatoes, peppers and purple hull peas are all just blooming away right now. We have had some warm days in the last couple of weeks and these plants just don't seem to be ready to shut down yet. I was surprised to find that even though the okra has been blooming, and still has a number of buds, I didn't find one pod of okra to pick this afternoon. It has been about a week since I picked the last few pods, so I expected to find some today. The only reason I can think of is that we have been having cool nights in the 50's for a while and okra does not like cool weather.
I am very curious to see how the turnips, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, carrots, mangel beets, brussel sprouts and potatoes do with this cold snap tonight. You can see from the weather forcast that we are not expecting anymore freezing weather very soon. I've read that the flavor of turnips actually improves with a frost, and the same is true for brussel sprouts. But I'm curious if the turnip leaves will die with the frost. If they do the chickens will miss them since I feed them the greens every morning.
|The turnip patch|
|Kale, swiss chard, broccoli and one lonely cabbage|
|Carrots and Mangel beets|
I know the potatoes will die back with the frost. Since I am not quite up to digging them up yet, and we have had some come up here and there from the ones we missed during the spring, we wanted a way to find them after the plants died back. Frank had a great recommendation. We have some of that bright orange spray paint that is used to mark the ground for construction sites and such. It worked great and made it easy to mark each plant. The potato plants haven't grown as big as I would like. They were very, very slow to
come up and get going. I can only speculate why. It was still pretty hot when I planted them, so I wondered if that affected their growth rate. After they finally came up and the weather cooled off, the growth rate increased quite a bit, but the resulting plants are about half the size of the springtime plants. I don't expect to have near the harvest we had in June, but I know the potatoes will keep better, stay crisper and be slower to sprout, so I can use some of them for seed potatoes come spring. That makes the effort to grow this second crop worthwhile.
Even though autumn has arrived, I look forward to being able to continue our harvest for a little longer. The more we can learn about extending our growing season, while we still have time to practice and it is not a life and death situation, the better we off we are in the long run. It also gives us the opportunity to increase our harvest, and have more food to eat. You just can't beat that.
Until next time - Fern