There are so many wonderful things about rain. One is that between games of tic-tac-toe, creepy crawly things are easier to find under rocks! One of my children delights in earth worms. The other day, he exclaimed, “I like worms…they’re cute!”
This month we’ve been busy harvesting, prepping asparagus for our first harvest season, and preventing soil erosion.
Let’s start with the most exciting activity, harvesting fall veggies. Come and see…
After the freezing weather we had earlier this month the sweet potato vines started to turn brown. In order to prevent rot from traveling from the dying leaves to the roots I cut everything back at soil level but left the potatoes for a couple of weeks until I had time to harvest them. I was planning for a more difficult task but they were easy to gather, in clumps just under the surface of the soil. My 7-year-old and I harvested 24.6lbs in less than an hour.
The majority of the broccoli plants have formed their initial head, We have harvested and eaten these raw mostly, a few were steamed. Several plants have small side shoots developing which will continue our harvest throughout winter.
Because the kids’ garden was so overly seeded by very excited gardeners, we have been harvesting by the handful. Just reach in and yank. The seeds were old and all mixed together, I wasn’t sure what was being planted, so each yank provides a fun surprise! We have found a few radish mixed with all the parsnips. What looks like kohlrabi will have a better chance to grow now that our harvesting has thinned the dense foliage.
Prepping Asparagus for our first harvest season:
The asparagus crowns I planted two years ago are ready for their first harvest season. We started by cutting down each plant to the soil level and then covered the bed with a thick layer of compost. I plan to harvest one out of every three stalks that form this winter. Harvesting too many can weaken the plant.
Preventing soil erosion:
We choose not to water anything but our garden, not even the front yard (thankfully our neighborhood has no HOA). By the end of each summer our backyard is dry and brown. Preventing soil erosion by planting rye grass seed each Fall is how we manage to hold onto as much top soil as possible. Rye is a winter cover crop and grows well in cool/cold weather. It also has an extensive root system which both breaks up clay and holds soil in place. At the moment we have a green front yard and if our neighbors care about that kind of thing, they’re probably happy. Our back yard is also green, but with patches of brown where the chickens have eaten the grass. So, we let the hens eat a section of the yard, then re-seed that area after moving the chicken tractor to fresh grass.
That wraps up our garden update this month. My family wishes you a Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
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