My fall garden has been enjoying the cooler temperatures! i actually took this picture about a month ago, and everything has doubled in size since.
i have 3 rows of dwarf grey peas. They are just now starting to bloom, so i'm not sure i'll get any peas out of them. We've been enjoying the pea shoots in salads and stir fries. They are pretty cold tolerant, and have thriving in these 30 degree temps. We had a really hard frost a few days ago that left a little bit of wilt on the tips of some of the plants, so i'm not sure they are going to make it to maturity. i also have about 18 broccoli plants, that are doing okay. The flower heads are about 2" across so far. i've been harvesting lots of kale, Swiss chard, spinach and a variety of leaf lettuces.
We had a pretty sad crop of tators this year. Lots of ugly little tators, due to early blight, colorado potato beetles and common scab. i planted using last years seed potatoes, and learned a huge lesson. This spring i'll be purchasing organic certified disease-free seed potatoes. We still managed to dig around 50 lbs. i have to cut a lot of spots out of them though, and they won't keep as long as i'd like.
Sweet potatoes did wonderful. We dug over 70 lbs.
i'm still not a hundred percent sure how to correctly cure sweet potatoes. Everything i've found online says they must be cured for about 10 days at 80-85°F and high relative humidity (85-90 percent). i'm just not sure how to maintain that temperature when it's dipping down into the 30's at night, and i have no idea how to maintain high humidity in a house with a wood stove. We run a humidifier, but it's still horribly dry.
After reading a few other blogs online i found a few suggestions, just leaving them sit out in the hot sun and bring them in at night, curing them in the back hatch of a car...etc. i decided to try the sun method. So far it seems to be working, the sweetpotatoes are maintaining their firmness..and haven't started rotting or wilting. So i hope that'll last a while. We have already eaten a few and they are delicious! i absolutely love sweet potatoes!
i grew peanuts for the first time this year! i had no idea what to expect with them, so i'm thrill that we actually got peanuts! i only had around 15 plants, so i didn't harvest a ton. They were dug a few weeks ago, and have been hanging in the shed to dry since. . :) i'm excited to plant more next year, they don't take up a ton of space and grew really well here. The only problem i had was some root aphids on some of the plants.
i'm loving all the green of the cooler season. We eat kale several times a week. In my colandiar i have blue curly kale, Lacinato Rainbow kale, Swiss Chard, a variety of leaf lettuces, and spinach. i picked this for dinner a few nights ago. The spinach and lettuces when into a salad with a few homegrown carrots, peppers and tomatoes (yes, i still have a few ripe tomatoes on my window sill!). i brought a purple pepper plant inside, and although it is a little wilty looking it's loaded in peppers and i think it'll only take a little while for it to adjust to life inside. Peppers are actually perennial and can grow all winter inside.
Still getting lots of carrots from the kids garden, and a raised bed. i had actually forgetten about these guys. They were hiding in my asparagus bed under some dill and fennel. While iw as cleaning out the bed a few days ago, i found them. i was thrilled to see that many of them were thing an and tender. With our clay soil, my carrots never do very well...they tend to be thick and stubby. This seems to be a good bed to grow them in.
i'm going to try to put up a couple of basic hoop houses over my leafy greens this week. So far they are thriving in the cold, but they won't be happy if they end up buried in a layer of snow.