Harvest Monday

November 10, 2014

The big harvest this week was sweet potatoes. We finally got our first frost (not that I’m complaining that it was two weeks later than our ‘first frost date’). I spent three days harvesting the three beds of sweet potatoes.DSC_5978A friend and her kids came over and finished up for me on day three — amazing what you can get done with the help of teenagers! What took me 2.5 days to do, between nursing every three hours, schooling the oldest three, and potty training the 2yo, took them all of 45 min. to finish up. 🙂10745007_829851593732358_97211640_nThis was after day one. When it was all said and done, we gave away about 1/5 of the harvest. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts. The goal is to make it until the first harvest of new potatoes. Will they make it? We will see!

On day four, when the sky let loose (perfect timing!), I sorted all of the sweet potatoes into three piles:

  • use right away (major wire-worm damage)
  • use next (itty bitty ones that tend to shrivel easily and ones with minor damage)
  • long term storage (good size, no blemishes)

Currently, they are all in my pantry (the warmest place in the house without light) to cure. It is packed in there!

We are still harvesting peasDSC_5983(discolored from the frost but still tasty!)

and kale.

That’s about it. The carrots, beets, onions, and cabbages still have a ways to go. The broccoli is a LONG way off.

If I have time this winter, I would like to figure out how to make cheap but stable, movable hoops to protect my brassicas so I can plant as many as I would like each year. I have used electric fencing wire but that is too flimsy. The only thing I can think of is PVC but

  1. that means I have to buy rebar as well (expensive!)
  2. I will have to use more cloth than I would like (meaning I would have to buy more than I have)

I may just have to spend the time figuring up the costs and where they will come from. Seeing that the only cost for the garden since we’ve started doing BTE has been in chicken fencing, chicken feed, and seeds, it is not outrageous to spend some money on a good hoop-house system. I just hate spending money, ya know?

What are you harvesting this week? Check out what others are harvesting at Daphne’s Dandelions 🙂



9 thoughts on “Harvest Monday

  1. Margaret

    Ah sweet potatoes – It never even occurred to give those a try until the last couple of years when I saw others in my zone growing them. Always assumed they would only grow in climates with very long, hot growing seasons. I’ll definitely be doing an experiment of my own with them next year!

  2. daphnegould

    I think storing sweet potatoes that long would be easy if you had a 55F place to store them all summer long. Mine start to sprout around the end of May when the basement warms up. It is funny since it is too cold during the winter. The sweet potato box slowly gets brought up the basement stairs over the winter as it gets colder and colder. I have a wireless thermometer that I can read at my desk so I know how cold they are.

  3. dvelten

    Nice harvest of sweet potatoes. Good to have some help for a task like that. For row covers, you could just leave a lot of slack and let the plants support the fabric. Or Johnny’s Seeds sells what it calls #9 (I guess that is 9 gauge) support wire. You would get 12 hoops from a 60 foot coil that sells for $29US plus shipping. Or you could try using PEX plastic tubing and stick the ends into the soil

    1. newbiegardengirl Post author

      thx for all the suggestions! i’ll definitely look into them. the problem with letting the fabric float is that with a nice wind, it’s gone and it is so windy here in the winter, spring, fall…pretty much anytime other than summer 😉

  4. Dave @ OurHappyAcres

    I use the pvc/rebar to support bird netting and row cover material to protect crops. It is expensive initially but at least the pvc and rebar last a very long time. I have stuck pvc in the soil without rebar but it tends to come out for me.

    1. newbiegardengirl Post author

      an elderly friend of ours is allowed to glean from a local field every year. He brought us some last year. I saved the smallest sweet potatoes & grew slips from those so i am unsure what variety it is…i am in 7b. we have a pretty long growing season (mid april-mid october are our frost dates).

  5. Angi @ SchneiderPeeps

    That’s a great sweet potato harvest! We dug ours up a couple of weeks ago even though it will be a while before we get a frost. I took a few vines and planted them in a large container to overwinter in our bathroom. I’m hoping I can replant them in the spring. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.


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