Saturday, October 22, 2011

Finally! A harvest!

It has been a tough growing season but we finally got a harvest of one of our crops. The weather has been turning colder and we decided it was time to dig up the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes thrive in hot weather but should be dug up before the first frost. The colder temperatures can damage the tubers. We were pleasantly surprised by what we found.

The picture above is of all of the potatoes that we dug up. It may not look like much but there is enough there for 2-3 meals. Many of them were larger than we anticipated and they don't seem to spread out like white potatoes do. Even though the plants sent out long roots, the tubers were at the base of the plants. Each plant produced around 3-4 potatoes each.

This was one of the largest potatoes. It had gotten so large that it was already slightly uncovered! You can imagine how excited we were over this one! Sweet potatoes proved pretty easy to grow and definitely something we will do again next year. They are definitely a summer plant so if you live somewhere with high heat, this plant should do well. One thing we did learn was that even though it likes heat, the plants did seem like they were beginning to suffer under the intense summer heat we had this year. When the temps climbed above 100 degrees on a regular basis they did not look to happy. We ended up providing them with a little shade so they didn't cook and they seemed to do better.

One thing I had not really considered before this year was selecting plants that can tolerate drought and heat for a summer garden. Many of the plants that we think of for the garden actually prefer cooler weather. This includes, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peppers, peas, etc. When the summer temperatures moved in sooner than expected, the plants definitely suffered and affected our potential harvest. Next year I plan on having three garden plans. A spring garden, a summer garden, and a fall garden. The summer garden will be comprised of plants that can tolerate our hot summers and the drought that doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

These summer plants seem to be a little harder to come across than those that we plant in the spring. As I develop my list I will post it here to hopefully give you all some ideas for your own summer gardens.

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