The First Picking Of Fall Planted Spinach

The first picking of fall planted spinach resulted in a large bowl full. They didn’t look like much on the ground, but just the outer leaves filled the bowl. We have another month before the hard November freezes when I’ll cover them with plastic covered hoops. Last year saw an overwintered row, so with luck and timing I may be able to repeat that. The lettuce is ready to start picking also. I’ll probably trim it off with a scissors because I never thinned it. The beets still are not doing anything. They look like they’re being trampled. They are. I saw one of the barn cats walking down the row because it likes traveling under the wire hoop 🙂 The garden clean up has allowed me to see from one end to the other. It’s nice to sit and have a commanding view. A vista, if you will 🙂

The tips of the asparagus ferns are turning yellow, like the leaves on the black walnut trees. There is a lot of color now across the land, as shrubs and trees prepare for winter. The free mulch is welcome. The ferns will get cut down when they turn brown, and discarded. They make terrible mulch unless shredded. The bed will then get covered with three inches of compost, and I put straw down each side to walk on when harvesting in early spring. The bed should be fertilized both in early spring, before the spears emerge, and after the harvest in mid summer. They are phosphorus users, so plain fish emulsion is insufficient. I’ll be using a 10-10-10 fertilizer this spring.

I was given some Yukon gold potatoes the other day and they were delicious. I realized there is no reason why I shouldn’t grow them. The traditional method has you prep the ground by tilling or hand digging, forming 6″ deep furrows, and placing the seed potatoes 12″ apart in them. Cover with 3″ of soil, and when the plants are 8″ tall fill in the trench. Then as the plants get taller, mound the soil up around them to encourage shallow forming potatoes. Mound them up again as the plants grow taller. My son had a year old pile of leaves that he planted in, which allowed him to pull back the leaves, harvest the largest potatoes, then push back the leaves to let the small potatoes grow bigger. I’m going to use straw around the plants to accomplish the same purpose.

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