Friday, November 13, 2015

Fall Garden Notes, November 13, 2015

Yesterday I harvested our one sweet potato plant from the experiment I started last spring.  This was one grocery store sweet potato that sat in the kitchen too long and started to sprout in the potato bin.  I decided to cut it up and plant it in a "bag" like I had read about on the internet, although I did not use a fancy grow-bag, just a contractors trash bag.  I punched a few holes in the bottom and held it up with a wire mesh ring, and collared it tight with some baling wire.  This plant grew beautifully all summer in front of the potting shed.
Today I put some plastic tarp on the ground and pushed it over on top.  I could see a promising sign when I looked at the bottom -- the roots had started to push through the bag and into the ground beneath it, and I spied an orange nugget of potato there.  Eureka!!
I pulled out as much of the leaves and vines from the top, and a few little small potato nuggets came out with them. Then I began rolling the container back and forth to spill out as much of the dirt as I could, digging up potatoes as it went.  Wow, I was completely surprised to see how many beautiful potatoes came spilling out.
I haven't weighed them, but there were about 6 nice sized potatoes, and another 4 or 5 smaller ones, along with a handful of little nuggets.  I'm letting these season some in the greenhouse right now for about a week, then I'll wash them and bring them in.
Aren't they beautiful?  All from one grocery store potato.  I'll definitely do this again next spring.  So much easier then digging them out of the ground.
I spent some time trying to clean up the huge Brazos blackberry plant area, too.  What a mess -- and scratchy too!  We haven't harvested even one blackberry from this 3 year old plant yet, so I'm cursing this plant as I work on it.  It bloomed beautifully this summer, covered in little white flowers, but no fruit.  I only got about 1/2 way done yesterday, and I think I need to put on a heavy long sleeve shirt before I go back at it, I have plenty of little scratches on my arms.  
 One nice thing, I got to use my new little garden gadget that the kids gave me for my birthday (thank you all so much! I love it!) It's a seat that swivels on a wheeled cart.  It has a nice little tray to put my tools on (scissors, gloves, cutters) and a place for the garden trudge.  I'm dumping the dead stems into the burn pile as I go.  Goodbye and good riddance, blackberry thorns!  This plant better start producing next summer, or I'm digging the entire thing out.

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