The Weekly Digs #34

by Becky
Published: Updated:

I had more than one garden fail this week. I’m glad I had a huge success with my sweet potatoes last week to help balance out some of the lows!

 Black Cherry Tomatoes

Black Cherry Tomatoes

Here is the first and biggest mistake of my own making!- I decided my chickens could do some fall garden cleanup for me (can you tell where this is going?). I set up our electric chicken fencing inside the garden to keep them in a set area I wanted them to clear. I wanted them to clear behind some cabbages which were actually inside the area I would put the chickens but totally covered with netting and the netting was held by wire. I also wanted them to clear around my apple trees and in the watermelon beds. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that the chickens could cause damage to the cabbage plants but it didn’t.

They didn’t peck through the netting to nibble at the cabbages. It was worse than that. They flew onto the netting and ripped some small holes into it. This was no biggie, repairable for sure. About half way through the day of entering this new space, the kids yelled at me that the chickens were walking on top of the cabbages. I didn’t think anything of it until I got close enough to see the cabbages. My 10 almost mature cabbage plants were completely flatted like pancakes on the ground. The wire holding the netting up had also collapsed.

I repaired some of the damage but I need to figure out a way to keep the chickens from continuing to trample the plants 🙁 I still have Chinese cabbages planted in another area so we will at least get some cabbage! But I’m so sad not to have all the good cabbage this fall. It is doubtful the plants will recover.

The other bummer this week was my potato experiment. I did a succession planting of potatoes in June. I got the idea to do this because I had volunteer potatoes come up last year during mid summer and I was able to harvest and store them throughout the entire winter without sprouting.

I sowed the potatoes in fabric grow bags. They grew beautifully and just recently the tops died back. I searched in one of the grow bags for potatoes and found two medium size potatoes. Then I dug up the rest and was left with five total potatoes from a 10 gallon size grow bag! It was very disappointing. We really need more vegetables for winter! I have harvested another grow bag, and you can see in the above photo, I got a few more potatoes from that bag but they are small.

I would actually like to try the experiment again but next time seed the potatoes in the ground rather than the grow bags. The soil for the grow bag was purchased and it feels like it was a waste of money. I wouldn’t mind harvesting baby new potatoes if I had just planted them in the ground.

In the garden:

  • Harvesting: Lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, peppers, lemon squash, beans, and potatoes.

  • Transplanted dill and cilantro

  • Potted up mini soil blocks filled with mizuna, bok choys, lettuces, and kale to the 2 inch size

  • Indoor seed starting: Winter Bloomsdale Spinach, giant winter spinach, and claytonia.

In the kitchen:

  • We have been shucking a lot of beans and storing in quart jars we have 2 quart jars filled and 8 pints.

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