Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8, 2009

Hey folks, sorry I haven't been posting for a while.  Work has been in panic mode with this economy.  That and Fall has made it so I leave in the dark and get home in the dark. 

That said, I took the time yesterday to gut the garden a bit.  There were tomato plants everywhere that went to Cedar Grove rather than my compost bin.  I don't want to continue the Blossom End Rot that I had in droves this year.  They've got a much more sophisticated composting system than I do.

As for my fall crops, about the only things to survive and thrive were the carrots.  It looks like I've got a good amount for snacks all winter, if the raccoons keep away from them.  Let's hope the deterrents work when it gets colder. 

What didn't work was the broccoli and cauliflower.  I really need to start them indoors in June or whatever so they're hardened off and growing strong in late summer.  My biggest plant is good sized, but shredded by some pest.  There is no way a stalk is going to form in this weather.

Speaking of weather, it's storm time here in Western Washington.  Thunder, lightening and down pouring rain is par for the course.  There's nothing to protect but the carrots, so I didn't put up my hoop covers this year. 

In addition to clean-up, I harvested my potatoes. I know folks are curious how they turned out.  Well, the Yukon Golds that I threw into my SFGs did great.  I got 22 pounds out of it.  Some were very nice.  They're currently drying in the garage on some newspapers.  The kids were a big help with that.

Unfortunately the BAYG potato bins failed even worse than I thought they would.  You may recall that I gave up on building them up in August when my schedule got hectic and I couldn't keep up with it.  I just let them grow and was going to be happy with about 1.5 feet of potatoes.  Well, I dug and dug yesterday and found one lousy potato.  There were probably a few more smaller ones that I destroyed with a shovel I used at the end when I couldn't find anything.  You're really not supposed to use a shovel. 

I'm not totally convinced that potato bins are a bad idea, but I just don't have the time to baby the bins.  Maybe I'll try it next year.  Not sure.  I don't have the room to plant rows every year.  At least we've got 22 pounds of Yukon Golds!  Can't wait to try them.

Hope your fall gardens are more productive than mine. 

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Hi Rich! We've missed your posts. Sorry work has been so busy lately... same here with the volunteer work that I've been doing. I feel guilty when I take time off and stay home LOL I can't wait for this "project" to get completed.

    I've been getting a little done out in the garden just a little bit at a time.

    I still think the potato bins will work and just like you, I need to stay on top of them and keep them adding the boards and compost. Another problem for me this year was that I didn't really buy the seed potatoes that I needed in time and I ended up planting some of the fingerling potatoes that I bought at the grocery store LOL That didn't work too well at all...

    Hope your work schedule gets better and maybe you can take a little time off to get your hands dirty :-)

  2. My binned potatoes were a complete bust this year. I'm going to try traditional planting next!

    Carrots sound like a good thing.

  3. 22 lbs. of yukon golds sounds excellent! The bayg bins are something I'll not try, because I don't know anyone that's had great success with them. No more potatoes for me, but you can bet that sweet potatoes will be in my garden every year! Sorry that your work is wreaking havoc on your gardening life, as I know you really enjoy the time spent in the garden.

  4. It's fortunate that your one fall/winter crop is carrots! It's the most hardy for overwintering and your boys seem to really enjoy them - so if you had to just have one crop - that would have been the one I would have chosen!

    I think the BAYG bins are very much dependent on constant attention during the critical building it phase. Any delays in covering the stems with soil will result in the stems hardening up and becoming just leaf bearing rather than tuber producing. Trenching requires the same attention too to work well. Hopefully next year you will not have so many other family commitments that take you away from the homestead every weekend and evening.

    22 pounds is a good harvest - and Yukon Gold's are a good eating potato.

  5. That's it. I'm growing yukon golds next year. I can't stand the pressure anymore. :)

    Good to hear from you.

  6. Blossom end rot is not contagious and isn't even a disease, although it certainly looks like one. It is from a calcium deficiency that results from uneven watering (it happens as a result of torrential downpours that cause a temporary problem with calcium uptake).

    There is a real easy answer to the problem of blossom end rot. When you plant your tomatoes, include some ground eggshell in the planting hole. You will never see blossom end rot again.

    I have finally assembled the wood I need for the potato bins and I plan to try them out next year.