Thursday, November 01, 2012

garden work

Today Skippy and I finished digging my sweet potatoes. I am glad to have lots of orange and white sweets in my larder for winter storage.

I also dug my dahlia tubers. They will go in plastic bags and hang from rafters in my basement.

Yesterday I visited a wonderful new small farm a mile from house. I talked with the farmer about tomatoes and late blight. I bought a bunch of his big fat carrots and a bag full of French horticultural beans. Someday soon I am hoping I can add some photos of his small farm.


Ralph said...

"Transplanted" from Connecticut to the Rhineland, I have introduced some typically New England vegetables that were not that common (though now some are becoming common)here, such as sweet corn, butternut squash, and, this year, sweet potatoes.

I was skeptical, especially since I planted them late in the season; however, I dug up the first plant and there they were, though long and thin, like fat carrots.

ValHalla said...

I grew sweet potatoes for the first time this year--in a large fabric pot with potting soil + purchased compost. That did not stop June (or Japanese) beetle grubs from chewing on a fair share. The grubs are present throughout my lawn and raised beds, but I have never noticed them bothering anything before. Do you have any suggestions? Should I try nematodes?

Anonymous said...

Do you add anything (sawdust,etc?) to the plastic bags that you put the dahlias in? Are the bags normal grocery bags and do you just tie them loosely to let air in? I ask because mine withered and mildewed last year.

kathy said...

Yes, it seems like you should try nematodes and/or milky spore, both are are recommended organic controls for grubs.

I have some grub, smaller worms and vole damage, but not enough to worry too much about. I just make sure to rotate the sweet potatoes to another bed every year and dig then as soon as I can.

I think its really important that the dahlia tubers are dry and that the bags allow airflow. After digging the tubers, I shake off the excess dirt. (My dad washes his. I do not. If you do wash them, make sure to let them dry well before you store them - probably a day in the sun.) I just put the shaken tubers in a plastic shopping bag. The type you get at the grocery store that is thin plastic usually with some holes here and there. I do not tie it. I hang it from the rafters with the top open. I have also used paper bags, which works fine. I do not wrap the tubers in anything or add any sawdust or anything else. The reason to add those would be if your storage location is going to get cold or maybe have temperature fluctuations. Wrapping in newspaper and adding sawdust will protect against low temperatures. (My dad wraps in newspaper and adds sawdust, then puts the tubers in a plastic box and stores in an unheated closet.) My basement stays about 40-50*F all winter and has medium humidity. My conditions aren't necessarily the same as yours.

It sounds like your tubers had too much moisture. I would try leaving the bags as open as you can. Don't tie. Cut holes in the sides if need be. (You might want to check now and then to make sure they aren't looking shriveled and dried out. If so, you can give then a squirt of water.)

I hope this helps.