Warm Season Wrap-up


Mowing the Garden

Mowing the Garden

The warm season is almost over, and I decided to mow down all of the nearly lifeless plants that remained. I used the 8N tractor and the finish mower to chop up all of the remaining plants so that they will begin rotting back into soil sooner. If I hadn’t chopped up the stalks, they would not begin rotting until  the plant matter met up with the soil in the spring, so I’m really giving the worms, and everything else that feeds on this matter a jump start on the spring. If the garden was flat I would have it rototilled in the fall, but the slope is steep enough that I worry the soil will wash away.

Garden Mowed, Ready for Manure Spreader

Garden Mowed, Ready for Manure Spreader

When I was finished, I found it hard to believe that dozens of pounds of tomatoes, potatoes, and arm fulls of celery had grown in this space. If not for the black weed blocker that remains spread out along the ground, it would be easy to believe this was simply the back yard that I was mowing. I’m now left with a more traditionally sized garden which contains the winter crops I’ve begun to experiment with. I have an approximately 20 by 20 foot space very close to my house where Chard, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Garlic are growing.

Pepper Plants

Pepper Plants

I decided not to mow over the pepper plants because they still looked very healthy, and continued to grow new peppers. It takes these plants a long time to get started producing peppers, but once they grow to full size, the plants sets peppers fairly quickly. I figured that if we didn’t get a frost for a  few more weeks, I could potentially get several extra shopping bags full of peppers in that short amount of time.

Experiment to See If Covering Peppers is Worth the Effort

Experiment to See If Covering Peppers is Worth the Effort

The weatherman called for frost and I wanted to learn all I could while I had the opportunity. I’ve rarely tried to extend the growing season in the fall, so I  thought I would find out just how effective covering plants to protect them from frost would be. We already have plenty of frozen peppers to last many months, so I’m doing this more for the sake of knowing if it will work, rather then trying to grow extra peppers. I only covered one section of plants, and I left the others as they were.

Covered Peppers Survive, But Will the Set New Peppers ?

Covered Peppers Survive, But Will the Set New Peppers ?

I found out the next morning that a simple sheet will protect the plants. You can see just how bad the unprotected plants were harmed by the frost. The protected plants have upright leaves, whereas the unprotected plants look terrible with dropping leaves.

Now, I’ll keep an eye on the protected pepper production, and see if it’s worth the effort in the future.

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