A Seventh Picking?

By Roger Erpelding
Contributing Writer

We had a couple of teaser rains last week, which made the topsoil in the garden just mellow enough to work. I finished digging the potatoes on Sunday morning, and what a miserable crop it was! It was my worst crop ever. Maybe I’ll skip the potatoes for a year or two. I took my large trowel into the garden, found the base of each potato group of vines, and dug all around them. I don’t think there was enough crop by weight to replace the bag of seed potatoes I purchased last April.

Those late beans I planted continue to be a disappointment. Poor germination, lack of rain, and voracious weeds have taken their toll. Nevertheless, after the potato crop was dug, I went to work on those weeds. As expected, it was easier this time, as those beans that did germinate were taller than the weeds.

My weeding extended into the old bean bed. I found a couple of good looking pods on one of the plants, immediately got into the garage, and picked up a bag for picking.  I started on the south end, and when I found 4 fit pods on the first plant, I knew I was off to the races. Not a huge picking, but enough to combine with beans we’d purchased at the farmer’s market the day before to provide a substantial and very tasty meal.

While in the east end of the garden, I also walked down the row of kohlrabe. There were two big enough to pull. When they are between golf ball and tennis ball size, they are fit. I’ll begin to dig carrots after our next decent rain. The tops look good, so there is hope for a tasty crop.

After the farmer’s market, Beth and I went shopping for mums in the afternoon. We picked out large plants with no flowers. “Helen maroon” was our favorite. We both like the color, and Helen is Beth’s given first name. I bought a yellow cultivar named Diane for its cushion flower form. These will serve as annual mums, as the employees at Groth’s Gardens near Winterset told us they would not come back next year. “If you want perennial mums come see us in the spring,” was their advice. These mums will definitely color up our fall yard, and the pots will serve me well next spring for potting up individual peppers.

Warm dry weather has returned, so our next task will be to water the containers again. Unfortunately, I am beginning to plan for moving plants into the sun room, but I’ll hold off as long as possible. No frost in the forecast yet, but some of the nights are getting cooler.

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