As a result of keeping super busy in the garden to prepare for the winter season, a lot has happened outside in the garden and inside with my potted plants. But first...
My Sweet Potato Harvest!
Soooooooo, my first experience growing sweet potatoes from slips cut from a grocery store organic sweet potato was NOT the huge success I was hoping for. Of the several slips I planted, two survived through the summer--until one of them broke apart and never produced any tubers. Fortunately, I did end up with one successful plant, which produced 3 small, yet decent-sized, tubers that I've decided to store and save for next year's crop.
The way the weather's been here in New England, I almost could have left the sweet potato plant in the ground just a bit longer, but at the time that I dug these up, we were expecting overnight temps in the 20s and I didn't want to risk losing the tubers to the sudden extreme drop in temperature. Of course TODAY it was in the high 60s--this after dealing with an unusually early "nor'-easter" the weekend before Halloween and getting 4-5 inches of snow on the ground! That's New England weather for ya! :-)
Around mid/late-October, I finally got around to planting the garlic cloves that I purchased from Green Mountain Garlic. I have about 40 cloves of garlic planted--both hardnecks and softnecks--and topped with a layer of hay and a layer of shredded leaves as mulch. Prior to planting the cloves, I soaked them in a liquid seaweed/baking soda/water mix to prevent fungal growth. I'm really looking forward to seeing them sprout this spring!
Growing Winter Ground Cover
I've decided to experiment with growing winter ground cover in one of my raised beds in order to add nutrients to the soil. Around the first weekend in November, I planted crimson clover, rye grass and hairy vetch, which have already started sprouting. The plan is to turn them over in the spring, just after the frost, so that the plants have time to compost before the planting season--I'm thinking of growing pumpkins next year.
The Demise of the Cherry Tomatoes
Around late-September/early-October, we were able to start harvesting the cherry tomatoes that were growing along our front walk among the mums. Four cherry tomatoes had ripened successfully, with several others getting ready to ripen, but unfortunately, as a result of one or two nights of frost (AND the snowstorm!), we lost the entire plant...Boo!
And Then There Are The Indoor Projects...
Since the end of the summer, I've been experimenting with growing plants from cuttings: namely, African violets and a few varieties of chrysanthemums. In addition, I've found myself the proud owner of three white sage plants and one rosemary plant--all of which I purchased from the clearance/end of season section at Russell's. I think I paid about $1 each for the white sages and $2 for the rosemary. I know last time I promised to share my results on the cuttings, but I want to create a separate post or two that is dedicated to the indoor projects. Stay tuned!
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Happy digging! :-)