Thursday, January 10, 2008

Harvest Time

The vegetables on your individual mounds will most probably be harvested at different times. Produce that is picked early, like spinach or salad, can be sown several times in one season. Sowing radishes and carrots together, close to the salad preferrably, would be a good example of how to use the space that you have available well: The radishes are harvested at a time when the carrots have not yet begun to produce fruit, and once picked, the radishes make room for the carrots to grow properly.

If you want to save seed for next year, make sure to buy only heirloom seed, and to let some of your vegetables go to seed. Save seed from healthy plants and fruit only.
Just like fruits and vegetables demand a little work to make them last through the winter, so seed requires a little bit of attention in order to yield fruit the following season. Seed can best be stored in labelled envelopes in a dry yet airy place.

For legumes like pole beans or peas, leave pods on the plant until they are leathery, and don't pick them all as green peas or green beans.
Tomato, pepper, eggplant, zucchini and other plants that carry their seed in the fruit should be picked when ripe, and their seed dried before stored away.
Other plants like salad, radishes or spinach carry their seed in seed pods that only appear after blossoming, so some of your crop you should not pic before it goes to seed. Carrots only go to seed in the second year, so it is a good idea to leave a few carrots in the ground and wait for next year's seeds.

After the harvest, make sure to deep spade your mound again and to measure the pH level of your soil again, so that you can prepare your soil well for the next season before the winter rest.

Simple Living at Joshuah's House

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