harvest

ljpother(3a)October 11, 2009

I just wrested leeks, carrots, beets, and parsnips from the frozen (only the top couple of inches) ground. I waited to get a little frost for flavour. However, we went from record highs to overnight lows well below freezing in two weeks. I had hoped it would warm up and soften the ground a little; but, the forecast is for below freezing for another week.

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twrosz

They had been calling for lows of -13 to -15C in the Edmonton area, thus we had harvested the carrots, beets and potatoes prior to this early and sharp deep freeze. I have observed that severe freezing can cause the carrots, beets and turnips to become punky and lose quality, we dig before any real nippy temps have hit.

Terry

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 7:20PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Dug my carrots yesterday and cut the last head of cabbage (soup tonight!). It wasn't a great year for many things, okay for some, and good for others. I guess it was the weather. Shrug.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 9:19PM
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canadianprairiegirl(zone 3)

well...yes, it was a most unusual growing season this year but like farmers, what keeps us going is that there is 'always next year'!!! Has anyone made plans as to what they're planting next season....anything new? I'm hoping to add the small sugar pumpkins, brussel sprouts, turnips, leeks, and an early corn variety...can anyone advise if they've had any experience with any specific varieties and if there is a good early corn that will yield in central Alberta? Anyone had any luck with Acorn Squash...mine never quite makes it....what about using a cold frame? thanks.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 10:54AM
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ljpother(3a)

I got two reasonable sized hubbard (8-10") and a little one from about 4 plants. I think all the squash were on one plant. I had them in a raised bed that I filled lasagna style.

I had three raised beds, filled lasagna style (compost piles) with varying amounts of soil in the top layer. I suspect the growing/moisture problems were from air pockets and other quirks related to how I layered the beds (tossed carefully :). My tomatoes did better in the ground. Beets, beans and zucchini did well in the beds.

The wash tub of corn didn't do well, pollination was poor. Parsnips finally germinated and provided a reasonable yield of skinny roots. I got about 20 pounds of potatoes and only planted 10. :) Next year they go in bins/pails if at all. Snap peas did well, pod peas provided poor yields for the space.

I think I'm getting a handle on growing carrots. Germination was poor until I shaded the bed. I learned a lot from later plantings: shading (loose covering of twitch or other grass clipping) improves germination; later sowed carrots yield as well as older plantings; and thinning really improves yields. Next year the carrots are going in the raised beds with the beets and small groupings between tomato plants.

Tomatoes will be in the ground for the most part and some containers will be in the greenhouse all summer. I didn't like the flavour of the sub arctic plenty and although the plants started well the tomatoes were only slightly bigger than cherries.

Next year, I'm growing more tomatoes, beets, parsnips, and sugar snaps

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 12:57PM
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canadianprairiegirl(zone 3)

ljpother, have you tried the cylindrical beets yet? I don't have a lot of space and did 2 or 3 rows of carrots/beets in a raised bed of about 30" wide (the soil was well tilled and then the planted areas were twined off resulting in a raised bed ...sort of...after the outside area was walked on. My parsnips did about as well as yours and I'd like to plant more tomatoes too just to make & freeze tomato soup.... Do you have a sugar snap variety picked out yet or know of one?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 4:01PM
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ljpother(3a)

The sugar snaps were generic -- Heritage brand. They weren't overly sweet. They were best with the pods 3/4 full. I got a couple of good pickings and could have had more. They do need support (4-6 ft)

My beets were Detroit Red.

I made my raised beds from old fence boards. I stacked them like the old rail fences, wide side down.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 12:02PM
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