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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bountiful harvest.

We had a touch of frost the last couple of nights, but not too much damage. The tomato plants fared the worst out of everything. Luckily we had picked them all throughout the week. The plants produced above and beyond our expectations. It looks like we avoided the blight.

We finished picking the peppers today and they really produced well. Some of the green pepper plants had as many as 10 large peppers hanging on. The jalapenos went wild and the Cayenne peppers did as well. The green peppers are very juicy and sweet this year due to the abundant moisture.
Once the frost hits a little harder the dahlia's will blacken and die. If you are wanting to save the tubers for next year's planting follow these simple steps.
Cut off the blackened tops and allow the tubers to stay in the ground for about 5-7 days. This allows new eyes to develop. Loosen the soil and carefully lift out the clumps of tubers. Wash off the soil and cut off the stalk at the base close to the tubers and set the cl;umps upside down on sheets of cardboard in the basement, or garage. You want them to dry but not shrivel. It could take 3 hours or 3 days depending on conditions. You want to keep the tubers dry (but not too dry), in the dark, at between 4 and 8 C. We store ours in peat moss in a cardboard box in our cold room. We check them midway throughout winter to make sure they are not too dry. If they are dry you can mist the peat moss. You can also use saw dust or vermiculite for packing. If you see any signs of rot remove those tubers from the storage boxes.
Mid April you can bring your tubers out of storage and plant into pots and you should be able to enjoy blooms by mid July.

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