The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

In the Garden


September 30, 2020

Editor's note: Murial Silvan was a member of the Big Sandy Mountaineer family we reprint an article she wrote for her column In the Garden in reremerberance if her. Murial passed away Friday, September 25. There will not be any public service, a full obituary will follow next week.

I suppose lots of you ae eating vegetable and fruits that are fair rejects. It seems that lots of vegetable have to be picked to get 4 that are the same size and true to form to send as an exhibit. The others always taste good so I hope you've had lots of good eating.

We covered our tomatoes but ran out of covering. Often a covering will help plants through a freezing time and then the weather turns nice for a while. Often the cool nights prevent new blossoms from setting on but fruit that is already set and had some growth will mature and ripen if given some more time. It is best to keep tomatoes growing as long as possible so they have a chance to ripen on the vine. That is when they are the best tasting.

Winter keeping apples can be picked soon. Our Haralsons are about ready. We will try to get them picked this week. Plums are ready too. I picked our rose hips and put them in the dehydrator. The raspberries are still ripening. For jam, I strained about half of the berries in some clean pantyhose to take out the seeds. That makes the jam less seedy. To store the apples, place gently into wooden boxes and store boxes at least 4 inches off the floor in a cool basement. Boxes may be stacked if strips of wood are placed between boxes.

Weather is cooling and days are shorter. Plants are maturing and ready for harvest. Watering should be discontinued on anything that is trying to dry up. That would-be potatoes, onions, garlic and maybe winter squash. Keep watering other things that are still trying to produce like green beans, peas, summer squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and annual flowers. The tips of the vines may be cut from the squash, pumpkins and tomatoes so the fruit already set will grow larger and ripen rather than new fruit set on.

I've had several ask about onions. The tops just naturally fall over. That is a sign that they are through growing. If you know them down, they will quit growing and mature. After the tops are dried, dig and twist tops off. Store in an airy place to dry for 10 days then store in mesh bog or open trays in a cool dry place. As long as onion tops are green, they are still growing and need water. As soon as the tops dry, discontinue water to let them mature. If they don't mature properly, they will not keep as well. Some varieties like Walla Walla and other sweet onions do not keep over the winter wo us them soon after they are pulled.


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