With temperatures predicted to fall well below freezing, on November 8th (Friday), I decided to harvest my remaining root crops. I pulled the beets and the last turnip and used my garden fork to dig up the carrots and daikon radish.
beets ‘red ace’ and a few ‘touchstone gold’
There weren’t many of the ‘touchstone gold’ beets (on top in the photo) partly because we harvested some earlier and partly because they didn’t germinate as well as the ‘red ace’ variety, which is very reliable in my experience. Remember that you can eat the greens (they are related to Swiss chard) as well as the roots of beets.
carrots ‘Napoli’ (left) and ‘Danvers half long’ (right), daikon ‘April cross’, and a single turnip ‘hakurei’
Several of the ‘Danvers half long’ carrots (on the right in the photo) decided to bloom this year, which we don’t want our root crops to do. They should be putting their energy into growing large roots rather than making seeds. I initially harvested the carrots that bloomed but decided to compost them as I don’t expect them to be good. None of the ‘Napoli’ carrots (on the left in the photo), which were planted in the same row, bloomed.
I planted the daikon and turnip in August. The ‘April cross’ daikon variety also produced well in my spring planting. There’s only one turnip partly because we harvested some earlier and partly because the rather old seed didn’t germinate well, unlike when the seed was fresh.
I cut off and composted the greens from the carrots, daikon, and turnip before storing the roots.
I also planted ‘Kyoto’ mizuna and a winter lettuce mix in August. The mizuna grew well but the lettuce did not, perhaps because it was planted too close to the carrots.
Greek oregano, sage, and pink catmint pots buried in the garden for the winter
After I dug up the carrots, I buried some potted plants in the same area. Sage (Salvia officinalis) is the plant near the middle with large leaves; it is flanked by two pots of Greek oregano (Origanum heracleoticum). On the left is a pot of pink catmint (Nepeta nervosa), an ornamental flower. I grow these plants in pots partly because I have no place that I want to plant them and, in the case of the Greek oregano, to keep it separate from the standard oregano that has spread itself around my yard. Burying the pots over the winter protects the plants from drying out and from rapid changes in temperature. After I took the photo, we piled leaves around the pots as further protection.
More about these herbs:
The only things I still need to do in the garden this year are to pull out and compost the pepper, eggplant, and tomato vines, remove the cages that they were growing in and the garden fabric, and dump the soil from my dwarf tomato containers in that garden bed.