Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Still Harvesting the Summer Crops

Although I am moving somewhat slower right now.  For the third time in my life, I have the chicken pox. (After the first time, the disease is called Shingles.)  I even got the Shingles shot!  I think this is something that is going to plague me every few years for the rest of my life!

While it was cooler out this morning, I did manage to pick the cotton. It is not all ready yet, I still have quite a few bolls that have not opened. I grew second generation hybrid white cotton and heirloom brown cotton.

Since the two varieties were right next to each other, they cross pollinated. I am going to save these seeds and plant them next year. I am not sure what color cotton I will get next year!

I also started to harvest the peanuts. I harvest by hand. This is a slow process under normal circumstances. With me being sick, it is twice as slow. 

It is important to loosen the soil before you pull the plant. (It is very easy to leave some peanuts in the ground if you don't.) After all the plants have been harvested, it is important to turn over the soil a few times to look for stray peanuts. No matter how long I look, I always have some that I missed come up in the spring!

Most of the peanuts clump at the roots.

However, they also grow along the plant stems as well.

Peanuts will continue to grow as long as the plant is in the ground. The key is to pick a time where many of the first peanuts that formed in late spring don't germinate themselves and make new plants, yet give enough time for many of the later formed peanuts to fully develop. For me that is somewhere between September 15 and October 1st. So far, I have only seen a few peanuts germinate to make new plants. This means I should be maximizing how many I get. Only pulled up one three foot row so far and filled the bottom of the bucket.

I am going to juice some more apples this afternoon and go back to pull up additional peanuts later when the sun is gone. Sweating with a chicken pox rash is very uncomfortable!

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