Sorry there’s no weed of the week, instead here’s a fun seed pod from our flower garden.
We’ve got the seeds sorted today!! Everybody ready to plant?
Okra blooms have always been one of my favorites. Getting the chance to grow food is awesome, but it’s neat to see our food coming from such a beautiful beginning!
This week, we finally had a stretch of dry enough weather to dig up the potatoes in the lower field. The yield wasn’t as great as we’d hoped for all varieties, but it was definitely a great learning experience on the best way to dig and get them out of the field. Doing so by hand is hard work and tricky, not cutting the potato in half as you dig into the dirt. We also learned that fresh potatoes have to be kept out of the sun and put in a dark cool place as soon as possible!
Culling is an important step for farms and its produce. Not all food is ready to be sold at market after it is harvested. A sorting must be done to separate the good from the less appetizing. Grade “A” food is washed and bundled for market, this is the cream of the crop. It gets stored in the large freezer and is taken and sold later that day. Grade “B” produce is called the cull. The cull might be slightly damaged or over/ under ripe. The cull is still good to eat. It gets separated and placed in an alternative fridge. At the UGAgarden the cull is taken home by interns and volunteers.
Grade “C” produce is undesirable. This may be because of pest, disease, or rot. Although this food is not adequate for consumption it does not go to waste. It gets separated and turned into compost. The compost is then reapplied to the beds as nutrients for the next rotation of crops.
This week’s Weed of the Week is Amaranthus retroflexus also known as Amaranth or (Red root) Pigweed. This variety has thorns at the nodes of the plant so you have to be careful while pulling them up. When you do pull them from your yard one large red and white tap root will generally come up with it. Try to pull up all the root or it will make new sprouts, between the roots and the seed heads Pigweed is a very prolific and rigorous plant.
If it looks like someone has been cutting the leaves off of your tomatoes, take a look around for tomato hornworms. These caterpillars can get quite large (this one is actually on the small side) but still manage to camouflage themselves quite well. They feed on many solanaceous crops (like tomato, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes) before turning into a large moth called sphinx or hawk moths. They can often be controlled in the garden by simply removing them from plants by hand.