A few days ago I pulled up everything from square foot bed #2 but the sage plant. Bed #2 is the 4’ x 4’ bed (at left in photo) containing Mel’s Mix on top of a layer of weed fabric. It’s the bed that looked like a green overflowing jungle most of the season, thanks to Red Ripper black-eyed peas. More on those shortly.
The popcorn I planted just didn’t make it. Neither did the squash, which I couldn’t even find. It’s as if I never planted any. The Red Rippers absolutely took over.
The okra was killed off by a freeze late last week. I saved the few pods left on them to dry out and save seeds.
Once everything was pulled up, I worked organic compost into the soil. To my dismay I found a few masses of roots that looked suspiciously like the damnable tree roots the weed fabric was supposed to keep out.
I’d like to think those roots were the mat that resulted from the tangle of plants that grew this season. But I’m not certain and won’t be unless I dig up and rework the bed like I did with bed #1. I’ll let it go until next spring.
I spent over 2 and a half hours shelling that last mess the other evening. This is the latest I’ve ever harvested black-eyed peas.
I figure I harvested four cups, maybe four and a half cups of black-eyed peas, from this one 4′ x 4′ square bed. And that’s with other plants taking up some of the space. If I have results half that good next year, I’ll be thrilled. Naturally, I saved back some seed.
The two larger containers in the photo above hold two cups. The smaller container (at right in photo) holds a cup and is only partly full. Half of a 3″ x 5″ card has the variety written on it. The container has approximately half a cup in it now, about the same amount of Red Rippers I’d saved back from a year or two ago, to give you an idea of what I started with.
This year’s harvest completely filled both of the larger containers, but the contents of the top container in the photo has already been cooked in a large slow cooker with ham pieces. I plan to enjoy some of it this weekend.
Did you grow something this year that produced beyond your expectations?