Friday, May 16, 2014

Planting Potatoes and The Garden

Remember my awesome potato garden my son helped me make?  Let me remind you. . .

Yes, this awesome thing.  It's gorgeous.

I planted it with potatoes today.

Two days ago, I took my seed potatoes and cut them.  I like for them to grow some roots before I cut them.  I'm not sure if this is the right way or the wrong way but it's my way.  Make sure each cutting has at least two eyes on it.

Lay them out and let them dry for two days.

When you read about planting potatoes, they talk about how to space them.  I don't listen.  Again, right or wrong, it's my way.  I put six inches of soil and peat moss mix on the bottom of the bed and laid my seed potatoes about six inches apart.  I topped them with three inches of soil and peat moss mixture.

Here's the beauty of this set up.  When the plants are about six inches tall, I'm going to put four inches of dirt over the top.  This will force the plant to make more roots which means more potatoes.  I will keep doing this until the whole bed is filled with soil.

Potatoes grow in almost anything.  I will be saving my grass clippings to mix with the peat moss and garden soil mix.  The biggest problem will be keeping this wet enough during the hot summer months.  I should get about fifty pounds (or more) of potatoes from this garden bed.

With this planting, I'm pretty much done with our backyard gardens.  We've downsized quite a bit from the days we rented garden space and planted a 100x100 foot garden.  It took a lot of work but yielded a lot of produce.  I'm getting older, I have a job and the kids have their activities.  Gas is also more expensive which makes traveling to our garden daily quite expensive.  We slowly downsized and moved the gardens to our backyard.

This is what we are doing this year:

My herbs.  These will take off and go bananas like they do every year.  I need to get a big pot of Oregano in but I forgot to start my seeds this year and I have to buy plants.  I'm looking. . . can't seem to find any.

Clockwise from top left:  Cilantro, Rosemary, Spearmint and Sweet Basil (for Pesto, YUM!!)

Cherry tomatoes and two pots of sweet peppers.  The tomato plant I bought on a whim.  I didn't have any cherry tomatoes and I love eating them with basil.  The peppers are tiny now but will be BIG later!  The bed is in sore need of some weeding!

My favorite bed.  This one has two different types of tomatoes and two zucchini plants.  The bed with the seeds not up?  Watermelon.  They're Sugar Babies.  The vines are very compact.  I'll spread them out when they start growing gangbusters.

These beds are 4x4.  The shorter bed has bush beans, radishes and lettuce.  The top bed has peas, onions and cucumbers.  The cucumbers are also a compact plant which is high yield. 

We also have a few containers of blueberries which will give enough to snack from.  Not enough to can or freeze, but enough to eat off the vine. 

The lettuce will give us a good crop, then I'll replace it with more beans.  When the radishes are done, I'll turn the entire bed into beans.  I will also replant beans in late August and get a full fall crop of beans.  I can them and we eat them all winter.

The peas are more for salad.  The cucumbers will be pickled. 

Next year we will put in two more 4x4 beds.  I would also like to add some raspberries along the side of the house.  It would help keep the neighborhood cats from digging there and, in a few years, we would have enough to jam it up.  Problem with raspberries is how quickly they multiply so I'll have to be on top of it.

Fingers crossed we get a nice crop this year!  What have you planted?

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