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Posts Tagged ‘Potatoes’

cropped-greenhouse.jpg¬†Lately, I’ve been dreaming of a greenhouse. Not sure if its because of our cool, Minnesota spring weather, or simply the idea of gardening under glass, but I’m in love with this idea.

But if I’m going to do this, I need a plan. Picked up a couple of interesting greenhouse building books – but am really intimidated. I just want a simple, easy to maintain glass house that let’s me grow seedlings early, and grow lettuce and cold season greens over the winter.

More to come.

What’s planting?¬† I just planted my tomatoes and peppers this weekend with my daughter. She;s a great help in the garden! Planted them deep, with plenty of sheep composted manure. I’m lucky to have a local sheep farmer nearby that sells his manure. For local folks, check him out dpguertin@comcast.net. 1 yard for $40. Rich, composty, clean garden soil. LOVE IT!

My potatoes continue to sprout through my piling. Its getting that I have no more dirt to cover the green shoots. I’m told I can harvest the early potatoes end of June. Yeah – can hardly wait!

Sugar Peas are up but not blossoming yet, and pre-sprouted beans planted last weekend are popping up string and sure. I planted three types of beans – a dry bean for winter soups, a green bean for summer eating and freezing and combo bean for eating and drying if I miss a few.

My lettuce (leaf and head) are up and s-l-o-w-l-y growing in this cool spring weather. My brocolli needs thinning, as do the baby carrots. Radishes too.

Yikes! Time to get into the garden!

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Spring planting – Potatoes

Planting spring potatoes

Planting spring potatoes

Each year, I plant something new, to expand my planting horizons and to see if I can actually “pull it off”. I’m fortunate to have a large enough yard, and strong backs in my family to try these experiments.

This year, I’m planting the humble potato. But not just any potato – gosh no! I’m trying fingerlings, those early summer nuggets of goodness. I’m also trying a technique recommended to me by local organic farmers – plant the whole seed spud, not cut them up into eyes only. It seems cutting them up increases your yield, but it also increases the chances for fungal disease. And instead of going there, or treating each spud with pesticides, I’d rather have fewer spuds but more flavor and no chemicals.

I mentioned strong backs, right? My son and husband “volunteered” themselves for the trench digging. It was a glorious, short lived warm day, like we usually get in Minnesota. They dug into the ground with enthusiasm, my son getting his classic “red neck” early this season.

Can there be a more yummy smell than warm earth, dried herbs (artemesia in the bed being dug), clean air? Name it, please.

Techniques:

  1. Trench 10 inches deep, loosened bottom of trench with pitch fork, then add a 2 inch layer of composted sheep manure.
  2. Planted each seed potato into the 2 inch layer, uncut, with as many eyes facing up as possible.
  3. Covered each with 3 inch loose layer of compost, lightly firmed
  4. Watered, covered remaining open trench with row cover, mainly to warm the soil and protect the trench

We wait for the spring rains now. After the first green pops up through the layer of soil, we’ll add more and finish off the trenches. For now, its bit like World War One in our back garden – but instead of waiting for troops and bombs, we’re waiting for green shoots and lovely, lovely baby potatoes.

Gardening Thought: …”Let me look upward into the towering oak, and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well.” Orin L. Crain.

Potato trenches in the spring garden

Potato trenches in the spring garden

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