Sunday, May 22, 2011

Potato Planting Progress

With a second consecutive dry day, the ground was finally workable. Ed weeded the bed where the potatoes were to be planted. He pulled up a lot of poppies and potted up some of my favorite sunflowers to plant somewhere else in the garden. After about three weeks of sitting in subdued light in trays in the living room, the potatoes have sprouted nicely. This Purple Viking looks perfect for planting. Its multicolored eyes are as attractive as flowers.

Purple Viking, Colorado Rose and Atlantic potatoes were planted in 24 holes. Hands and a kneeling pad are the most commonly used gardening tools here.

Next the holes are half filled with dirt. The extra dirt is piled in the center of the bed. It is insurance so that the newly emerged potato leaves can be covered quickly in case of a late frost. If no frost comes the dirt will be used to hill up the potatoes as they grow. A mixture of molasses and water will be applied to help prevent scab.

A second bed of potatoes will be planted tomorrow if today's afternoon rain left the ground workable. Our crop rotation has peas planted where last year's potatoes grew. Once again there are potatoes growing in with the peas. Some how we always miss some potatoes. Ed tried intentionally planting potatoes last fall. As he was harvesting, six potatoes were planted. To date there is no sign of these test subjects. Why all of the deliberately fall planted potatoes failed while several missed ones grow nicely remains a mystery.

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