April 10, 2010


Got the potatoes in the ground today. Yukon Gold.

Oh course I wait until Jeremy got back from his business trip so that he could dig the trenches. While he took care of that - two trenches, two feet wide, one foot deep and about 15 feet long - I did the hard work of cutting the potatoes into forths, leaving one eye for each quarter. The directions say to space each "seed" 12-24 inches apart, but I decided to put them about 8 inches apart. Then I covered them in about 2 inches of soil.

There were incredible worms in the soil. Every shovel full had at least 4 visible - some huge. This is a great success. Originally the garden was a horse paddock. It was full of rocks, compacted and in serious need of some organic matter. Over the past 3 years, we've add compost, sheep poop, chicken poop and this last year pig poop. (Note: The USDA does not recommend pig poop for the garden unless it has been hot composted but we're taking out chances with regular composting.) We till at least 3 times a year - at the end of the season, early in the spring before peas and potatoes go in and about a week before the majority of planting. Now the soil is loose, dark and full of worms - great! We also rotate the crops - no crop in the same place two years in a row - which has helped.

To rocks are an ongoing battle. Everytime I think we have removed the largest (softball size usually) some more appear. It's like they come up from underneath. We just toss into the creek bed, which runs right along the garden. 30 years from now, if we are still here and I hope we will be, we'll still be tossing rocks into the creek.

Potatoes are in and now we just wait. When the green shoots are up a couple of inches I'll add more soil and keep up the process until mounded high. Hopefully we'll get a great crop this year.

Last year was awful. I'm not sure why. We have done potatoes for 4 years and the first couple resulted in bushels of potatoes. (How much is a bushel exactly?) We kept them in the garage in paper bags and they lasted until Feb-March. But for whatever reason last year we had about 10 potatoes - gone by October. This year is going to be good though - I can feel it!

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