Spring Tater Update!!

The potatoes are growing. Another layer of tires were added, compost was installed between the growing plants and topped with straw.

 

The compost used was from last year! Dark and rich with almost no smell!! Hopefully the plants will take off and turn darker green.

Pots of basil and other aromatic herbs will be placed between the tire rings to deter insect pests. Colorado Potato Beetles can be a challenge.

I’ll keep you posted.

Papa

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It’s Tater Time Again!!

When my son Nathan was here, we planted potatoes in used tires with the sidewalls cut out. Three tires were planted with Red Norland and three tires were planted with Yukon Gold.

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We have an issue with standing water from time to time. Piles of composted tree trimmings were leveled out and covered with weed cloth. The tires were placed and the bottoms were filled with sand. The hardened off potato cuttings were placed in the bottom of each tire on top of the sand. Compost mixed with soil was placed on top of the cuttings to cover the cuttings. Subsequently, composted grass cutting were placed on top.

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I will keep you posted on the continuing results of this Spring project.

Papa

10 Steps to Make Free-Form Raised Beds

I just completed 3 raised beds for my fall garden. After harvesting garlic and shallots, I used a weed eater to burn down the remaining weeds. Here are the steps I used to make free-form raised beds.

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Till your plot thoroughly in several directions.

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Remove weeds, roots and other debris.

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After initial tilling incorporate finished compost to the bed area.

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Form your beds to the shape and size you desire. I make mine tall due to heavy surrounding soils and standing water after rain.

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Add composted poultry manure and kelp meal before final raking and bed forming.

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Some final touches to the bed.

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Place your drip or soaker hoses prior to applying weed cloth.

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Place weed fabric over the bed and stake down to the adjoining soil with pins of wire.

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I use a butane mini torch to burn planting holes in the fabric. This is an easy way to make your planting areas which will not fray!!

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Plant your seed in each hole.

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Water the seeds and the weed fabric to start your fall garden. Mulch the middles with straw, used carpeting, cardboard or any other clever method to prevent weeds in your walkways.

I use free form beds to reduce the risk of slugs and snails that hide between the bed bordering material and the soil! Plus, it is way less expensive!!

Papa

Planting Potatoes Made Easy!!

Planting potatoes using the long sprout method (allowing the seed potatoes to develop long sprouts prior to planting) is another way to get bigger yields of potatoes. Irish potatoes are actually modified stems. The longer the stems, the more surface area for potatoes to form. This method produced a tremendous yield of red skinned potatoes.

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I used compost mixed with rotted wheat straw as my growing medium. More rotted wheat straw was added to fill the tire ring.

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Now the sprouts are popping out above the straw.

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Soon I will be adding another tire ring as the sprouts grow longer.

Here is another method of planting potatoes. It is called the trench and hill method. Till your soil and open a trench or furrow. Plant the seed potatoes about a foot apart and hill up the soil, compost and rotted wheat straw over the trench and watch them grow!

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I can hardly wait to experience these blue potatoes!

Papa