Sunday, May 3, 2015

Potatoes are stealing the show

The Spring weather has been glorious here.  It continues into May with well behaved thunder storms.  I do like Spring storms.  The smell and feel of a good rain storm makes me feel that every thing is as it should be.  All the water tanks for my back yard garden are filled to capacity.  That's about two months of garden watering.  Last year the Urban Ranch garden beds were watered all summer without intervention.  The new gravity feed watering system works wonderfully well. 

Potatoes seem to be headed for a great harvest this
year.  If you remember last year I tried to layer the potatoes in one bed to have a bigger production but my potato seed rotted from lack of care.  Yeah, it was my fault.  This year I've gone to great lengths to insure the seed potatoes wouldn't rot.   The first planting of potatoes was done on Good Friday the traditional day for Nebraska potato planting.  In this picture you can see the second layer is ready to be covered with soil. 

The second layer has been planted was planted a couple weeks ago and on inspection this morning the plants are very near the third layer planting.  All the potato plants are up and growing strong. 

As you recall I talked about the British term used for sprouting potatoes called chittin'.  Here's the update on that experiment with sprouting potatoes before planting.
Yeah, I think it worked a little too well.  You can see little nodes along the sprouts.  These long sprouts were snipped off down to just a couple nodes on each sprout and planted hoping they would continue to grow.  They did indeed grow.  So, yeah, apparently I'm really good at chittin' and didn't even know that I was.

The garden is just two weeks away from being planted with tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, and pumpkins.  Oh, yeah, and let us not forget the sweet corn.  I'm still hoping for a harvest one of these years.  The raccoons are waiting in anticipation for that first bite of sweet corn.  As with last year, my plan is to continue working on the six foot fence around the garden area and get it completed before the sweet corn is ready.  I have eight more panels to get up.  If I have the time, I'm going to build a fence inside the garden from chicken wire covered pallets to surround just the sweet corn patch.  If the double fencing don't keep the critters from snacking on my corn then an electric fence will be put around the corn patch fence.  It's much more difficult to keep wild life out with a fence than to keep livestock in with a fence.  At least with livestock, a fence can be built to fit the critter but with wild life a fence has to be built to eliminate all sizes and types of critters.  The wild ones can fly, dig, climb, and jump.  It's a challenge for sure but then that's the reason I garden.  For the challenge.

For me in the Spring, at the end of the day, it's been a good day if I smell like dirt.

How's your garden growing?


  1. Hi David---so nice to see a post--it's been awhile!!

    I had a raccoon visit my corn patch last year the night before harvest---he wiped out all but a dozen ears. That was bad, but then he hit my blueberry patch, tearing open the Agribon fabric I had covering the rows to protect it from birds.. We caught the bugger in a live trap, using marshmallows for bait. They seem to like marshmallows more than corn and blueberries (they obviously don't read the ingredient labels--blech, chemicals!!!)

    This is how different our garden are---I will be planting my taters in 2 weeks!! Can't plant my tenders for another month yet, and even then I can get frosted out. Last year our final frost was June 13. I envy your weather now, but come July and August, my 70 degree temps will be the envy ---ha ha.

    Have a wonderful week, David, and Happy Gardening.

  2. You garden for the challenge! Love it. It can certainly be interesting. I'm battling with a bunny eating my peas. Have never had this problem any other year. I blended some garlic in water and poured it along the row. We'll see it that helps.
    You are doing great with those spuds. I like the bed you made for them. Perhaps one year I'll try that. Ready for putting out almost everything left on the garden list. Each day I try to plant something. Had a good rain earlier. I was betting on it and didn't hand water the veggies. I won this time.

  3. I just discovered you have a new post up. I always enjoy seeing what's happening at Terra Nova. Our potatoes are up and the potato bugs (Colorado potato beetles) are after them already. Cherie and I were squishing them until dark last night.

    I spent nearly all day yesterday prepping gardens. Today my hope is to finish the summer planting. It will be a challenge to get it done. 6 large gardens for cantaloupes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, beans, watermelons, corn and okra. Once those are planted all I'll have left to plant are sweet potatoes and purple hull peas (in June). It's a busy time of year, and hot. Seems like just yesterday we were able complaining about the cold and wishing for spring. :)

    I like the way you made your beds. I might try that too.

    Our practice is to let the potato plants get about 1 foot tall then pull about 6 inches of dirt around them. Do you cover the emerging plant entirely? I haven't done that before.

    Happy gardening Dave!

  4. Beautiful raised beds, Dave. I guess we practice chittin' and didn't even know it - our saved potatoes end up looking like. :)