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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Potato Planting - Take 6

Yep, 6. It took 6 attempts to finally get my potatoes in the ground.

Last year was my first year with a real garden; so, this fall/winter was my first gardening off season. Last fall, I extended my garden to 12 4x8 beds and only used 4 of them for a fall/winter garden. In the other 8, it was my intention to plant cover crops, however, that never materialized.

Fast forward to Valentine's North Central Texas Potato Planting Day. We are planting: Yukon Gold, Russet, Purple Majesty, and the standard red potatoes that you buy at the grocery store.

Take 1: A few days early, I excitedly head out to the garden to prepare the bed for planting. And what did I find....
Yep, a bed full of weeds. What was I thinking! I purposely let the weeds grow because I figured they could act as a cover crop since I didn't get mine planted in time. Come spring, I would just till them in and all would be well. But as I stood there looking at this jungled mess, reality hit me. Weeds don't die, they multiply. Even if I tilled, some would stay rooted, others would reroot and who knows how many seeds are currently growing roots.

Take 2: Till

As expected that first tilling would not suffice in getting this bed as weed free as possible. Think. Think. I came up with what I hope turns out to be a brilliant idea.

Take 3: I raked off all the dirt that was loosened by the first tilling and then tilled again.

Take 4: Repeat Take 3
No Pic

Take 5: Lets do it one more time, just to be sure.
After this take all of the weeds have been uprooted and removed from the bed...Take 6 of Potato Planting should be perfect.

Take 6: Plant the Potatoes....Finally!
We first covered the loose soil with a few inches of leaves and sat the potatoes in place
Next, we dusted the potatoes with sulfur and put some sulfur in the hole. We buried them about 4" deep under both soil and leaves. The dirt at the back of the bed will be used to hill the potatoes as they grow.
I also planted some potatoes in my custom made grow boxes; just to compare growing methods.

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