Planting potatoes is as easy as throwing them on the ground. I'm telling you I learned the easiest, sure fire way to get a good harvest of taters from Barb Doyen's spectacular book, The Farmer's Wife Guide To Growing A Great Garden I'm sure there's lots of other ways, but lets face it. I have bad soil so I needed a way to grow stuff and improve the soil at the same time. This tater method does both. Here's how.
It's as easy as throwing taters on the ground.
Step 1: Pick your worst growing spot and give it a little bit of a rototill. My tiller creates two little, side by side dug out rows which makes the next step even easier.
Step 2: Get your seed taters and cut them so that each piece has a bit of a sprout, or an eye. I usually do this as I'm going along.
Step 3: Throw the cut pieces on the ground. Aim for your little rows. If you'd like, take your hoe and cover them a bit. But don't spend a lot of time on this - just enough to anchor them.
Step 4: Mulch deeply with fresh straw.
Tater Row - ready for action!
That's it. I'm not even kidding. As the summer goes along I add more fresh straw to make sure the taters are completely covered and just the grow-y end is sticking up.
I know. It sounds like there is no way it could work but it sure does. Really! For whatever reason the taters kind of dig themselves down into the ground. So when they are ready all you have to do is grab a pitch fork and its like the world's best Easter egg hunt (with digging). Not only will have you have spectacular friable soil, but you've killed the weeds, and when you are done digging - you've tilled up a place for next season. So get your barn litter and mulch again and voila! You're ready to plant in the spring.
And wow do you get great results! Remember all the taters we had last year? We also really loved how well canning potatoes worked. I know it sounds stupid, but wow its easy and fun to get all the prep work done so you can have a quick supper any time. We are going for tons of taters this year.
I planted two batches. The first was the long row of taters featured above. I created this row just below the Pasture Mix in the front of the property outside of the fence. I'm not particularily worried about varmints, but I want to fence that area anyway. So any malfeasance will just give me a reason to hurry up and get it done.
This first batch was from the taters we kept by from last year. They are a mix of Yukon Gold (best variety ever) and Red Pontiac. They had a ton of sprouts on them and very little rotten ones. I had two half-full five gallon buckets. They are planted really close in this row.
The second batch are all Yukon Gold - a 5 pound bag from the feed store. The taters were lovely but really they looked like they should just be peeled and cooked. They only have a few sprouts each - which I didn't feel was a great value considering the price. I planted these on the north east corner of the upper garden along the fenceline by the cow peas.
Cow peas - who knows what they are but I like cows and I like peas so I think we're good.
In other news - Wednesday was hot. Like summer hot. Like - I have the 'air conditioning' on hot. What's with that? Fortunately the creepy meats all seemed to have lived but I was nervous there for a while. Pigz are doing well. I think they realized that I'm "She who brings the yums." Great. Not I'll have to spend all summer convincing them that I'm not their mommy and I don't love them. Sheesh!
Happy Thursday everyone!
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