Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism, are all very good words for the lips. ~ Charles Dickens
My almanac tells me that the best time to plant potatoes is when the moon is waning in Pisces. Well, that’s today! Thankfully, the seed potatoes I ordered from Seed Savers Exchange had already sprouted and were quite ready to go. I just love it when things fall into place at the right time. They seem to do so when I pace myself with the moon, much like ovaries or oceans and such.
Never having grown potatoes before, I have been sifting through my books and internet websites for hints and tips. What I took for myself: 1) they like lots of sun and room 2) you don’t have to grow them in the dirt, you can use a trash can or bucket filled with dirt, straw or shredded paper 3) never let them dry out. 4) keep covering the tops and stem with dirt as they grow 5) when the plant dies off they are ready to harvest. There’s a lot more info but, since I decided to go the bucket method, I didn’t need a lot of the other tips. This method seemed best since I won’t have to struggle to find adequate dirt space and dig a new bed, I can move them around to get enough sun and when I dig them up they’ll be cleaner.
Shredded office paper went into the bottom of the bucket to absorb water and keep the dirt from falling out of the drainage holes:
Whenever I use my paper shredder, I think of Watergate and Monica Lewinski-type intrigue and I hear the theme song to Mission Impossible in my head.
On top of that went some potting soil and worm castings. According to some websites, I didn’t need any dirt, but the thought of eating a root that had not come into contact with any earth kinda creeps me out. Enough room was left to be able to build the soil up around the plant as it grows:
I stirred the straw and dirt together a bit and went to chop up my seed potatoes. You want about 3 “eyes” or sprouts for each piece you plant. Cut the rest of the potato away, leaving an inch or so of potato around the eyes to nourish the plant:
I got quite a few nice pieces to plant:
These went into the straw/dirt mix and they were buried with potting soil about 3 inches deep. If you plant them too shallow, you won’t get many potatoes:
Then, I watered them all very well and put them in the sun. The remaining bits of potato got buried under the apple tree.
And now, to dream and wait. Tom has a knack of cooking potatoes to perfection, so I am going to have trouble with the waiting part!