Planting Potatoes

| 4/1/2014 8:45:00 AM

Adventures of Old Nebraska DaveToday started with a temperature of 59 degrees, bright sunshine, but just a little windy. Since my backyard is surrounded by trees and houses, the wind was not much of a factor for working in the garden. I totally went against Farmer's Almanac, which plainly stated that today was for killing weeds and brush but not planting. We will see how it all turns out. The soil in bed two had been removed leaving a depth of six inches of city composted yard waste called Omagro. It is the best stuff for garden and flower beds. Yes, there might be some yard chemicals in it, but I never claimed to be a hard core organic grower.

As the temperature climbed toward the high of 75 degrees, work on the great potato experiment began with turning the soil with a flat spade. Since years before the clay soil had been replaced with 100% Omagro, the soil was easy to turn and rake smooth.

Raised bed two

Once that was done, Pontiac Reds were placed with care. I found that if the potatoes are cut and let cure as all potato planting articles say to do, a wet spring will still make them rot. The prediction for this spring is cold and wet. Last year I planted whole potatoes by just pushing them down in the mud and covering them up. They turned out great. I am sold on planting the whole potato and not trying to skimp on the cost by cutting and curing. So here are the potatoes laying on top of the six inches of replaced soil ready to be covered.

Planted potato bed

Eight inches of more Omagro on top of the spuds and a good watering gets this layer of the great potato experiment almost completed. Each of the last four years the potato harvest has been better than the year before. The first year five years ago was a total failure with less harvested potatoes than what was planted.  It's a good thing I didn't have to depend on the potato harvest to survive.

4/19/2014 5:35:14 PM

Hi Dave, I just have to comment on your comment about the churn photo - that one is the courtesy of Grit. Grandmother's was a clay one, I think. I see that there's no one way to churn milk or do any chore. Anyway, I admire all the work you go through to get ready to harvest potatoes. We helped a neighbor harvest sweet potatoes, but those are grown directly into the earth's soil. When your crop is ready, happy harvesting!

4/18/2014 11:59:31 PM

Very interesting, Dave. I can't wait to read about the results! We haven't started planting yet, but some lettuces are coming up from last year's seed. Happy Day!

4/3/2014 9:29:16 PM

I planted potatoes for the first time this year. They are small plants. I'm planning to put wood around the potatoes and add more dirt. Hopefully I'll get more potatoes. Same thing that you are doing looks like but on a much smaller scale. Happy Planting!!

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