Saturday, March 5, 2011

Potatoes and New Beds

     Well the potatoes went in today.   Had to spend some time in the compost pile to dig the good compost off the bottom for the potatoes.  Ended up turning the pile while I was at it.   I added the pre-compost from the kitchen pile while turning and buried it deep to help it finish composting. 
The newly turned compost heap
Beautiful rich compost to use on the potatoes
     The turning didn't quite get finished because there was a pair of bumblebees frantically searching through the compost that was left on the old pile.  I went in and looked up bumblebee nests and it seems they very often will nest in the ground.  Since bumblebees are VERY beneficial for the garden, and they are not aggressive, and their nests only last a few months, I have decided to leave that last pile right where it is for the time being.
Potato cages
     Back to the potatoes.   I read somewhere that growing potatoes in a wire basket would work well for someone with hard clay soil like I have.  So out came the chicken wire and drip system stakes.  I broke up the soil in 6 places and made 6 wire cages.  I staked them down with the drip system stakes and put in about 3 inches of compost.  I planted one potato in each basket reserving the rest of the seed potatoes to plant next week.  I'm not sure if the coming rain will cause any of them to rot so I'm hedging my bets with the second planting.   As the vines grow I will add compost to the cages to bring up the soil level and encourage potato formation.

My four new planting beds
     While I was out there my husband came out and asked what he could do.  I took advantage of the situation and had him build me 4 new planting beds.   Last year I built 2 beds on our south facing slope and our plans were to build 2 more this year.  But all the stuff was there and the laborers where there and the space was there so I took advantage.   I now have 6 planting bed to work with.  My son wants to plant 1 of them so that leaves me 5 to work with.  Just what I need to  practice good crop rotation.

No comments:

Post a Comment