Monday, April 26, 2010

Expanding the Garden and Planting More Potatoes

Reclaiming the garden
For the past week, I've been slowly reclaiming the prior owner's abandoned garden. I haven't measured it exactly but the area looks to be at least 20 ft by 10 ft. It is located in a much sunnier spot in the yard and will be ideal for growing most of my warm season crops like tomatoes, peppers and melons. Therefore if I were to expand my garden even further, here is where it would be.

Clearing the space is proving to be a lot tougher than I had expected as it was completely overrun by strawberry plants and mint. If anyone is interested in growing mint, I suggest you do so in a pot. Having dug up several HUGE piles of thick roots, I can appreciate now how truly invasive the herb can be. In fact, it has already begun to creep beyond the garden.

Planting Potatoes
After clearing most of the area, to make life easier for myself I'm overturning the soil one section at a time and as needed. This past weekend was all about planting the remainder of my potatoes. As you can see, Jonathan and I decided to have another pajama gardening party after Sunday breakfast.

Planting Potatoes 2
I started by digging a double row of trenches that were about 6 to 8 inches deep. I'd amended the soil with a bit of compost and some slow release organic fertilizer. In went the potatoes (cut side down)...

Planting Potatoes 3
...which were then covered with about 3 inches of soil. As the plants grow, I will fill the trenches and hill up. I should have spaced my potatoes at least 12-15 inches apart but since I had so many, the spacing was more like 10 inches. Hopefully that won't affect the yield too much.

potato planters 4
And yes, I still had enough potatoes left over to plant 6 more pots for a total of 12. For all of the effort that has gone into this, I will be gravely disappointed if I don't get at least 3 potatoes for every one that I planted. On the bright side, planting potatoes can be enormously fun.

21 comments:

  1. Don't worry. You'll get tons of potatoes out of what you planted.

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  2. I predict you will get an abundance of potatoes for your efforts. Jonathon is just adorable in his boots, PJs, and shades!

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  3. I plant mine about 10" apart and get a good harvest from them, so should you. I envy you that big bed! If I had one that size, I'd probably fill it with potatoes, onions and carrots, my three favorites in the garden!

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  4. You've been busy, that's a lot of potatoes. Jonathan is so cute!
    I found flat leaf Italian parsley is just as invasive as mint, it took me 3 years to get rid of their roots, and I'm still finding them here and there, I don't plant parsley in ground anymore.

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  5. Oh wow, I am so jealous of your garden space! I am just getting in to gardening this year and found your blog earlier today through harvest monday. Your photographs are wonderful and I love everything I'm learning from your posts!

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  6. Thomas...you make us Idaho spuds very proud! : )

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  7. Thomas, The new garden bed looks exciting! I can't wait to see what you put in it. I'm sure you'll have a great harvest of potatoes. Potatoes and bush beans are my favorites in our garden. They grow very easily and I have always had excellent yields from very little effort.

    Jonathan is so cute in his rain boots and sunglasses. What a joy it must be to garden with your son.

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  8. That new gardening space looks very promising! I can’t wait to see it all organize into new beds.

    I also believe you will get a lot of potatoes, no worries there. It will be interesting to compare how many (and how big) potatoes you will get from pots and from double bed.

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  9. I love the pajama Sundays,that boy is going to be a Master Gardener by age 10 . ;)

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  10. I like the new beds. I'm lost on the constant adding of new soil as they grow, but I'm guessing it will become obvious as you document their progress. At least, I hope it does.

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  11. Wow, I am jealous too! That's a lot of added space! The potatoes will do just fine planted 10" apart. I know what you are talking about with regard to the mint. I had mint in one of my flower beds when I purchased this house. It took about 3 years to get rid of all of it. We now have 3 types of mint...all in pots!

    Adorable little garden helper you have!!

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  12. Those trenches look great! Between those and your containers, you will be the king of Spuds! As usual, Jonathan brightened my day with visions of rubber boots, jammies & shades - he is one cool kiddo!

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  13. I guess you're gonna end up with lots! Digging the dirt is the best exercise, isn't it!

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  14. You are going to need a root cellar for all those spuds!
    Mint is a traveler alright! I love the way my yard smells when it escapses and I mow over it.
    Too bad you lost your strawberries for more potatoes. A little birdie planted one for me years ago. We ended up eating berries from that plant and her children for about 16 years; until a super freeze took them all.
    Your son reminds me of my daughter out 'gardening' with Mom. They love to help out and eventually become gardeners themselves. And the circle becomes larger.

    Susan
    http://susan-chicdaisy.blogspot.com/

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  15. The soil looks really good in the new area.

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  16. I have mint in pots sunk into the ground. This spring I found that one had escaped over the winter. Luckily I think I caught it early enough. I'm thinking that I should have left them above the ground to see it when the try to run better.

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  17. I bet you'll have so many potatoes you won't know what to do with them! I know you said you guys don't eat many- I bet that'll change :)

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  18. I LOVE the green boots...and you are planting in the Walmart buckets that I was admiring, but hadn't decided what to put in them. 4 potatoes per pot?? what a great idea!! I am hesitant about stealing too much of the hubby's grass or planting where we load our wood before next fall and this may be the ticket. Thanks for the idea!!

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  19. I planted Potatoes today also. This year is my first garden so I'm hoping for the best. I've done a bunch of reading and now I just have to put it all into practice. I found the buckets you were talking about at walmart as well and will be planting some in those as soon as I can get some soil for them. Good luck with your Taters!

    Mel

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  20. You are going to have a million potatoes! Hope you have a great potato salad recipe....oh ya, it's Thomas, I don't have to worry about good recipes here!

    The yard looks fantastic!

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