In about a week, (Give or take a week) I am going to be giving birth. This prompted the nesting instinct in my husband, and as a result, we are now living in a new house. Which means that there is little time (or physical ability) for finding a new garden plot.
For a traditional gardener, this would be a big problem. Fortunately, I’ve been able to move my containers with little effort. And while it’s a bit early for planting tomatoes and squash, I’m right on target for Potatoes and greens.
Today’s project was planting potatoes. In my local big-box garden store I found a new kind of planting bag just for potatoes. It has a flap at the bottom so that you can pull the bag open, harvest potatoes and close it to grow more.
The instructions for the bag call for you to open it, unfold it and roll the top down until the bag stands at 12 inches tall.
Then you fill the bag halfway with growing medium. Potatoes will grow in almost anything, including sawdust, straw or lightweight potting soil. Never use dirt, because it will compact and may contain disease-carrying microbes.
For my growing medium, I chosen Miracle Gro commercial grade potting soil, which I dragged from the garage because my husband would have thrown a fit if I tried to lift the bag.
About two days prior, I purchased seed potatoes from my big box store and cut them into several pieces with eyes. I chose the big box store because the potatoes were in smaller quantities than I could have gotten at the local farmer’s cooperative. At the same time, I also bought garlic and onion starts. I planted these in the taller containers that you see behind the potato sack. Then I gave the extras to my mother-in-law so that she could start her own garden.
I cut the potatoes and left them to sit out in the air for two days. During this time, they developed a calus. This is important so that the potatoes don’t develop a disease and rot instead of growing.
To plant, I simply put the potato starts on the top of the soil and then covered them with more soil.
According to the instructions that came with the bag, I should unroll the bag when the plants grow out of the top of the soil. Then I should fill int he bag with more soil, leaving just the tops of the plants exposed. As the plants grow, they will produce new potatoes along the stems. At the end of this summer when the tops of the plants die and turn yellow, the potoatoes are ready for harvesting.
Next, I’ll show you my preparations for the straw bale garden.