Ground To Plate
An Organic Adventure

The Garden - Year 2014... Click on any image below for a larger view
Experimentation, Disaters And Successes...

This was the year of great experimentation as well as disappointing disasters! Potato Trench Planted I put a lot of work into the potato patch and got nothing out of it. I combined 2 techniques to try to increase yield and it backfired. I got nothing at all!

The first technique I used was to dig a trench (as noted in the specs that came with the potatoes) so that hopefully the rooting system would produce more potatoes. The second technique (also recommended by the specs) is to pile soil onto the plants as the leaves grow higher. This accomplishes 2 things. It covers up the potatoes Potato Trench Sprouted that might peek through the soil and get hit by sunlight thereby turning green (and therefore toxic). It also encourages the plant to create more roots and hence more potatoes as you keep covering up the plant.

While I did use soil to cover the plants till they just about got level with the rest of the garden, I decided to use straw as the medium to further accomplish the task. I felt that it was easier to get more straw than more soil. I also believed that it would be easier to pick out the potatoes from the straw than from the dirt. Potato Trench Filled Good plan but it was counter productive. Potatoes don’t like to get their “feet wet”. And one thing straw (as well as any mulch) will do is that it will keep the ground underneath it moist. It’s a water conservation technique (you got that California?). The potato plants were waterlogged!

Overall, the straw worked out well however. I applied it throughout the garden and it kept most of the weeds under control. You can see how well they covered the winter Winter Squash squash and the veritable forest of plum tomato plants. The photo shows the 2 beds of plum tomato plants that were weaned in the “mini hot house”. Not in the photo are the beefsteak tomatoes that were transplanted in the left hand plot next to the plum tomatoes (actually they are there just not very noticeable).

While not strictly gardening, the harvest from the plum tomato plants wound up as 50 quarts of tomato products as I purchased canning equipment this year and put it to good use. I would also have canned string beans and winter squash but I waited Tomato Patch too long to harvest them and they got wasted when one night the temperature dropped into the deep freeze zone!

I did wind up with a success with potatoes after all. I had purchased 2 very large garden pots at a discount store. I poked out the drainage hole in the bottom. I filled it with a little soil. I planted 4 organic potatoes in each of them. I got the potatoes from the organic farm where I often do my shopping. As the plants sprouted, I covered them up with straw. But these had drainage so I got potatoes!

Revised: 1/19/2016 12:57:29 AM