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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ides of March? Eyes of March you mean

It is officially potato planting time here on the homestead.


potato fork


The lazy bed method is my favorite way of planting potatoes. I have been doing this method for years, and it is surprising that I do not have any photos of the technique. I will do a step by step pictorial for you later if you like. 

I digress, we started doing the Lazy bed method because of the clay soil we have and the flooding that happens here on the homestead. And we discovered last year, that it helps during droughts as well. 

It's simple, create an elevated row, double wide, place your potato seeds on top of the dirt, do not cover with soil, then cover the bed in a foot of straw. If you straw begins to grow later in the season, carefully flip it, or leave it be as it will never get tall enough to hurt your potatoes. 

A tip here; plant your watermelon in the middle of the double rows. These two plants benefit from one another, and help you condense your garden.

If you are dead set on planting your potatoes the traditional way, in ground:

seed potato

plant large edible sunflowers with them if you have hard clay like soil. The thick rooting system of the sunflowers allow the tubers to find their way around and easier on them to grow larger. It's like how earth worms use dandelion root systems to move around. Plus the sunflowers helps with clay type soils. It does take a few years, but worth it.

Different potatoes need different things. Seems to me like all potatoes need the same things. However we have found that some types of potatoes do better than others in our soil type. Sweet potatoes love it (if you are wanting to plant sweet potatoes, I have a small how to here>>>)

Yukon's seem to grow wonderfully with the lazy bed method. Russet types do better in ground with sunflowers. My reds, I have still been experimenting with as they tend to struggle with both these techniques. I really wanted to link over to some one, however I forgot which one of you wrote about it. If you have an article link to it in comments please. We are going to try the potato in the tire method for the reds, to see if mulch and compost will generate better results. Blues or just about any fingerlings seem to be more impressive if potted.

Any questions?

On a personal note. Husband and I have decided to back out of the motorcycle shop. It's a private story. However you have me back full time. Please ask questions or demand a how-to so that I can get back into the swing of things. Thank you.

14 comments:

Warlock Sundance said...

sorry to hear about the shop, I have been there done that myself....basically there are times when I just do not wanna be friendly to all customers....(and I am sure you guys see riding the same way as I do....not about the shine, but the ride) Keep going with what makes ya happy. (I am leaving out for Florida on the bagger in the morning, the weather is awesome here right now)

Phelan said...

Thanks Sundance. And yes, we agree (but shine is pretty too haha)Have fun down south. I would love to head that way myself, but not happening right now. The weather has been great here the last few days. Been taking the bike out every day.

Stephen said...

Great advice, thanks. Wish I had a garden or two...

Phelan said...

You're welcome Stephen.

jules said...

Sorry to hear about the shop. What happened to your other riding blog? I used to follow it.

I want to do potatoes but just don't know how yet. I'll go look at the sweet potato link now. Thanks.

mohave rat said...

sorry to hear about the shop. Hope everything else is going good.

your friend always

the rat

Phelan said...

Jules, I have a local stalker that was trying to use things I said against Husband. I was tired of the drama and decided to get rid of it to make Husband's life easier. It has been request by a couple of people to bring it back. I might start a new one under a different name. Still thinking on it.

As for potatoes, they are one of the simpler things to grow. Ask and I shall answer. Help in any way I can.

Hey Rat! Thanks, and everything else seems to be going well. I need to go catch up on my blog reading. I do hope you and your wife are fairing well.

macbew said...

Phelan,I'm sorry about your business,after all your hard work I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision to make.I'm glad your back full time again!!!Also I did not know that potatoes and watermelon benefited each other. So, how do they benefit each other?

Phelan said...

Thank you macbew. And I will include the answer with Monday's post. Heehee. Any other plants you want me to try and match up for you while I am at it? ;)

macbew said...

I've heard that tomatoes have a yearning to be planted close to another but I'm not sure which or why:) Plus I've also heard that marigolds are suppose to give protection but I don't know if it's to the whole garden or to that special friend!;) Keep in mind the only garden I've had so far was tomatoes in containers last year. Hopefully this year the owner will agree to let me plant something in the ground!! Looking forward to Monday.

Phelan said...

Now you have me craving marigold pie. Nummy. Ok, I will answer those questions for you on Monday. I have a lot of gardening info posted here, feel free to look through that tag to help with your gardening. And I am around to attempt to answer questions.

small farm girl said...

How do you get rid of the dreaded potato bug?!!!!!!!!!!!

Phelan said...

Honestly I have never had a problem with them. Pillbugs have always been an issue with my garden. I think I have apart somewhere on bugs, I will see if I can find it.

macbew said...

Marigold pie? I've never heard of it.It does sound interesting though.

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