Petite Post…Potatoes

Betcha these weren’t grown in Mel’s Mix.

10-20-08

Happy Gardening!!!!

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My Puny Patch of Potatoes

I finally dug my little patch of potatoes.† They were planted back in early May and harvested on September 7, 2008.From start …DSCN0975

To finish …09-08-08And everything in between…

May 3105-31-08 (2)

June 906-09-08 (4)

June 1706-17-08 (17)June 3006-30-08 (11)

August 208-02-08 (23)

August 3108-31-08 (10)

September 609-06-08 (4)09-06-08 (5)

I dug these up first.† That’s what piqued my curiosity.† The two little ones were almost on top of the soil, and the bigger one was way down deep just above where the seed was planted.

I thought the plants were doing fine until a few days ago when I noticed some wilting at the top.† When I pulled back the plants, I saw some white stuff…fungi, mold, I don’t know.† You can see it just to the left of the picture with the little potatoes.† Most of the stems were† dead too, so I figured now is as good a time as any.

I used potatoes I got from Whole Foods and planted the whole potato in the raised bed, one for each square.† A friend of mine told me you’re supposed to cut them, so I cut some of the leftovers and planted them in the bin.

05-31-08 I’ve checked the bin and I don’t find any potatoes either.† They’ve never flowered and are still green and healthy looking.† I’ll probably just let them grow and see if anything happens.

When I dug up the raised potatoes, a couple of them had pea sized mini potatoes growing under the stem, but the tops had died off.† What the heck.† I put them back in.†

Here’s my thought.† If people are getting tons of potatoes when they use layers and layers of tires, maybe the potatoes are forming inside the actual tires themselves and they don’t have the full weight of all of that dirt on them.† I noticed that the deeper I got the more compact the dirt was…duhh.

Life is an experiment.† Next year I’ll probably use the bin since I wouldn’t want to give up too much space in my raised beds.† I’ll fill it up at least halfway with dirt first and then plant.† That will give me room to hill as they start growing.

It’s actually been kind of fun.† I ran across this way of growing potatoes on GardenWeb and shared the progress with others who decided to try this.† I was even inspired to share my ramblings on this blog by one of the members, Mr. Sinfonian, who is documenting his first square foot garden, although I feel like the DJ who broadcasts at 3:30 in the morning and nobody’s listening.† I’ll “broadcast” anyway because it’s cathartic.

I just counted my “harvest.”† I have 12 potatoes, exactly what I planted.† The good news is that three of them are bigger than my seed potatoes.

Happy Gardening!!!!

 

Plethora of Plentiful Planters

I recently found a cantaloupe growing in one of my self-watering containers, so I figure I’ll talk about the things I’m growing in containers instead of the ground.† The yard is pretty small and I’ve got something growing in just about every plantable† spot in the yard, so I use pots to increase my growing space.

08-13-08 (3) This cantaloupe is about the size of a softball and it’s the only cantaloupe to actually set fruit.. so far.† I was picking up around the yard and discovered it.

I have a couple of cantaloupe plants growing in the ground.† 08-17-08 Lots of blooms, no cantaloupes that will grow bigger than a M&M.

Here’s the self-watering container (to be referred to as SWC) that the cantaloupe is growing in.† 08-13-08 (4)And because this is my first year with the self-watering containers, I’m still experimenting with what will grow how well in the SWCs and I’m mixing a little this with a little that.

My neighbor’s friend gave me a few okra plants and I put two of them in here back on July 10 with the cantaloupe.08-17-08 (2)Okra plants are really pretty.† There’s actually one okra pod just to the right of the stem.† I swear I didn’t see a flower before this one.† The other okra plants I put in the ground are only 5 or 6 inches tall.† They’re also being shaded by other plants.

This is my first SWC that I started in early May.† 05-31-08 (7) It’s got a monster cherry tomato, a sweet potato plant, and two varieties of watermelon. †(I gave the corn to my mother-in law because I couldn’t find a spot for it).† I’ve got a 6-foot tall stake the cherry tomato is tied to.† Once it outgrew that, I tied a string from the end of the stake to the house and am training in along the string now.†

Here’s how it’s doing today.† 08-02-08 (44)

Only one of each variety of watermelon have actually set fruit.† The sugar baby is the one with the panty hose sling and the other is a full-sized watermelon.DSCN1508 DSCN1507I really don’t expect them to get much bigger because both vines are starting to shrivel up.

I gave my mother-in-law some watermelon plants too. Hers are in the ground and doing much better than mine.† This is her largest one.† DSCN1459

A month ago I planted this one with cucumbers,07-14-08 (12) and today it looks like this.DSCN1504It’s even got its first cuke on it.DSCN1510

Here are the bell peppers growing in planters on the steps.† That was then… 06-30-08 (13)

… and this is now.DSCN1512 The container peppers are giving the in-ground peppers a run for their money in terms of size, and I’ll definitely plant them in containers in the future.† I think it helped a lot to keep the containers covered.† I’ve read that peppers like green mulch, and maybe that helped too.† I think this pot size is 10 inches, so I’d try larger pots to hopefully get bigger peppers.

I tried potatoes in a container too back in May.† That was then …05-31-08

…and this now.† 08-13-08 (9)I had some leftover seed potatoes after I planted in the raised beds, so I tried this. I snuck a peek in here and haven’t seen one potato so far.

In the raised bed, I’m trying an adulterated version of a dedicated potato bin for potatoes that I saw on the GardenWeb web site that I’ve adapted to my raised bed.† 06-30-08 (11) People have gotten mixed results, but for this one I’m not going to touch it until the plants naturally die back.† I’ll either be very, very happy with the potatoes or very, very disappointed.

A friend gave me some peanuts.† I started a few of those in a pot.08-13-08 (8) I have no idea how this will turn out, especially since I never put any more dirt in the pot.

And lastly, this bush.† 04-20-08 I wanted to make room for some raspberry plants.† And since I wasn’t crazy about this bush (or the fact that I didn’t get anything to eat from it), I decided to dig it up and get rid of it.07-14-08 (11) After I dug it up, I had it leaning against a bench and thought, hmmm, that looks kind of nice there, so I decided to try to save them.† That was mid July… 08-02-08 (17) … and they’re still looking good.† No leaf loss at all.

And lastly (for real this time), the raspberries.† I acquired some raspberry plants from a couple of generous fellow gardeners.08-02-08 (20) 08-02-08 (21) With any luck I’ll have raspberries next year since raspberries fruit on second year canes.

I didn’t plant them in the ground because I want to see what will happen with them in the containers first.

That’s it for now.† (Did I hear you say finally?)

Happy Gardening!!!

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