Whew – it takes FOREVER to plant potatoes when you don’t crowd them. According to my favorite gardening book main crop potatoes should be planted 15″ apart in rows 30″ apart. I planted 10# of Red Pontiac potatoes in rows this way. I cut them in to pieces with at least 1 or 2 good “eyes” on each piece. They’ve been sitting around on a cookie sheet for weeks now waiting for the garden, the weather, and the worker to all be ready at that same time. It took 3 days but they’re in!
I even used a couple step in posts and string to make my rows straight this year. What's wrong with me, trying to do things "right" for once!? To the left of the post are several rows already planted.
The potatoes all chitted and ready to go. By day 3 I got smart and set them up on the fence instead of on the ground. There's less squashing of the child this way. 😉
I have a hoe that the flat piece broke off of so now it's basically a hook on a handle. I used that first to mark a line under the string. In the foreground I used a shovel to make a shallow trench. The book suggests 4" of soil over the potatoes is enough to start with.
I used a yard stick to get uniform spacing. Again, 15" apart. Note for my own reference: the west half of the southernmost row is spaced about 7.5" apart just to avoid putting in a partial row. We'll see how the yield compares.
You may remember that last year we planted our potatoes in tubs instead of in the ground. Our yields were pretty poor and the potatoes we did get were small. However, I believe we would have had a lot better results if we had water the plants regularly. The tubs dry out easier than the ground anyway but we just happened to try it during one of the hottest, driest summers I can remember. In a normal year we could have kept up with the watering but last year was too extreme and the plants suffered. I’m not sure how the weather will be this year but with the baby coming midsummer the plants need to be as low maintenance as possible. That means in the ground and heavily mulched to hold the moisture in.
I could have taken advantage of the day without rain to plant my potatoes but I didn’t. Instead, I finished up a sewing project in the house. I have my Mom’s rocking chair. It’s really sturdy and good looking but lacked a cushion. I used cut up paper bags to make a pattern. The back and seat are two separate pieces. I stuffed them with some wool roving from our sheep.
I like the way it turned out. Almost too firm but it will settle with all the use!
The matching ties hold it securely.
Close up of the cute pattern. Perfect for rocking to sleep. 🙂
I’ll try to post more pics of the nursery as I get it organized for you family out there. 🙂