Captain’s log: March 9th 2019

It sprinkled off and on, but it was warmer and clearer than I expected so I sprang into action. I was hoping to see a movie this weekend, but I can always see a movie in the rain- can’t effectively garden when it’s pouring so the silver screen can wait.

I have moved the mint thunderdome and succulent pots from the former home, and now they’re elsewhere in the garden. The thunderdome got a trim- hopefully that will promote more mint growth in spring.

There’s the new home of the terra-cotta succulent pot and the little purple pot. Eventually the succulent pots will go in front of the house but thats a while off.

Why am I moving everything around?

So I can place my new fabric bed where the other pots were of course!

I really have to update the map of the garden…

It took all the soil I had left to fill it, plus mulch on top. It will be a while before my Joi Choi seedlings are big enough to be transplanted outside, but I wanted to make sure the bed was there when I needed it. This is in a semi-shaded area of the garden which doesn’t make a ton of sense for mint but makes good sense for things like Bok Choy.

They wait.

In other seedling news the greenhouse seeds seem to be doing ok, but the stems are a bit spindly. I might have to transplant the sunflowers to larger plastic pots soon- but as I used up all my soil it will have to wait. I was planning on Wednesday being the soil day for the new beds- but it looks like I’m going to have to go tomorrow first for 2-3 bags for other garden use.

In really good news it looks like the potatoes are doing well. The one on the right had some scary damaged leaves which had me anxious about blight- but it seems to have rebounded. I’m quite happy with it.

The baby romaine lettuce look amazing…

The last remaining Bok Choy looks more than a little eaten. It’s going to get eaten either today or tomorrow- but I need to get some more soil to level off the area in preparation for zucchini.

The radishes in the mixed bed have come up- but the purple peas have not. It looks like once again the over-much rain has caused the baby peas to force themselves up too early and not develop good roots.

I really want my purple snap peas.

So I’m starting some indoors!

I’m not taking any chances, I want my peas!

I’ve already harvested most of the harvestable chard- and tonight I’ll do the same to the arugula. That’s because the soil temperature in the back has finally reached bean temperature. So these plants are going to get ripped out in favor of green beans soon enough.

Swiss chard!

Speaking of harvests, I’m starting to get some great carrots when I thin.

I over-sowed a bit when I planted the carrot bed- my bad. But it’s hard to regret it when the thinnings are so delicious. That middle one is a yellow carnival blend carrot, I’m surprised it got that big.

Finally, the rosemary has decided it’s spring. It’s flowering all over, and has begun to attract the first bees. I couldn’t get a picture but the whole time I was working in the garden today I was followed around by a big fat bumble bee. That’s really good news for tomatoes later on- bumble bees are the best pollinators for tomatoes.

Wednesday is the big soil day- but tomorrow looks like it’s going to my first opportunity to get pole bean sets if they’re available this early.

Spring is coming, and I am ready for it!

Potatoes for the new year

Happy new year!

Let’s plant potatoes!

These potatoes to be specific, just a couple of good waxy potatoes from the grocery store that I’ve been ripening in a paper bag with a banana.

In order to make planting easier I cut the non sprouted end off.

Now- you can totally wait till your potatoes are desiccated and green and the sprouts are the length of the potato- and the more sprouted your potato the quicker it will grow. I’m just impatient so this is good enough for me.

(To be fair you can also just cut a fresh potato and as long as there’s at least one “eye” it will grow- eventually)

There is one concern with store bought potatoes and that’s the minor chance the food potato has some sort of agriculture disease of fungal thing that’s harmless to people but definitely a concern for growing. That’s why if you’re gonna do this I would actually recommend using a seed potato. The problem is… the only seed potatoes that would arrive in a week as opposed to a month were ones where I’d have to order like 10 and I have two bags.

And I’m terribly impatient.

But if you decide to be impatient…

Here’s a little insurance.

You take the cut potatoes and put them in a paper bag, and put a shake of agricultural sulfur in. Shake it up- and hopefully the sulfur kills any possible fungal or bacteria contaminant. It’s not foolproof- but it’s good insurance.

These are the bags, they tend to be made of plastic or canvas, and have drainage holes in the bottom, and this type has a Velcro window so you can reach in and take potatoes out without disturbing the plant.

The trick is to roll down the edges of the bag til it’s about a third of the height, and filling it with 3-4 inches of soil.

Then you place your sulfur dusted potato halves on top and cover with 1-2 inches of soil.

Water well- and in a few weeks the first plants should come up.

Once the plant is large, you roll the edges of the bag up and fill with more soil, leaving a small few leaves on top. All the covered leaves will turn into potatoes!

Just repeat until the bag is fully un-folded and the bag is completely full of soil. Then once the plants have grown for some time at full height and dies back- you can pick your potatoes! I like to pick mine a little early so I can have some fingerlings. That’s the beauty of the window into the bag, you can take out a few fingerlings early but leave others in to become full size potatoes.

Happy New Years!

Grow potatoes!

Here’s a January 1st ladybug.

Soon…

Soon…

What do you do if you want to plant potatoes but you don’t want to wait a month or two for your spuds to sprout naturally?

Put ’em in a bag with a green banana. As the banana ripens it gives off ethylene gas which will speed up the sprouting process in the potato.

This process works with a ton of fruits and veggies as well.

So… soon, it will be potato time!