- Planting potatoes
- Picking plots and weeding the garden
This weeks task was to plant potatoes. The delicious tuber that can be found in so many yummy dishes. It makes sense that potatoes are the worlds fourth largest food crop when you think about the role they play in so many cuisines. The glorious thing about potatoes is there are a multitude of varieties, and a multitude of ways to plant them. You can plant them in hilled rows, in grow bags, in straw mulch or in wire cylinders to name just a few methods. Our class chose the conventional route and opted for the hilled rows. The advantage to this method is there is no soil to transport, or containers to buy, it is just a simple proven method that farmers have used for millennia.
One of the most important parts of growing potatoes is picking the right seed potatoes. Why not just use those potatoes that got left in the cabinet a little to long, you know the ones that sprouted and are starting a garden plot of their own right in your kitchen?
Although, having a use for those little buggers would be great, potatoes that you purchase form your local grocery are often treated so that they don’t produce sprouts, and although this is great for your pantry it is not so great for your potato plant. The safest way to chose your seed potatoes is to go to your local nursery and select seed potatoes that are cultivated for garden use.
On to planting. Your potatoes should be about eight inches deep and a foot apart. The seed potatoes can be cut apart so that you have one good sprout for each chunk of tuber. Note, the tube will be what initially feeds the plant so make sure you don’t make the potato chunks to small. It is also recommended that after cutting your potatoes you let them sit over night this allows the potato to harden and it subsequently becomes less susceptible to pests. Potatoes need lots of space to develop under the soil and as the plants mature it is customary to mound soil around them to give added room for the tubers to grow.
After planting potatoes it was time for some more garden fun. All the gardeners got to choose their plots. Once everyone had a space of their own they got to work weeding it and getting it ready for planting. Everyone talked and started thinking about all the delicious vegetables that they were going to grow and we all looked forward to seeing the garden come together and seeing how each gardener sets up their plot. Each garden will express the individuality of each student and that is part of the beauty in gardening it is a form of art and there are so many ways to garden and express your individual creativity.