Thursday, April 22, 2010

Potatoes and more learning from my mistakes

In my post about strawberries I mistakenly referred to the Sparkle variety as everbearing types.  They are June bearers.  Somewhere along the lines I managed to click on the wrong variety.  I had meant to order Seascape, which is an everbearer.  One of the million and one mistakes I've made this year. 

I'm finding that after lots of research, I've rushed through the online ordering.  Lots to learn for me this year.  If you learn from your mistakes, I'll be one smart cookie next year.  Gardening is still relatively new to me.  After 6 years, I'm still quite the newbie at it.  With the rapid expansion of my gardens and increase in varieties, comes lots of new challenges.  Maybe in another 10 years I'll feel like I really know what I'm doing.  For now, you can just learn along with me, or offer advice on what you have experience in.  The last thing I want to do in this blog is make everything look rosy, when the reality is that mistakes are made throughout the process. 

Now onto my latest mistake.  After doing lots of research into potatoes last fall, I went ahead and ordered more than 3 times the number of potatoes that I needed.  My original plan was to plant 2 of my 4x12 beds to potatoes.  Somehow my addled brain ordered 50 lbs of potatoes.  My much more experienced sister in law was shocked at the potatoes I had received and quickly corrected my stupidity. I'm beginning to think I was quite brain dead this past January.  Stupid mistakes did abound. 

Not to worry, I have plenty of friends that garden.  Some went to my very smart sister in law, some to a neighbor and the rest will be delivered to my good friend L this afternoon.  She has the space and the know how to take care of my excess. 

In  the end I planted 3 4x12 beds with 15 lbs of potatoes.  One of the beds is split between Yukon Golds and All Blue.  Another is planted to Kennebec and the last to Rio Grande russets. 

It took quite a while to turn, weed and trench the potatoes.  I'm very happy with how healthy my soil is.  These beds had the addition of the chicken manure from a few months ago.  We eat a lot of potatoes throughout the year so these will be heartily enjoyed.  Since my goal is to produce a very large part of our fruit and veggie needs, these will certainly help.  If I'm lucky enough to get a 10:1 harvest, I'd end up with 150 lbs of poatoes.  That would go a long way towards my goal and if I'm able to save seed for next year, all the better. 

I'm making copious notes, so that I will hopefully not repeat my mistakes.  There will be plenty more mistakes yet to come, so I'll be sure to take lots of notes on those as well.  We are having what appears to be an early spring, so I'm holding myself back from planting many of my early May crops.  I don't want to lose anything else as a result of my haste and inattention to detail. 

8 comments:

Daphne said...

Even if sparkle was a mistake you will love them. A June bearer is great for things like jam and sorbet. And sparkle is a VERY tasty strawberry.

Lise said...

I'm glad you're sharing your mistakes. I'm quite a newbie gardener myself, with a ton of mistakes made along the way. It's good to know others on the same journey.

The Mom said...

Daphne, I am really looking forward to them. I'll just have a concentrated time to preserve them all.

Lise, mistakes abound here!

farmwifetwo said...

I have discovered that the best keeping potatoes are the reds. The rest sprout too quickly. I've always planted Yukon Gold's (10 lbs) and this year I bought the reds.

Also, you should cut them the night before making certain there is 2 or 3 eye's per piece. This "harden's" them before they are planted. Then we plant them about 4" - need to check my gardening book to confirm - deep.


I got my manure spread but we went to Toronto yesterday - took the kids out of school - and Dh is gone today to a meeting. Suppose to get rain so it'll be next week before it's tilled in. Just as well... got a hard frost last night.... bye bye grafted pear tree blooms... the non-grafted one wasn't out yet.

Too early.....

The Mom said...

Farmwife, I'll try some red next year. The Kennebecs should keep for a good amount of time. They were all cut up and chitted ahead of time.

I love Toronto. My dad is from there and we used to go and visit my grandfather every August and go to the Exhibition. What a fabulous city.

farmwifetwo said...

We left at 4:30pm... came off the DVP onto the 401 and looked at 14 rows of stopped traffic. Took us 4hrs - which included a 30 min McD's stop - to get home. It's normally a 2hr drive. Anyone who claims LA has bad traffic has never driven from one end of TO to the other in rush hour... And I was in LA only a couple of years ago so I've seen the highway.

Oiy... reminded me why I agreed to move from there to the farm...

kitsapFG said...

I will let you in on a secret... you never quit making mistakes in the garden. Ever. It just is part of being human and part of the gardening experience.

The cool thing about the potato hiccup is that several other people were benefited with extra bounty! :D

The Mom said...

Kitsap, I'm sure I'll make lots of mistakes every year. The potatoes went to 4 other gardeners, so that makes me very happy.