Planting Potatoes

Yesterday turned out to be a gorgeous day, well-suited for getting the potatoes planted.

First step is to till and prep the soil

First step is to till and prep the soil

All done.

All done.

Next step is to spread compost.  This years batch is not my best, but it's still black gold.

Next step is to spread compost. This years batch is not my best, but it’s still black gold.

After the compost is spread, I till it in.

After the compost is spread, I till it in.

Next I make the rows.

Next I make the rows.

Rows in, time to start planting.

Rows in, time to start planting.

I put in 4 varieties of fingerlings, using seed potatoes from last years crop.  I also planted a lot of Yukon Gold, using seed potatoes I bought.  We have plenty of our own, but over the years I’ve allowed the potatoes to get mixed up and I wanted to be sure that we only had one variety.  So to be certain I used purchased Yukon Gold seed potatoes.  Hopefully I’ll never again buy seed potatoes.

These Banana fingerlings are looking pretty gnarly.

These Banana fingerlings are looking pretty gnarly.

I use a potato plow to open the row, then drop in the seed potatoes about a foot apart.

I use a potato plow to open the row, then drop in the seed potatoes about a foot apart.

With a garden rake I pull the dirt from one side of the row over the potatoes.  Once they're about a foot tall I'll pull over the dirt from the other side of the row.

With a garden rake I pull the dirt from one side of the row over the potatoes. Once they’re about a foot tall I’ll pull over the dirt from the other side of the row.

A row of the Yukon Golds, ready to be covered.

A row of the Yukon Golds, ready to be covered.

I put in 14 rows in all.  It felt good to be able to get that garden planted.  With temps forecast to go into the 80s the next two days, I’m expecting to finish the other gardens too.

Happy Spring

IMG_1536

Advertisements

18 comments on “Planting Potatoes

  1. El Guapo says:

    How many potatoes do you get from one seed?

    Like

  2. bobraxton says:

    the eyes have it

    Like

    • Bill says:

      For those who don’t know, I should have mentioned that if you’re cutting unsprouted seed potatoes it’s important to make sure that each piece has at least one eye and that the eyes are facing upward when planted. Don’t try planting potatoes from a grocery store since they’ve been sprayed with a chemical that keeps them from sprouting.

      Like

    • my nonsequitor: I just remember your writing about mining uranium in Virginia and: Why the Board of Directors of Fairfax County Water Authority passed a resolution against uranium mining in Virginia in December 2012. This site provides a link to the summary as well as the full report on the potential impacts of uranium mining in our watersheds. If you live in Northern Virginia and you care about the safety and quality of the water than comes out of your faucet, you may wish to peruse at least the summary report.
      This issue continues. Here’s a letter to the…
      See More
      Fairfax Water- Uranium Mining Study
      Fairfax Water’s Board of Directors commissioned a study on the potential impacts of uranium mining in our watersheds. You may view a summary or a full copy of the study below.
      FAIRFAXWATER.ORG

      Like

  3. Looks like enough potatoes to feed an army. I assume you sell them commercially? –Curt

    Like

  4. Nebraska Dave says:

    Bill, still not quite planting weather here in Nebraska. The temperatures are hovering around freezing at night with day time temps varying from 40 to 60. Old Ma Nature is still deciding what to do each day. It now looks like we will be getting rain for a couple days. I’m not complaining mind you but I’m also really ready to plant something. I’m totally ready for rain to fill up my water storage tank.

    Wow, you plant allot of potatoes. I planted potatoes a few days ago but they probably won’t grow much until the weather is consistently warmer. It’s good to be working the soil, isn’t it.

    Have a great Spring potato planting day.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      It was 86 degrees here today. Not too far from a record high. Last week it snowed. Just crazy weather.

      I planted another large garden today and a nice soft rain would be fine right now. But I’m not expecting any for a few days. One last spring garden left to plant for us. Maybe tomorrow.

      Like

  5. DM says:

    love the level ground and the way your ground works up..What kind of tiller do you use to prep the soil? We’re like Nebraska Dave here in Iowa…temps are starting to tease us with some 50 degree weather, but the last I heard, we still had quite a bit of frost in the ground. haven’t actually dug any holes but a week ago it was still 3 ft deep.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      It doesn’t always work up that well. We have a lot of clay and if it’s wet then I churn up mud clods. This garden spot isn’t very clayey. I use a Taylor Way rotary tiller. It works well for what we do. It was 86 here today. I very seriously considered irrigating a new garden. What a wild shift of weather we’ve had over the last few days.

      Like

  6. shoreacres says:

    Lovely photos. Several of them, especially the first, second, fifth and sixth, remind me of Liberian country cloth. It’s woven in narrows strips, then stitched together. Amazing, the similarity in appearance.

    Like

    • bobraxton says:

      known as nwentoma in Akan, a type of silk and cotton fabric kente cloth is made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan ethnic group of South Ghana

      Like

    • Bill says:

      Lots of farmers are coming up with great ways to utilize space, using more intensive asymmetrical methods. But I’m still partial to the straight wide rows.
      Interesting that the tilled soil reminds you of that work. I love everything about soil when it’s tilled right–the look of it, the feel of it and the smell of it.

      Like

  7. This post reminds me of Almanzo Wilder’s description of planting and harvesting potatoes in Farmer Boy – written by Laura Ingallls Wilder. SO much incredible work. The rows are beautiful. =)

    Like

    • Bill says:

      The potato plants are coming up now. I spent a lot of time today battling the Colorado Potato beetles (our annual potato nemesis). The rows do look good when they’re freshly tilled and weed-free. But they also look pretty good once the plants starting coming up.

      Like

  8. […] April 2 I blogged about planting potatoes.  I shared a few pictures, including […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s