Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gardening: the potato experiment

A week or so ago we bought a 5 lb. bag of organic potatoes at the market. It was a risk because we normally buy 2 or 3 potatoes at a time so 5 lbs. will last the two of us quite a while. But buying organic is still a bit difficult in our neck of the woods where Dow is king and even finding organic potting mix can be difficult and quite often our choices are non-organic out of the bin or these larger bags of organic.

The stinking muck that was in the pot has now been dumped out next to
the compost pile, far from where we work and play!
We debated on it for many weeks and finally broke down and took the risk; and it bit us on the ass. The potatoes were already a touch soft and I think we managed to actually consume 2 of them before the rest (Stored in a paper back inside one of the closets.) all sprouted.

I had an unused 15" pot sitting out by the bins of potting mix, soil, compost and mulch we keep beside the barn. There had been something in the pot last year, something ornamental though I can't remember now what it was, but the pot was filled with a mix of
Then the pot got a good scrubbing to cut back on the number of slimy bad
things that were in there.
organic potting soil and compost I had stocked up on last year. Another purchasing mistake.

One of the sprouting potatoes was then nestled into a few inches of a good
potting mix. No need to bother with cutting our 'seed potatoes' into chunks
and waiting a day or more for the cut side to dry and form a disease resistant
skin before planting since we already have about 4 more pounds of sprouting
potatoes than we can use.
This stuff is very sandy, very heavy and stays mucky which causes it to stink to high heaven (And I mean seriously. Get you hands in this stuff and you won't want to smell your fingers for a day or so no matter how much you wash them!) as things start to rot in there, and not in a good way,  Of course this can't be good for plants either so I emptied the pot and washed it well. (By the way, I have 6 more bags of this mucky stuff if anyone is interested. . .) 

I then nestled one of the sprouting potatoes in a few inches of good potting mix down in the bottom of the pot and covered it with a few more inches. If the thing starts to grow the plan is to keep adding mix every time the shoots stick their heads up until the pot is full.

The rest of the potatoes went out onto the compost pile.

The potato has been covered with a few more inches of potting mix and
watered in. As the sprouts grow, assuming they do, more mix will be added
until the pot is full. The more stem that is buried the more potential harvest.
It's probably already too late in the season to get potatoes to grow to maturity in our climate but maybe we'll get a few tender new-potatoes out of the deal???

No comments:

Post a Comment