Friday, April 29, 2011

Potato Planting - These ain't Free-range Taters

Last year we planted potatoes in cages made from chicken wire. We planted about 25 of them and as the plants grew we covered them with straw and leaves. The idea was that we would get lots of potatoes doing it that way. Well we got about 20 pounds which in my book was not a lot. I could say I was hoping for many more but I don't waste my time time hoping for stuff to happen. I do something and when the time comes I reap what is there. It did not work as expected because the place where we planted stayed too wet and disease and insects got the better of the plants.

This year I am trying the technique again because I think the method has merit. We prepared a different space by covering it with straw and chicken crap from the hen house and letting the soil food wed do its thing for a couple of months. I planted the potatoes in mid-March. Now they are up over the tops of the cages looking lush, strong, disease and insect free. They are developing flower buds now. We can hardly keep up with putting straw around them!

The cages are arranged in a triangular pattern so last Robin came up with the brilliant idea of planting potatoes outside the cages between in the spaces between. This gives us 50% more plants in the space. To say she thinks outside the box would be wrong. She doesn't even know the box exists :) Sometimes that is a very good thing!

So, in a couple of months we will pull of the cages and see how many potatoes we got.

I will let y'all know.

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