The seed potatoes arrived at my feed store a few weeks ago. Oh. I hadn’t considered potatoes. But here they are stacked on a pallet in burlap bags. Tempting me.
I ask how much they are. “Fifty pounds for twenty dollars.”
That’s a deal. But fifty pounds. Ugh there is no way I can get that whole bag planted this year.
“They are Yukon gold.” Oh! Those are the ones we use all the time.
The cashier could see my inner dialogue and suggested “We can give you twenty-five pounds for ten dollars.”
Well, that is certainly more manageable and who can pass up a deal like that. So, I walked out the door with twenty-five pounds of potatoes in my arms.
This was my weekend to get them in the ground. This past week we had a false spring with temperatures in the seventies, but another rainstorm is coming so I felt the push to get these in the ground.
I had a spot selected. I researched growing potatoes and decided on a method. I did a modified no-dig style. We have clay soil. I decided to lay a row of cardboard and woodchips to separate my two 30-foot rows. I then weeded and gently forked either side of the wood chips to loosen the soil a bit. I spaced the potatoes about one foot apart in the row. Next, I dug a shallow divot to nestle each potato into. Finally, I covered the potatoes with aged horse manure from the barn.
I did not “chit” the potatoes – cut them into smaller pieces. I really had more potatoes than I had space, so I just kept them whole. As the potatoes grow, I will continue to cover them with straw that has been used as animal bedding. With luck we will have home grown spuds in our future.
I love growing my own onions. I purchase onion starts from Dixondale Farms and until now have been limited to purchasing the short-day varieties. These are onions that are grown over the winter months in mild climates.
But now we are in the northern part of Tennessee. We are geographically suited for the intermediate-day onions. But we are very close to the zones for short-day and long-day varieties. The long day varieties store the longest and the short-day varieties are ready soonest. So, I decided to experiment. I got some of each variety. In fact, I got a bunch of yellow, white, and red onions for each of the varieties. Dixondale promotes that a bunch will contain at least 50 onion starts. I find that they usually contain closer to 70.
When I did a final count, I planted close to 1000 onions over the past three days. I have the aching back to prove it.
The spot I chose for the onions measures approximately 5 feet by 60 feet. Several months ago we laid down cardboard, leaves and some horse manure. I topped this with 25 bags of composted cow manure, so I had soil to plant the onions into. I plant my onions approximately 4 inches apart. I use my fist to measure this distance. I scattered straw over the top to retain moisture and help protect these little guys from frost.
As I walked up to the post office today, I spotted a dandelion that had grown up out of a tiny crack in the cement. There was no soil to be seen, but this flower reached for the sun and spread itself out over the barren concrete. It bloomed and provided seeds for future dandelions. I encourage you to be the dandelion where you are. Reach for the Son, thrive where you are, and bear fruit.