The most exciting thing we’ve done this month is harvest potatoes. We grew a few regular sized varieties as well as fingerling varieties. The greenery died back at the beginning of June , a clue that it’s time to start digging, but I have been feeling worried about the potato bed. I didn’t notice many blooms before the plants turned brown but I figured I had simply overlooked them because we’re in the newborn stage with our fourth child and it’s been busy.
Sadly, it seems that the plants rotted due to excess moisture. As a result, I didn’t find any potatoes growing in the straw as I had hoped. In the garden, we learn from our successes and failures, next year I won’t use as much straw. It’s easy to feel disappointed when things don’t work out, but in this situation I have to remind myself that our harvest this year was better than last year. I learned a few lessons the hard way last year and I keep adding knowledge to experience, always a good thing.
As I removed two bales of straw from atop the potato bed, I distributed it among the other raised beds as mulch. It was holding moisture amazingly well and as a result the earth worm population had flourished. There weren’t potatoes growing in the straw but the soil was teeming with life, a significant sign of health. I’ll be sure to plant the broccoli crop there in the fall. So, you win some (worms) and loose some (potatoes in straw).
Once I got to the soil level I was greeted by potatoes!
Just beneath the soil were clumps of well shaped spuds (and gazillions of worms)!
It took two mornings to harvest the potatoes, here is a photo from day two:
Harvest time for Irish Potatoes is planting time for Sweet Potatoes. The two plants are completely different, they aren’t even in the same plant family. The following two photos are of the same Sweet Potato bed taken just three weeks a part. The beautiful green foliage grows quickly and will soon cover the walkways. If you’re looking for edible landscaping options, particularly for the front yard, these are a great option.
When you plant Sweet Potatoes you have to start from slips. My attemps to start slips this year failed miserably. Fortunately, Shannon was much more successful and if you’d like to take a look at what worked for her, take a look here.
In preparation for our Fall garden I have a variety of plants I’ve started from seed. Under the grow lights I have Bell Peppers, Jalapenos, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Cilantro, Basil, Lemon Mint, Peppermint and Calendula growing. This is what Broccoli looks like after a few days. I’ll need to thin the plants but I want to wait a little longer to see which one is the most vigorous.
I recommend growing sunflowers somewhere in your yard during the summer. They do well in the heat and with minimal water, best of all they’re just happy! I’m partial to the varieties that grow as tall as possible. There’s just something so amazing to me about a 10-foot tall sun following flower. The tall stalks can be used as a support for pole beans or other climbing vine like cucumbers or mini pumpkins.
Are there things you grow because when you see them you feel happy?
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