Monday, March 15, 2010

Good Memories

It was a cool, damp, windy, overcast, and overall grey day today.  It was on days with weather like this that my father planted potatoes.  I never looked forwarded to this garden task mostly because it was just unpleasant outside.  When I saw him cutting buckets of potatoes in the evening during the week I knew what we would be doing on Saturday.  It really didn't take long since he would use a tractor and plow to open a furrow and we would take a bucket of potatoes and drop them in the bottom, lightly step on them, and then pull dirt back over them.  Never took more than a couple of hours but not something I enjoyed.

It seemed only fitting that some 50 years later on a similar day I planted potatoes today.  What made today more pleasant is I didn't need to walk in wet soil and it only took me 10 minutes since I only had six sets to plant.  This is the third time I'm trying to grow them in pots.  The first time I attempted to use dry mulch above the potato set expecting to reach into the mulch and harvest clean potatoes as it continued to grow--I broke them off harvesting the potatoes.  The second time the potato sets I used were treated to inhibit growth and after two months they rotted rather than sprout.  Makes you think twice about eating the skin which is where the nutrients reside.  On Friday I bought  two pounds of Kennebec seed potatoes (3 potatoes) and then cut them in half and let the scar heal until today.  Below are pictures of the six plastic pots with the potato sets.  I used garden soil in the bottom and covered them with compost and as they grow I'll add more compost until the pot is full.  The other reason I planted today is this is a new moon and if I recall correctly that is when garden lore says to plant potatoes though some say Good Friday is the best time.  I guess a new moon on Good Friday would yield a bumper crop.  I'm not about to work against superstition in my garden.  In the background you can also see the compost pile from last years yard waste.

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