Posts Tagged With: potatoes

I think this qualifies for intensive gardening.

On the far left are 24 Jersey Giant asparagus plants, left of center are 26 Yukon Gold potatoes, right of center are 26 Kennebec potatoes and far right are 12 Butter Bush winter squash.

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These are 20 Nemagold Sweet potatoes.

 

Here are 12 Endive, 6 per row. Lettuce has been harvested from front and back.

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Between the SPs and Endive and on the fence is a Gardeners Delight cherry tomato.

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To the left of the Endive and against the fence is a Fourth of July tomato.

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These are my peppers, in front are two rows of three Big Dippers, in the back row there is one Sweet Banana, one Picante and one Red Bell.

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Here are 6 Black Beauty eggplants.

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In the foreground are 5 Little Cloud cauliflowers. Lost one to a wind storm. In the background are 5 Green Goliath broccolis. Lost one of these in the same storm.

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Garlic, onions, spinach and lettuce were harvested form the bed in the foreground and is now ready for fall planting. The bed in the background has one Zucchini plant on the right and two Brandy Boy tomatoes on the left. The two tomato plants are over four ft tall and only have 4-6 tomatoes on each. That rate had better pickup or this year will be the last for Brandy Boys.

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Categories: Composting, My Gardening Journals, Potato, Square Foot Gardening, sweet potatoes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Couldn’t help myself, one more potato tower

Last year I built three towers to satisfy my own curiosity about growing potatoes in a tower. The one tower was a complete disaster because of a transparent tower that caused leaf development 10” from the surface. The other two did very well with potatoes developing over a 16” length of underground stem. These were short towers as I was not looking for a lot of potatoes but I did want to see the anatomy of a potato plant and just where the potatoes grew from.

While researching potato towers I found many people claiming success and a few that said that it was not possible. At the same time almost everybody claimed that early potatoes did not do well in towers. Well the Yukon Gold is our early potato, and the Kennebec is our mid-season potato, so I went with the Kennebec for my test.

After I harvested the broccoli and cabbage it opened up a pathway to a volunteer Yukon Gold potato plant and I decided it was time for it to go. That crazy plant had lifted that bed about three ins.

 

Later when I was cleaning up the debris I noticed that there were potatoes growing on that part of the stem that was above ground. If you look close at the lower most potatoes you can see leaves growing behind them and they are below the potatoes above.

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Now when someone talks about potato towers this photo pops in to my mind and I wonder why Yukon Gold potatoes do not do well in a tower. I figure the only way to get that photo out of my mind is to have another experiment so here goes another tower.

There is a Yukon Gold with four chitted buds planted at least 8” deep in the base as you see it.

 

The tower was then filled with amended potting soil which puts the seed spud about 15” below the surface. I will fill the tower as the weather compresses it keeping the soaker hose about 2-3” and the seed spud about 16”+ below the surface. Wish me luck, John

Categories: Potato, Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The last potato tower for 2009

I should give a recap on the tower. The base of the tower is 8” deep. Two Kennebec seed potatoes were planted 6” deep, then two tiers added and filled with compost. The seed potatoes ended up about 16”+ deep. This was not an incremental filling of the tower. The tower was filled within 15min of planting. After about 2-3 weeks the one sprout broke through the surface and the other never showed up. When harvested there were no signs of it ever trying so it turned out to be a dud spud.

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This is the first spud harvested. The stolen is coming from an area very close to the surface. I do not know if it was above or below ground but not any where near the seed potato or root zone of the main plant. The stolen is bent around so as to get a continuous view from potato to stem.

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Here you can see three stolen near the top of an underground stem. On the end of that stem is a portion of the seed potato that is about 16” away from the upper most stolen.

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The next three photos are a closer photo of each stolen so you can trace it from potato to stem.

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The total weight of the potatoes were 4lb 14oz.

 

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The largest was 1lb 3oz.

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As Usual, all comments are welcome.   John

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Storage for potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, winter squash and such.

I have been increasingly dissatisfied with the storage of root crops in the fruit cellar. It is just a little to dry and warm for storage.  I end up storing stuff under the benches that I no longer use. Well I pitched it all and built a 22” X 22” X 8’ storage bin for roots and tubers in the GH. The side facing the camera is insulated with 1 ½’ of polystyrene and the two ends and backside are outside walls. The backside and right end are under ground.

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 Here you can see the insulated front side and a wooden slat floor for air circulation. The lids are hinged at the back and the middle so they fold under the shelves of the GH.

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Categories: Greenhouse Gardening, My Gardening Journals, Potato | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Who sez potato rhizoms don’t grow on the stem?

Because of the Late Blight hitting my tomatoes this year, I terminated the potato plants in an effort to save whatever crop I had. The Yukon Gold potatoes look great and the Kennebec potatoes are smaller but the perfect size for DW and me. I could have left them grow but I did not want to take the chance. Since I did terminate the plants, I decided to harvest the first potato tower. I covered the building of and the growth of the tower in an earlier post. Now it is time to see what I got.

 

The tower is 20 ½” tall. I tied garden twine around the main sprouts and attached a bungee cord to keep the plant in position as I remove the compost from around the spuds and rhizomes.

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This is the first spud I came to. It is about 16” above the seed potato I had planted. The rhizome and potato were growing horizontally not upward like many people say.

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The second spud was located about 13 1/2 “from the seed potato.

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Here I started to remove the next level.

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There seams to be rhizomes with marble size potatoes everywhere.

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This is the potato plant as removed from the soil. It is about 20” from the tip of the green to the seed potato. There were three nice potatoes below the seed potato. I hope this answers some questions as where potatoes grow on a plant.

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The weight of the potatoes on this plant is meaningless but it was 3 lb 3 oz. As usual, all comments are welcome.

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The anxiety of gardening.

After the devastation of my tomatoes by the Late Blight, I was more than a little anxious about the condition of my potatoes. The Yukon Gold potatoes had been dying back but I thought it was the normal time for them to be doing so. Two 2’ X 8’ beds back to back in the foreground are YGs and had been cleaned off. The two beds behind them are Kennebec potatoes and look great, I do not think they are affected (yet). Both types of spuds exceeded 40” in plant growth and as you can see, my pathways should have been about 6’ instead of 18” wide.

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This photo is of the bed on the left. I lifted the spuds for the first 14” only on Aug 07th

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These two spuds were harvested on July 20th from the same 14” area and weigh 1lb 7oz

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These spuds are the same ones in the first photo and weigh 6lb 2oz. The total weight for 2.33 squares is 7lb 9oz or 3lb 6oz per square. If these two squares are representative of all the squares in the potato beds that will be 204lb of potatoes. Do any of you have tomatoes that you want to trade for potatoes? Hummm….. I wonder how a slice of potato would taste on a hamburger.

John

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Categories: Potato | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

A remarkable potato.

After the garden had been planted, I had a volunteer potato sprout. I soon pulled it out, after a few days, another sprout appeared, and I removed it. Eventually two more sprouts appeared from under the frame of the RB/SFG. I thought if that potato wants to grow that much I will let it go and see what happens. Well I needed to access the backside of the pepper and eggplant beds to harvest and the potato plant had to go.

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I found a pile of potatoes on top of the path and a couple under the edge of the bed. That crazy potato had raised the bed from 3” to 4”. There is about 2” to 3” of wood chip mulch on the path.

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That one potato plant produced 31/2 lb of potatoes not counting the many small ones. The scale looks like crap but weighs very accurately. The basket weighs exactly one lb. Make sure to read the rest of the post after this next photo as this potato also raised some interesting questions.

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The next series of photos are of a portion of the stalk that I cut off that shows various views of potatoes that were growing totally off the ground and potato stolons above leaf branches. In addition, these are Yukon Gold potatoes that are not supposed to do well in a tower, now I am wondering why. Maybe another experiment is coming next spring. As usual, all comments are welcome.   John

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Categories: My Gardening Journals, Potato, Potato Tower, Square Foot Gardening | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

There’s trouble in River City

Late blight on tomatoes and maybe on potatoes. Well until last week, I did not know what I had. I knew that I was having some sort of problem with the tomatoes what I did not know was that it could also affect the potatoes. What a bummer. It is the same blight that struck Ireland in the 1840s

 This is what the tomatoes looked like the middle of July.

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This is what they looked like a few days later I knew it was not blossom end rot.

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It was clear that every thing had to go.

The next two photos are of the same spot before and after the blight. There were between 30 and 40 tomatoes on each plant.

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The vent to the GH is right behind the tomato plants. Now do I have to fumigate the GH or what????

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 As usual, all comments are welcom.         John

Categories: My Gardening Journals | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

Who said it was a “dud-spud”?

It may have been late but it finally showed up. It must have done some loop de loops or a barrel role. I hope I will learn something from these two spuds.

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Yesterday’s harvest brought the potato total to 27oz.

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A little OT for my journal, but I have never had ten blooms at the same time on my cacti.           John

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Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Guess what is for supper

I checked the YG potatoes today too see if I would be getting any potatoes this year. They were about 4” and 10” from the end of the bed on 2 plants. Both potatoes were about an inch under the soil and I am hoping there are larger ones underneath. The potatoes are about the size of a baseball and weighed 11oz

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PT1 is doing very good and I cannot wait to harvest.

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There is a second sprout from the spud in the PT2 that broke the surface several days ago. The “Dud Spud” is still a no show and it is doubtful that it will.

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The TPT is not looking very good. The largest sprout broke when it came to the seam of the two carboys but is still trying to grow. All of the tips though are turning brown and I think the GH is too hot this time of year to grow potatoes. I removed some of the soil so there is about ½” left above the sprouts. I hope that they will recover.     John

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Guess who showed up for the party?

This bugger grew through 16” of compost to get here. His friend in the far corner is a no-show so far. Maybe he will get here later, I hope. This is the tower where I planted two spuds and filled it to the top at the same time. It may end up telling me more about the anatomy of a potato plant than the transparent tower. Click on the photo for a medium size and click again for a large size photo.

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It was very chilly this morning and I do not know if Butch was trying to get warm or trying to get a suntan.       John 

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Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

TPT sprouts part two (short post/photos)

I have set the TPT upright. I do not know if light was leaking in (I do not think so) but there are definitely leaves forming at the end of the sprouts. As long as they do not begin to rot, I will let them grow.

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This is the largest sprout that is visible and you can see the leaves. They have 10”-11” to go to break the surface. I will continue to take photos of there progress and keep you posted. As usual, all comments are welcome.    John

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I do grow veggies other than potatoes

I have been posting about potatoes so often I thought I should show you my other veggies. This is my asparagus bed. I planted two-year-old crowns and supposedly, I can make limited cuttings next spring. They look so spindly I sort of dough it.

Asparagus

The bell peppers are Big Dippers and are loaded with blossoms.

Bell Peppers

The Bibb lettuce is fantastic and will be my annual lettuce. It also did very well in the GH last winter.

Bib Lettuce

The broccoli looks good and is about to develop heads. The three plants in front are purple cabbage.

Broccoli

I have not grown Brussels sprouts for a while and will not be able to predict outcome until late summer. And another three purple cabbage in front.

Brussels Sprouts

The Butterbush winter squash have sprouted and have to grow about 10” North to reach the trellis. I will tie them to the sticks to get them off the soil as soon as possible to help me combat the squash bugs.

Butterbush

Cauliflower is not showing any sign of heads yet but it usually takes longer than the broccoli.

Cauliflower

The eggplant is chucking full of blossoms and looking great.

Eggplant

I free sowed the endive and thin it as we eat. As soon as I thin it, it fills back in.

Endive

Onion plants are just taking root and hard to see. I also planted 12 Alisa Craig onions that can get up to five pounds each.

Onions

Cannot say much about the tomatoes except they are on there way to higher places.

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The Zucchini are on there way to the first rung of the ladder. I will see how this goes.

Zucchini

The sweet potatoes are growing slowly, the weather has been very cool but I hope the roots are developing well.

Sweet Potatoes

Ok, I have to say something about the potatoes. The ones in the foreground are the Kennebec and the ones in the background are the Yukon Gold. The fence to the right is four ft tall. As usual, all comments are welcome.

Potatoes




Categories: My Gardening Journals, Potato, Square Foot Gardening | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

TPT sprouts (just photos)

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Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Sprouts in the TPT (transparent potato tower)

The seed potatoes have sprouted and have about 18” to go to reach the surface. The first photo shows three and possibly four sprouts and minimal roots growing. Once the roots get into the compost, I expect the sprouts will grow much faster.p61003601

 

This photo is the second seed potato, which shows only two sprouts. The curious part is the sprouts look greener and appear to have leaves forming. I do not know what to expect from either one. It would be great if they made it to the surface though. I will make regular updates in my journal if you are interested in potato towers. As usual, all comments are welcome.   Johnp6090885

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I may have my answer before fall

2009-06-04

 

I changed my carboys for wine making from plastic to glass and had two plastic carboys setting in the corner collecting dust. The top was cut from one carboy and four drainage holes drilled in the bottom. The top and bottom was cut from the second carboy and slipped just inside of the first carboy. A couple of sheet metal screws and I had myself a 24” tall transparent container.

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I planted two small Kennebec potatoes along the outside wall of the container. The inside surface fogged from the temperature differential of the compost and the container but that will clear up for photos. I will keep the container at a 45 deg angle so the sprouts will grow close to the plastic until they break the surface.

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I have the container covered with four layers of weed cloth for darkness and will only remove it quickly for photos. Once the sprouts break the surface, I will set the container upright on a shelf and keep the weed barrier in place. I should be able to get some close-up, hi-res photos. As usual all comments are welcome.    John

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Some think there is no intrigue in gardening

2009-05-31

 

Today, I was filling a compost bin from a pile of kitchen, lawn and garden debris that had accumulated from late winter/early spring. While doing so, I noticed a particularly long sprout. Upon investigation, it turned out to be a potato sprout about 16” to 18” long. There were several small sprouts along the length of the main sprout (see red arrows, there are several on the underneath side you cannot see). Are they lateral stem sprouts or stolons?

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The next two photos are enlargements of the areas of the red arrows. The plot thickens and what timing for my experiments in my journal with potato towers. Stay tuned for further developments. As usual, all comments are welcome.   John

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Categories: My Gardening Journals, Potato | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

I dig potatoes

2009-05-26

 

While not yet, but I am looking forward in anticipation. The Yukon Gold potatoes are growing gangbusters.

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They were planted 8”deep 16 days ago and are now 16+” tall.

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I do not remember what day I planted the Kennebec potatoes but they broke through the surface about 4-5 days ago.

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Which brings me to the potato tower; I planted one Kennebec spud in the tower 8” deep the same time as the other Kennebec spuds.

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It broke through the surface the same day as the first Kennebec spud in the beds and I quickly put the first tier in place.

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This is a close-up of the previous photo.

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The next morning I filled the tier about half way and placed some compost up against the plant to the leaves.

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This is a close-up of how I covered the plant. It is about 2-3” below the surface of the compost.

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By the next morning, it had grown another couple of inches and I pulled some compost into the hole covering the stem.

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I repeated this for two more days and the tier was full.

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I added the second and last tier and will repeat the process until it is full. The tower is 20 ½” tall and that should be enough to show if the process works for me or not. As usual, all comments are welcome.    John

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Categories: My Gardening Journals, Potato, Potato Tower, Square Foot Gardening | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

My cobbler cobra

 

Sinfonian had commented about the watering system in my potato tower and I realized that, that post did not get transferred from the old journal to this one. I wish I had access to the old journal to see what else is missing. Anyway here it it again

While converting the rest of my garden areas to RB/SFG, I decided to try potato towers at the end of the pathways that would be wasted space. As I was roughing in the plumbing for the irrigation system, the back half of my pea brain was thinking about the water requirements on an elevated potato tower. The base of my towers will be 10″deep and each addition will be 6″ deep.001

 

My solution was a plumber’s nightmare. The soaker hose will be just below the surface where I plant the spuds. As I add height to the tower, I can move the soaker hose just below the new surface and repeat for each height increase. All I need to do now is learn to play the flute so the hose will rise to the new height it self.  As usual all comments are welcome.        John005003

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Sometimes your mind is changed for you

While cleaning up the shop, I checked the potato chitting progress. To my surprise, some of the sprouts were turning black near the very tip. I do not know if it was the low humidity or the temperature variation but it never happened when they sprouted in the fruit cellar. I decided to plant them as soon as possible.p50802252 

 

My potato beds are 2’ wide and I use a folding rule as a guide to plant location. I will start 6” form the end of the bed with the first row and 12” from the end of the bed with the second row which stagers the plants from row to row. A bulb planter works nice in compost to produce a 2” hole 5” deep which is perfect for the small seed potatoes.p5100228 

 

Here you can see the full bulb planter and the hole I just made with the spud in place. I use the small end of a dial rod to poke the compost out of the planter and back into the hole. The pieces of mini-blind slats are used to mark the location of the last spud in a row. If I have to leave for some reason, it can be difficult to see where I stopped.p5100229

 

After all seed potatoes are planted, I top-dressed the beds another 3” bringing the depth of the seed potatoes to 8”.p5100230

 

I also planted the potato tower and top-dressed it. All potatoes that were planted today were Kennebec and were planted in the same fashion.p5100227 

 

I could not help noticing how the Yukon Gold potatoes were growing. They were planted two weeks to the day before this photo. If the Kennebec potato in the tower grows this fast, it will require daily attention and early in the morning before the sun hits the plant stem. I think I understand why some people say they got additional potatoes but it was not worth the effort. Nevertheless, I am going to try to do it correctly and we will see what happens. As usual, all comments are welcome.   Johnp5100231 

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My largest project this year

My largest project for the year was converting my garden to raised beds. It was time consuming and a good deal of work. About half of the project was completed during the 2007-2008 winter months and the second half after the 2008 growing season. While converting the garden, I was thinking SFGing but have concluded that my garden does not qualify for a SFG since I do not use Mel’s mix, the grid system, companion planting or the plant spacing. What I have is raised beds in a box.


People that say that you cannot grow vegetables in 100% compost have never tried it. I have always used more compost in my gardens than what is recommended but this is the first year for 100% compost. After the growing season, I dug into the beds and the red worms are very active. This photo is during the mid growing season.

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In my opinion, Mel’s suggested plant spacing is too congested. A plant’s roots will usually extend in all directions as far as the foliage. If a plant’s foliage is competing for space, then the roots from both plants are competing for the same nutrients. In addition, nobody told the plants, they were supposed to stay inside the box. This photo was also taken during the mid growing season.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cabbage and eggplant were planted one plant per 1.5 squares. Harvest was ½ size compared to my conventional garden. Also with abundant rain every cabbage split, I had this problem before but not to this extent and not with heads this small. The eggplants were 1/2 size and only two eggplants per plant.

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Cucumbers did fantastic with conventional spacing exceeding 10# per plant. Photo taken early in the growing season

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Zucchini is doing even better; I have picked about 35# per plant at one plant per five squares. Tomatoes have patches of beautiful fruits scattered thought the vines. The Supersteak seems to be more sensitive to the night temperature and we have had some chilly spills off and on thought the summer. Spacing was at five squares per plant. Photo taken mid season

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 Potatoes did very well exceeding 1.5# per plant at one plant per square. Next spring I am going to chit my seed spuds so there are only two plants per spud. I hope to get fewer small potatoes and more larger ones. Photos taken early season and after harvest.

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Bell Peppers did ok with less than 1# per plant, at one plant per 1-1/3 square. Photo taken early in the season.

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Cantaloupe is too early to tell but some nice fruits on the vines. Spacing is one plant per four squares. Harvest was one lope per vine. A waist of time and space. Photo taken early in the season

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Salad greens did only average. Photo taken early in season.

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Weeds were virtually nonexistent. I pulled less than a coffee can full all year, previously it would have been several 5 Gal. buckets. My biggest contribution to the garden this year was installing an irrigation system.

Categories: My Gardening Journals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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