Friday, July 10, 2009

Potato update

I know everyone has been anxiously waiting for news of how the potatoes have been progressing.  Well, relief is here at last!  Here is a picture of the potatoes growing in their bins, taken last week:

I've been poking my fingers into the dirt, but haven't encountered any actual potatoes yet, but the bins are deep, and I'm hoping the potatoes are further down near the bottom. At any rate, the plants themselves are doing splendidly, with lots of flowers. They should be producing potatoes, but we won't know until we turn the bins over and pour everything out.

Meanwhile, here is a picture of the regular potato patch in the backyard:

This was actually taken a week ago - the plants are bigger now. I finally got the payoff for all the bags of dry, shredded leaves I gathered in the fall and stored in the shed; I've dumped them all along the rows of potato plants to use as mulch. It should vastly reduce the amount of weeding I'll have to do, and it will double as "hilling-up" materials to protect the top potatoes from the sun. I saved over 30 bags, and used just 20 (for both gardens) so I can add more as the summer progresses. In the late fall, I'll plough everything under with the rototiller, and it can rot and enrich the garden.

You may not have noticed, but the New Garden is bigger this year. We decided to rip up more of our useless lawn and dig it up for vegetable gardening. Last year, the garden measured about 30'x10'; this year, it's 30'x19' - quite an expansion! I also had the tree guys come along and trim away all the low-hanging branches of the tree on the north side, to increase the amount of sun getting to the ground. Everything looks much more open now.

Here are a few more garden pictures, from elsewhere around the house:

This year, we invested in proper bark mulch for the flower garden.  Six cubic yards, plus another 2 cu. yds. of blended topsoil - it filled a whole dump truck!  Thank goodness for wheelbarrows; I managed to move all the soil in one day, and the bark mulch over 3.  Now everything looks neat and tidy.  Next year I won't have to buy so much, maybe 4 cu. yds. of mulch, and 3 the year after.  Once you've got a decent base down, it's just a matter of topping up the level, but we had NOTHING, and had to cover the bare dirt, so it took a lot.

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