This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

plot work

potato harvest

I cleared off all but one bed today. Its a lot of work to clear corn stalks and the deep weeds I had.

I started planting my garlic. I found many garlic shoots coming up in the parsnip bed - my 2 year old top sets, I think. I transplanted all these to the new garlic bed. I have a couple weeks to finish the job of planting the rest of the garlic.

And I dug potatoes. My guess about 30-40 lbs. I've been eating potatoes from the bed since mid summer, so total harvest is more than this. Wish I didn't spear so many. There must be a technique or tool to avoid this. I stabbed many big Red Norland's - my biggest variety. Others, smaller, were less of a problem. I triple dug and think I got most/all. I don't want to risk carrying over blight spores. In spite of the Late Blight disaster this year, the potato harvest is excellent.

The compost bin is overflowing! I managed to get up on it and stomp it down. But I will have to find another location for a second bin soon.

The next chore is to bring loads of compost and manure and layer it onto the beds that will need it next year. I'm drawing up a plan for next year. I'm realizing I need to do better at planning. Beds I'd like to prep for heavy feeders have winter parsnips and greens still in them.



Anonymous Mrs darling said...

Im not going to plant a winter crop of anything. I have only ripped out part of the beans. Nine tenths of my garden still needs torn out. I still have over 100 pounds of tomatoes out there. Im just despairing of ever getting it all cleaned up!

October 17, 2009 9:00 PM

Blogger Sue said...

Just seeing that dirt makes me feel the hope of a new season to come. I need to get my garlic planted, too. When the neighbor boy and I harvested a few hills of potatoes at a time, we each had gloves on, and would pull up on a plant, and dig the potatoes by hand, using hand trowels to loosen the dirt if need be. Since my knee was sprained, Larry dug the potatoes that were left, and he speared about half of them. I am in the process of using them as quickly as possible so they won't spoil. I had to cut quite a bit off of them, still.

October 17, 2009 10:17 PM

Anonymous Marian(LondonUK) said...

We generally use the trowel and hand method (I love getting my hands in the soil it's like a Lucky Dip). You can purchase special potato spades I guess they have a blunter edge?

October 18, 2009 3:45 AM

Anonymous Brent Pohlman said...

Great story! We just dug out our potatoes this weekend too. Last week it was too cold and there was a dusting of snow. This weekend, its 68 degrees. Many potatoes. Also, we composed our leaves from the cold weather. The leaves totaled 20 bags and filled our pickup. Thanks again for your article.. Cool site. I will be back again! Lots of good information! Brent Pohlman - Midwest Laboratories

October 18, 2009 4:55 PM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

I use my hands and a trowel. I still clobber some of the potatoes, but not many.

October 19, 2009 3:07 AM

Anonymous Molly said...

I want to go swimming in that beautiful soil!

October 28, 2009 9:41 AM


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