Friday, April 25, 2008

planting potatoes

potatoes sprouting spud
My first crop is planted at my new community garden. Yippee!! (I know, it just looks like a pile of dirt.)

I've been saving old potatoes to plant and they were growing before they hit the dirt. I have read warnings not to use supermarket potatoes for seed because of sprout inhibitors. It appears any of these have worn off of these spuds.

I use the trench method to plant potatoes. I dug a little trench and spread out the potatoes. I then planted each, sprouts up, about 3-4 inches deep. As they grow, I'll cover in the trenches. When the soil is level, if there's space between the rows, I'll plant a companion crop. Probably basil, eggplants or marigolds.

My soil test results came back yesterday. I'll eventually post the numbers. The soil pH in my community plot is very low, 5.8, which is perfect for potatoes. The soil needed a bit of nitrogen and phosphorus, but the potassium was good. I added a few cups of 6-6-4 fertilizer to the soil before planting. Now I can watch for sprouts.

Solanum tuberosum


Unknown said...

How long did it take to get your soil test back? I mailed mine to the UMASS lab yesterday. I paid for the basic soil test plus organic matter. which test did you do?

i went with umass because i wanted to be reassured about the possibility of lead in the soil. we have two boys under the age of 5 and the umass lab is the only one that includes a test for lead at no additional cost.

kathy said...

Mine took just under 2 weeks, both this year and last time. I used the same as you - $13. Test C. Here's a previous post with more information on my soil test.