Just came in from planting the potatoes and onions. I might have cut the potatoes too small, and planted them too deep, so tomorrow I may pull a little of the soil out so they aren’t so deep. According to various websites, the traditional way is to plant them in a trench or hill initially with 4 inches of soil on top and then add soil later, re-covering them as they grow. I planted them most of the way down (about 6 inches) and plan to harvest them before they get too big anyway so I might not need the extra piling on of soil. The onions were a no-brainer. Looking back, I wish I planned to grow more than the 3 squares.
The potatoes and onions arrived yesterday and look to be about what I expected. I’m going to have to do some research though on how to plant the potatoes. There are 10 mini-tubers, which the website says will plant a row 40-50 feet. If I follow the enclosed instructions, I think it would be less than half of that. From what I know, I should cut them up into pieces with 2 to 3 eyes and plant 4 per square since they are a smaller size potato. The onions I received are a 3-pack of red, white, and yellow. If it stops raining this weekend, I would love to get them in the ground.
I just checked my email and received notification that my potato and onion sets have been shipped and should be here in two days. Woohoo! I ordered them in the very early spring from Burpee, but like I said in an earlier post, I think I could have gotten some for much less than what I paid if I went to one of the big box stores (mostly because of shipping costs). At least the ones I ordered are a little different than the standard types those stores sell.
The beds are almost ready for planting! This weekend I finished buying and mixing the soil, the composition of which is based on the mix in Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. I wandered around town the last month or so looking for vermiculite, peat moss, and compost. The difficult part was finding compost from different sources as the big home improvement stores only seem to carry the types based on manure. I ended up using cotton burr, humus and manure, grass, and mushroom based compost found mostly at smaller garden and grocery stores. I might actually plant something this week!
I added a calendar to the sidebar that will not only show the post history, but also my schedule for starting and planting and any other important events. I am working on updating the history and adding in everything I have planned.
I broke down picked up a seed warming mat at Earl May today. Waiting to see how much of a difference it makes.
Today I ran around all over town to pick up all the remaining supplies for the compost bin and my raised beds. Vermiculite from Earl May, lumber from Menard’s, hardware from Home Depot, and shock chord from Scheels. Now to put it all together.
For the irrigation system, I wanted a way to control the water output to the different beds easily so I created a simple manifold out of PVC. I added valves to control the flow to each individual bed. I am not a plumber so it may look a little sloppy but I think it will do the trick. Along with the timer, hose, and drip line, this should about complete my irrigation system.
Created a list of supplies I will need.