Monday, September 8, 2008

September 8, 2008

First off, I have done a ton of research on my potato problem.  It appears from the GW thread that my experience with bottom production and nothing more is not uncommon.  Dozens of folks have had the same results.  Then there's Granny, who thinks we're way too tall and then there are those who blame the amount of plant we allowed to grow, the hardening off crowd.  My brother even claims that in the tire method you completely cover the stalk to keep it climbing toward the surface as a root.  I'm stumped.

So I went out to the internet and found Greg Lutovsky, who owns Irish Eyes - Garden City Seeds and found the same instructions from the Times article on his site.  They also had a contact form.  So I broke down and asked for his advice.  We'll see what the expert says. 

This evening we had a salad and I went out and picked a fresh, vine ripened tomato and ate it!  OMG that was the best tomato I've ever had.  And yes, maybe I'm saying that because I grew it, so what, hehe. 

Lastly, I dressed up in two pairs of pants, long sleeves and a heavy jacket, a scarf over my neck and face and a hat to go out and do battle with a wasp nest.  They'd already proven to be very aggressive.  So I had a foaming spray I got today from my local True Value (I'm trying to shop locally of course), and my partial can of instakill spray, one in each gloved hand.  I bet I looked priceless.  At 20 minutes past official sunset, I started blanketing the general area of the nest with foam.  Whenever I saw movement I did a windmill motion with my instant kill spray, creating a fog of death for any would-be attackers.  After thirty seconds of that, it looked like they were mounting a massive attack and I retreated.  I sure hope I got them.  Threre's a chance they're ground wasps, which would be bad because I would need to clear the area to find the holes.  Not good.  I'm crossing my fingers that my kids can go out and play again.  My wife won't let them go out on the best weather days of the year.  Thankfully they've been going to parks.

Well, my brother's got about 15 cukes harvested and I've got about the same amount almost ready, so we may be doing another batch of pickles.  Speaking of which, my pot is marinading away and still smells great.  Two weeks down, two to go.

Lastly, I know it's not gardening, but it's a disappointing day for football in Seattle.  We now have zero veteran receivers on the Seahawks.  Nate Burleson was the last remaining experienced receiver and he tore an ACL and is now out for the season.  Now we need three plus receivers to step up from the rookies and practice squad players and someone to return kicks.  Not looking good for our Seahawks.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. It's true! The vegetables we grow just taste better than any others, don't they? I swear, my tomatoes taste better than my neighbor''s the LOVE that went into producing them.


  2. Hmmm. The Irish Eyes site gives instructions for the wooden, tiered potato bins that aren't doing very well. The do recommend particular varieties though, and claim 100 pounds per bin. I still don't think 100 pounds in a 2'x2' bin is anywhere near possible. I believe the only way to get the plant to produce more potatoes is to have it grow more leaves to support those potatoes. And vertical bins don't achieve that. But I've been wrong before.

  3. I have had my share of wasp problems in this house, I have actually never seen so many wasp before I moved here. I some times brave it and kill them myself and other times forked out the $100 plus for the bee man to come.

    The last hive was in the attic and they were coming into the house. I think this was because they were losing there entry path and finding new ones like through the closets. That hive was the responsibility of the bee man, to many thoughts of me running out of a house full of mad bees!

    On topic of the potatoes what if you planted more potatoes as you filled the bin. Plant say 5 in the bin and then 10 more in one gallon pots. When you top up the soil in the bin for the first time then plant 5 more from the one gallon containers. Then the second top up add the remaining 5 plants. Then you will have more then one layer of tubers and they will be spread out enough that they will not compete with each other asides from the foliage.

  4. Hey sinfonian - Do you remember the little organic potato experiment that I was contemplating doing in 4 squares of my fall garden? Well...they have sprouted! Yeah.... looking at my planting calender for my area - it looks like I may actually have time to produce something before it gets too cold. I'm planning on adding maybe 1 high rise level to the section, and hilling them. I'll let you know how it turns out. Any advice will be appreciated, because I don't know squat about growing taters! I figure between you and granny - I might be able to do this right.


  5. If you don't see the actual nest, then you probably do have yellow jackets that live in the ground. We had to kill some of these this year too. They are hard to find... you have to just walk up slowly to the area and be very still (movement will trigger them to attack -- sound like a lawnmower will too). Then just watch and you will see them and watch where they are going.

    They all return to their nest when the sun goes down. So you want to wait until then (or a couple hours after dark) to exterminate them (so you get ALL of them at once). Then you can "gas" them. Bring a flashlight so you can find the nest. DH poured 1/4 gallon of gasoline down the hole (the entrance to their underground nest) of the one that we had this year. It was huge. Something he learned while growing up on a farm in Kentucky (he said they had lots of yellow jackets there).