Well, yesterday we had a great anniversary dinner. 12 years sure makes for some great memories!
If you haven't been able to tell, I'm breaking up my posts EG style. There was so much going on that it would have been a jumble for one post, so you get shorter, more focused posts for the whole week. I hope you like this approach better. Makes it easier to write, that's for sure.
Today will finish up my potato bin story to-date. That way it's all together. Yesterday I built the beds, that was actually Saturday. Sunday was taking advantage of the nice weather to plant the beds.
First though, I had a bit of a compost issue. I had two bins in the house that were full of greens, with minimal browns. Needless to say opening the lids was a bit odorific. So, before I did any planting, I wanted to get my compost bin flipped and added to. No, not last year's, that's finished, I mean my mini-pile for this year.
What I added was three rotting, molding pumpkins from fall, a bunch of stale tortilla chips, some rotten bananas, and a ton of kitchen scraps, with some napkins etc. thrown in for a bit of browns. Add that to a bunch of Starbuck's grounds and my larger uncomposted scraps from last year and you get a tiny pile that heated up awful quickly.
Then I borrowed my neighbor's screen to screen some finished compost for the potato planting. Nothing like fresh compost for providing nutrients for the base.
When I was doing this, what didn't go through the screen went into the other pile. Pretty cool huh? Soon I had enough compost to add to my Mel's Mix base to plant the potatoes. Speaking of potatoes, did I show you the seed potato storage box from last year? Well, here is what's happened since the potatoes started sprouting. I watched the lid open all by itself.
Notice the one vine reaching for the sky and sprouting some leaves? Keep an eye on that one. Yeah, I think it's probably way past time to plant these. See what's inside that box...
Spaghetti! Hehe. Thanks to DoubleD for looking up what to do at a point like this. Of course I could have done the research, but for some reason I thought she'd know off the top of her head. Bless her heart for looking it up. Apparently the solution is to carefully plant them as-is rather than break them off and let new sprouts form. So I spent about an hour to plant individual potatoes, separating them from the tangled mess of paper and plant.
Here's the materials all laid out, ready to plant.
After I laid down about a 3 inch bed of Mel's Mix, I sprinkled about a cup of 5-10-10 slow release veggie fertilizer and a light cover of fresh sifted compost from my wheel barrow. Then I gently laid out my seed potatoes.
Yeah I didn't worry if some paper got left in there. It will compost over time no problem. Also, do you see how shriveled some of those seed potatoes are? They've given up the ghost, so I'm glad I have fine nutrients there to give them what they need to grow... I hope. If not, I know the local nursery had seed potatoes if I need to replace these. Or I have a whole box of replacement seed (if these work and anyone wants some from the local area, you're more than welcome to them).
On top of these, I added a bit of Mel's Mix and a bunch of aged compost. Look how happy they are in their well watered new digs!
Look closely, can you spot the little leaves? Those are the only things I left uncovered. It only seemed right to let them finally find dirt and light at the same time. hehe
Of course, now that I'm writing this, I get a post on my Potato Bin page saying that if you want big potatoes to harvest to plant big potato seed. That makes logical sense, but now I'm showing how little I know about gardening (Psst, you don't need to know much to succeed). Now that person has got me wondering if I should dig up (not hard to do) what I planted and re-plant the potatoes that I had stored for eating that sprouted? I could certainly do that, but all the seed companies send out small seed potatoes. Now I'm confused... Thoughts?
Anyway, after I planted my potatoes, I of course had to take advantage of the great weather to let the seedlings out for their daily exercise. This time the sun found them playing on the kid's climber.
Don't you think I should do something about those monster tomatoes? Well, I priced out the obtained materials for all the self watering containers that we're going to build this coming weekend. Can you believe my price shopping got us down to $22.11 each! Yep, that includes everything but the dirt and plants, hehe. Well, I didn't buy any of the fancy connectors for the tomato cages like Raybo uses on his Earthtainers (TM), but it seemed to work just poking them into the dirt last year. The trellis does most of the work anyway.
Stay tuned for the continuing saga of Sinfonian's garden adventure! (hehe)
Enjoy your garden!