Who loves planting spuds? They are so easy, and need so little maintenance when growing. Just water, some well rotted manure dug into the soil, and bung them in a trench.
In our neck of the woods (southern Victoria) it is planting time. Normally I plant them a few weeks before the last frost is expected, so that when they shoot, the weather should be warming up.
Remember back to when I kinda half expected the large chickens to dig out all that Kikuyu grass in the garden bed near their cage?
Well they did a pretty good job, however the grass was so embedded in the soil, that Ben and I spent about two hours digging over the entire bed and ridding it of all the roots.
The bed was then dug over with lots of chicken manure, wood ash and charcoal from the clay oven, and some blood and bone, and left to rest for three weeks.
Then I dug a trench which was about 20cm deep (~8″). The soil was so friable, that it was a pleasure to dig. Lots of worms and no sign of the manure that I put in a few weeks ago.
Due to the construction of this bed, I can only fit in one row, so I made it a long one!
I planted Royal Blue seed potatoes, and planted them 30cm apart (1′).
You can seed from the photo that I was being quite specific, and even had my tape measure out for the job. It is just my way.
As I bought these spuds about three weeks ago, all of the eyes had chitted (grown sprouts), so I planted their eyes facing upward.
There were 13 seed spuds in the bag, and I just got to the end with the final spud. Hopefully a bumper crop in the making.
Upon the final spud, I then backfilled with my little shovel, and filled in the trench. Nothing too hard about it at all.
I mounded it further by adding a little more dirt that I collected from around the chicken run, and gave it a rake to smooth it all out.
On Wednesday, when I clean out the chicken house, all of their litter will go on the bed to mulch the bed. This will be the final layer, and add a bit more phosphate to the soil. I will water it in well, and hopefully we will have lots of potatoes around late January when the plants die back.
Who else has potatoes in the ground, or is planning to plant soon? For those readers in the northern hemisphere, is it time to harvest your spuds?