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One potato, two potato, three potato, four

All our certified seed potatoes were on the countertop pre-sprouting or chitting. They had been there for a few weeks now, in a warm spot with moderate light. Most of the potatoes had started to sprout, except for the russets.

Bag of organic seed potatoes in front of green harvest basket on kitchen countertop.

Even though the sprouts were not very long yet, I was pretty anxious to get them started because we had a nice new spot in ground where we wanted to try out some different growing methods in our new microclimate. We will see what happens!

We would like good quality potatoes over quantity, so rather than planting them whole, we like to cut them up around the sprouts, as shown below. We noticed that seed potato pieces with 1 or 2 sprouts, give 3-4 larger sized potatoes, while entire potatoes planted give many smaller sized potatoes.

Now we only need a couple of days before they cure and are ready to plant.

Here's what the plan is without knowing what nature has before us:

We're going to grow our potatoes in two areas this season- In Ground and in two of our horse troughs. We're going to use the hilling method as it will help protect the plants from frost. We're also going to add frost blankets to the ground and containers if temps are predicted to go below 40 degrees. We noticed that if temps say 40, that means 30 something for us since we're backed by a mountain. Also, since we haven't had much rain in years, until now of course, we didn't think there would be a problem. We will see if the rain holds out after this month.

We also will be using Row Shelter Accelerators that we have accumulated over time from Gardeners Supply to protect young shoots and keep soil warmer.

During the week, we prepared 4 rows. Two for hilling potatoes and two for sowing radish and beet seeds directly on top.

Here is what we needed to do to prepare the soil in ground more:

  1. Till each row to approximately 12" deep to break up the hardpan, remove large rocks and some grubs too!

  2. Add 1 large bag of Bu's Blend Biodynamic Compost to each row.

  3. Till that in lightly with the loose soil beneath.

  4. Create flat pathways in between the berms for walking and planting.

The two swales on the right are for sowing the seed potatoes.

Now it was time to sow the potatoes in the right side swales, then top with only 3" of soil from the berms:

Here is what it looks like now after all seed potatoes are planted and berms are smoothed out:

Soil trenches with Bu's Blend Biodynamic Compost laid in them.

Finally, it was time to plant our seed potatoes into our two troughs. These troughs have 1/3 native soil mixed with 1/3 Baby Bu's Potting Soil and 1/3 Bu's Blend Biodynamic Compost.

With all this work with potatoes this week, it was time for a warm, homemade potato soup!

Organic potato soup in golden yellow cast iron pot on stovetop.

Thank you for joining us this week as we create a more productive garden for the New Year.

Have a truly healthy, relaxing and soul-fulfilling holiday season! See you next year!

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