Sunday, July 20, 2008

Potato planting day – at last!

Having my first go at growing potatoes – ie, spuds – and today is the big day. Spud Planting Day.

Been a bit of a wait, really. The enthusiasm all began last May when I decided 2008 was to be the Year of the Spud. Shopped online, ordered what turned out to be far too many spuds. Then nothing happened. The mail-order companies weren't ready to send out spuds, so they only arrived in the mail in late June and early July. And then I read from the very detailed instructions that you need to 'chit the spuds' - wait until they produce sprouts before planting them. And as it turned out, the spuds which arrived first in the mail, the Kennebecs, still haven't sprouted. However, the Dutch Creams and the King Edwards have only taken about 10 days to sprout, so they're the ones I'm planting today.

The helpful little fact sheets with the spuds said to use egg cartons to chit the potatoes. Didn't have any egg cartons, but I did have some leftover toner cartridge cartons, and they're just as good.

I'm probably jumping the gun a bit, but as far as I am concerned these are sprouted spuds (King Edwards). Maybe they could grow on for a few more days, but it's Sunday morning, I have a big week ahead of me at work, so they're going in this morning!

Here's the home, all ready for them so go in. It has been prepared for them for a few weeks now (hot to trot, spud-wise, this blogger). Trenches dug, soil piled up in between. Complete fertiliser along the bottom of each trench, covered with a few inches of soil.

And in they go, about 30cm apart, with the sprouted bits facing upwards. Dutch Creams left, King Edwards right.

Hardly an inspiring finale, but a few inches of soil on top, a bit of water to settle it all down, and now the wait until something pokes through in the next week or two. I suspect the main challenge will be stopping stray cats using the trenches as a toilet, or
at least cleaning up after them if they do.

Well, that's that. Everyone warns about planting spuds in midwinter because of the risk of frost, but Sydney's winters are so mild that where I am, less than 10km from the coast as the crow flies, there's almost no danger of frosts here. Can't remember ever having one. The last few days have seen temperatures up near 20°C (that's Huey laying on some lovely weather for all the pilgrims here for World Youth Day), but the minimums stay around 7-10°C, which is mild for midwinter, so I'll just operate as if we'll have a normal year, weather-wise, which is all you can do.


Anonymous said...

I plant my spuds in wire held up by stakes and tons of straw, that way I can "bandicoot" (pinch the new ones)lol


naturewitch said...


Like your blog. Will visit again.

love and light