Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Potatoes Out - Potatoes In - Tomatoes!

Dear Folks,

On my annual potato planting day (January 1st) I also harvested some Sweet Potatoes (Molokai).

They are now in our outdoor shed near the water heater to "cure."

>>MY CALENDAR << in the top sidebar contains all my recommended planting/sowing dates plus monthly maintenance tips and some recipes.

I could have been harvesting sweet potatoes since Halloween, but with other foods harvestable AND the tomato vine sharing the same bed as the Sweets, I just left them in their own natural storage locker, i.e., the ground :-)

I have 3 types of Sweet Potatoes I planted last summer but the Molokai are the ones I could reach as I still don't want to disturb the tomato - I mean why should I interrupt this regular harvest of nice cherry tomatoes, right?

I saved some organic Idaho Potatoes from Christmas dinner to cut and plant for harvesting late spring.  My method for potatoes has always been to:  loosen the soil, set the potato piece on the soil, maybe nestle a bit, then cover with leaf mulch and continue to add leaf mulch as the plants grow up.  This keeps the sun off the growing tubers AND makes it easier to harvest later.  In the picture you can see I've already covered half of this bed of potatoes with the leaf mulch.

For those of you new to growing Idaho-type potatoes in the valley, you won't get the huge thick-skined ones you purchase in the store.  Because of our summer heat, the potatoes won't go past the "new potato" stage and are delicious and productive in the right conditions.

I may actually have some potato plants coming up in the Sweet Potato/Tomato bed as I had teeny/tiny potatoes at the end of the harvest last spring and I just tossed them back in that bed.

I NEED to figure out a different arrangement this year though as the plants are so happy I can't control them properly.  We will see what I come up with :-)

I had suggested a while back that you'all try growing something new each year, and I said I want to try something new, also.  I have two purple tree collards rooting (hopefully) in pots right now and they are hanging in there.  Always hard to tell when rooting in pots with a new-to-the-garden plant because you don't want to start "tugging" too soon.  I am really hopeful on this unique type of green as I would love to have another green to add to my dinner table mix all year.

I leave you with a nice positive message for this new year.  And Don't Forget To Garden!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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