Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weekly Update

Well, we did in fact eat those potatoes and they did, in fact, taste very good!! I used a few in mashed potatoes one night, and criss-cross potatoes another night and they were just dandy! :)
I have to admit, I am very pleased with myself on this potato project. I assumed that I would accomplish utter failure, but instead, success!
My main issues on this year's potato growing are my lack of information when I started. I have since read much more on the whats and whys of potatoes. The hilling process and alternative methods. I decided that in Missouri, I don't like the mulch method, because it really didn't lead to more tuber development at all. It harbored slugs as well. It wasn't really enough to support the plants either. So next year, mulch will simply stay mulch and not an alternative to soil.
The quality of the potatoes surprised me. as I scrubbed them down and sliced them in half lengthwise I was taken aback by the utter lack of blemishes. Most garden veggies have SOME blemishes.....but my little taters had none. No scabs, no holes, no black hollows.....just pure white flesh.This is surprising from all that I have read of them, these plants prefer a slightly acid soil, to reduce scabbing and other diseases. I know for a fact that the majority of my garden is right at neutral, and the only sulfuring I did was dusting the cut pieces of seed potato! Maybe next year I may not be so lucky, so I will try to acidify the new plot to some extent, just in case this has all been a wonderful case of beginner's luck!
But, the few spuds that I saved for bakers were of medium size, not tiny but not especially huge. And it was just one of those moments in a budding gardener's life, where you are just plain proud. Good Job! I say, and pat myself on the back! Not too shabby! I am tempted to steal more new potatoes but I still have 5 or 6 lbs. of store bought russets in the pantry and really no need for mine.....I just really, really enjoy digging them up! And I am just happy about the results this time!
Next year, flea beetle control is going to have to be on the top of my list. I have not even attempted control outside of hosing them off, and I guess I figured that they weren't bothering the tubers, so it's no big deal.....BIG MISTAKE!!! They will multiply and travel. I have seen them on the hops, the peppers and tomatoes, and I definitely don't want them chewing my ripe fruits!!! I am thinking hot pepper spray....I will have to check into that soon.

OK, well, I have pictures on the way.....the melons are very tall now, and the tomatoes will be ripening in a week or two (I hope!) So I will update shortly on those photos. The blueberries are about ready to be un-potted and rooting, and the apples will need yet another spray to keep the CAR at bay! Wish me luck....and all the best to all of you!

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