The Dark Red Norland potato bed was dug a little differently than the Kennebec. We began by digging out the entire bed down to 12-inches, aerating the soil with the Mantis tiller to a depth of another 12-inches (for a total of 24-inches), added compost and fertilizer, used a bulb planter to be sure the seed was planted 9-inches deep, planted the entire bed, then covered with soil.
|Digging out the Potato Bed 12-inches|
|Aerating the Soil another 12-inches with the Mantis tiller|
|Worked in Compost and Fertilizer to the Soil, then Leveled Off|
|Used Bulb Planter to Plant Seed 9-inches Below Soil Level|
|Topped with Soil and Leveled Off|
In the book, The Sustainable Vegetable Garden, John Jeavons suggests that staking potatoes helps the plants to remain upright creating a microclimate to keep the plants and soil cooler. So we added four poles in the corners of each bed and will string some cotton twine to provide some support as the plants grow. This will also keep the plants from flopping into the walking paths.
I kept feeling that I was late in planting potatoes this year, but looked back through this blog and found that I am only a few weeks off. Last year, I began harvesting young potatoes by July 4th. So hopefully by mid July we will enjoy home grown potatoes again.
It has rained all week and it looks like it will continue for the next week as well. The rest of the in-ground garden bed containing the Dark Red Norland potatoes still needs to be to prepped for planting the beans and squash.