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Empty beds

Empty beds in early April.  The beech hedges are still brown.

Living a healthy lifestyle with exercise, eating whole foods, and taking care of my garden is what makes me happy and keeps me going.  I like living this way!  I am so thankful for my time in the garden as it always makes me feel good.  Yeah, I know, that sounds really corny, but I’m sticking with it.  Watching the garden change through the seasons and watching it mature through the years is such an amazing thing to experience.  I think it is important to be able to appreciate nature and all its wonder.  My family doesn’t always agree with me on this though!  What we grow in the garden is dictated by what will be eaten.  My friends can’t believe that we don’t grow lettuce, but my family doesn’t eat salad!  So we plant what they do eat: lots of fruit, and a few different vegetables.   Potatoes are a favorite, and they are the first to be planted early in the spring season.

Planting Organic seed potatoes

Planting Organic seed potatoes

The first thing to do, actually, is order the organic seed potatoes early!  I ordered mine in January from Fruit Hill Farm in Cork https://www.fruithillfarm.com/ .   After they arrive, I put them in egg cartons and leave them in a non-sunny place as part of the chitting process.  This helps the spud to grow faster once planted in the ground.  Here is a picture of the sprouts forming.  Those are placed up in the ground when planted.

The potatoes "chitting"

The potatoes “chitting”

When to plant?  Here in Ireland St. Patrick’s Day is a general guideline for when to plant potatoes.  I didn’t plant any “early” varieties this year, so for me it is usually around the end of March or beginning of April.   I just took a little walk down memory lane and visited my posts on planting potatoes from last year and the year before. My how the garden has grown! You can have a look here:

https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/planting-early-potatoes-and-raspberry-plants/

https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/planting-maincrop-potatoes-on-easter-weekend/

https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/planting-sarpo-mira-spuds-and-extending-the-stone-path/

 

Setting up the potatoes

Setting up the potato beds

My husband is the potato planter (and the pea planter, and pickling cuke planter, and strawberry planter!…).  It’s funny how that works!  I’m glad he also enjoys working in the garden.  It is definitely a team adventure.

Planting  potatoes

Planting potatoes

He digs the trench, sets up the potatoes, and covers them up.  They are planted 6 inches deep and about 12 inches apart.  When the time comes he’ll also earth them up.  That is when you work the soil up to cover the plant as it grows to keep light from the potato.  We don’t have to start that until the plants are about 8 inches.  The earthing up process covers all but the top 2 inches of the plant.

Covering up the potatoes

Covering up the potatoes

They are just now growing into nice little plants.

Potato plants in May

Potato plants in May

Potato plant

Potato plant

Potato plants in May

Potato plants in May

It is fun to check on them and see how they are growing.  They seem to be doing very well!

Vegetable beds in May

Vegetable beds in May. The beech hedges are now green and the cherry tree is in full bloom.

The large bed on the right is where we planted our potatoes last year.  I’m giving that bed a rest from potatoes for now.  Overall the growing season and the garden is doing well!

We had an amazing sunset the other evening.  I’ll end the post with that picture as it is one of my favorites!  I hope your planting is also going well!
Dana

A golden evening with a rainbow in May

A golden evening with a rainbow in May

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