What’s Sproutin’ – A Planting Update

It’s about time for a planting update.

We usually plant potatoes, and we’ve followed the advice to cut the seed potatoes into many pieces and plant them. We’ve been successful with this method, too.  However, we recently saw a potato farmer on tv proclaiming that the planted cut pieces encourages bacteria and mold growth that contributes to smaller yields as well. He said to plant the entire potato. He also said that ANY potato would do – you don’t need to purchase seed potatoes. Well, we’d already bought our seed potatoes, so we were late on that boat, but we do plan on buying a yummy potato variety and planting it to see what “comes up.”

This news is completely contrary to our local greenhouse that proclaims that a regular potato that has gone to seed just won’t do for planting. We shall see.

We’d love to hear your experiences with potatoes, do you buy seed potatoes or have you tried planting any ol’ potato and had great results? Let us know!

Our whole seed potatoes are growing:

Potato plant growing in the garden.

We lost six tomato plants early this season to a hungry rabbit. Specifically, this rabbit caught in the act in the garden:

A hungry bunny

We have a lot of rabbits in the yard. We give them sanctuary, some great grasses to hop in, some privet and forsythia bushes to rest and hop about in, and we don’t use pesticides/herbicides on our lawn. They are very fond of the clover that grows in the yard.

A particular favorite spot of theirs is the grass that inevitably grows in the cracks of the sidewalk that extends from our front door. Yes, I could spray a toxic cocktail and rid myself of the problem, but a little weed whack does the job, and they do their part as well. The grass/weeds that grows there seems very tender and they love it.

Mr. Bunny photographed above had found a small section of the garden fence that did not have a tent stake in place to hold the bunny wire (some call chicken fence/wire, but we don’t have any of those running around) in place against the larger, picket fencing. I went out to check on the plants and found him, all but patting his little pudgy tummy. The fence is now fixed and the plants are good to go.

Update on the gutter planting:

After planting the gutter garden, we had a number of nights that dipped into frost territory and we simply covered them with a blanket to protect the little seedlings. They’ve pulled through and are doing great.

Here is a larger spinach plant that we started inside in newspaper pots:

Spniach plant grown in newspaper pot

Here is a spinach plant that we started from seed in the gutters:

Spinach grown from seed in gutter.

The mixed lettuce is doing great:

Lettuce grown from seed in gutter

We really like the gutter gardens and plan on extending them around the fence. They are practical and make growing things like spinach and lettuce a snap.

Our little zucchini plants are starting to produce some flowers:

Blooms of zucchini plants

Our strawberry plants are producing a bounty of ripe strawberries, little though they may be. They are super sweet and just perfect for adding to some soy yogurt or topping off a slice of cake. Oddly enough, we usually have to battle the birds for the sweet bites, but this year the birds have left them alone and we are seeing ants devouring them.

A bowl of ripe strawberries

We hope you’ll share your garden photos and tips!

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