raised garden bed

We would starve (this is also about growing potatoes)

Today, after harvesting this meager potato crop, I came to the conclusion that my family would starve to death if we were forced to rely on my garden as it is now. I know this is my first year intentionally gardening/producing food, but it is still quite the eye opener for me how little food I’m getting from my garden. But I have plans to improve so hopefully we won’t starve if it ever came down to it.

Whole harvest from Russet potatoes and red potatoes I planted.

This is the whole harvest from the Russet potatoes and red potatoes I planted.

Growing more potatoes

This coming winter I will make potato towers to grow potatoes next summer. Using potato towers is a method of growing potatoes to get higher yields. I hope to build something like in this YouTube video. The idea is to keep adding soil to your potato plant as it grows. The tower contains the soil you keep adding. The plant will produce new roots/potatoes from the buried parts of the stem.

I’ve heard this method doesn’t work with all potato varieties. According to Veggie Gardener.com and Sinfonian’s Garden the best performing potatoes using this method are late season varieties like German Butterball, Butte, Yellow Fin, and Bintje. Veggie Gargener.com also has instructions for building a potato tower.

Expanding the garden to get more produce (so we wouldn’t starve)

In addition to building potato towers, I’m hoping to build a couple more garden beds.

I’m still hoping to make another raised bed next to the raised bed I already have. I already have plans in my head for the new bed. It will be (once I am able to convince my husband to let me take that space for gardening) a U-shaped bed with more than double the growing space than the bed I have.

I’m, also, working on plans to build a garden bed in the front yard for growing food. My front yard gets much more sunlight than my back yard. I’m hoping to have it multi-tiered with ornamental plants in front (closest to the street) shielding the edibles. My plan is to grow pretty edibles, like amaranth, there.

I’m also planning on expanding the berry patch. Adding more raspberries and blackberries.

For now, I’m just glad we aren’t reliant on my gardening efforts for our sustenance… and that there are grocery stores. Hope your gardens are producing more than mine.

-Lorelei

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Garden growth

The garden is loving this warm May weather! Most everything is growing so big. And some plants have finally germinated!

Garden growth

Garden growth. The big bushy stuff just left of bottom center is turnips.

The mustard grew about a foot seemingly overnight and now has flower buds on it. Which is fine since I want seeds from it.

Black mustard.

Black mustard. That green doppled stuff at the bottom of the picture is from looking through the mesh netting I have over the garden.

Peanuts

Peanuts

The peanuts don’t seem to have been hurt by being pulled up by the neighbor’s chickens and then replanted. In fact, I’m going to have to thin this out. I’ve read you only need one plant per square foot. So there are now too many in this space. I hate thinning out plants–feels a bit like murder to me. But gotta do it.

Celery

Onions, bell pepper (behind the onions), sweet potato (the purple and green leaves), and spinach (lower right). Hanging over the sweet potato (barely seen in this photo) is marigold and nasturtium.

Spinach and Mesclun mix.

Spinach, mesclun mix, and carrots. Peanuts and peas in the background.

The lettuces are getting big. After taking this picture I cut some for making salad for dinner tonight.

Russet potatoes

Russet potatoes. Borage in the background. That little bit of purplish red to the lower left is red romaine shaded by the rutabaga and turnip leaves.

I’m mounding soil around the potatoes as they grow. Next year I’m going to build potato boxes and not grow them in the garden bed.

Red cabbage

Starting from the left: borage, red cabbage, rutabaga (right and up just a bit from the cabbage), red potatoes (below the rutabaga/ lower right of the picture).

Beets

Beets and swiss chard

My beets don’t seem to be doing too good. I’m hoping that now that the mesh is up, whatever was getting it will stop.

Onions

Bell pepper and onions. Spinach, beets, and mustard in the background.

Carrots

Little carrots. The only photo not taken through the green mesh.

Not showing in the photos are the celery, cucumber, strawberry, and spearmint seedlings. I’ve been trying since January (indoors) to get most of those to germinate. I guess maybe my soil wasn’t warm enough. Next year I think I’ll put a warmer under my seed starting trays.

-Lorelei

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