Saturday, June 10, 2006

What's Growin' On: 6/10/06

Flowering Red Potato Plants

Realization Of The Day:
Judging by the size of the plants and the flowers above, the experimental bed of red potatoes I planted on April 25th appears to be a success.

I have been meaning to put up the step-by-step photos showing how I turned a grassy place into garden space in under an hour without tilling, digging, or mowing, but now I'm thinking I should wait to see how the harvest turns out. That way you'll know what to expect if you decide to try it yourself (though unfortunately you'll probably have to wait until next year).

Speaking of garden experiments, if you're interested in an inexpensive, ingenious way to support your tomato plants (and while you're waiting for me to show you my Gardening On The Cheap tomato cages), click here to see what Steven is trying over at Dirt Sun Rain. I recently decided that ultimately the best way to grow all of my tomato plants would be in single file rows, rather than crammed into my 4'x8' raised beds. If I ever get around to creating some long and skinny beds, I may try his method. Of course I'll wait to see how he likes it first. Oh the joy of having fellow gardening pals to try things out for you!

One little warning, though: If your garden this year has been short on attention and long on weeds (boy can I grow some dandies--and huge, too!), you may feel the green begin to tint your skin once you catch sight of Steven's garden. It's fabulous.

From Garden To Table:
--Wonderful salads of baby chard and Nero di Toscana cabbage (although the race against the worms for the cabbage has already begun--I'll let you know if the diatomaceous earth works this time).

--Lettuce (still!) I can't say enough good things about the Petite Rouge lettuce from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds I direct seeded in my raised lettuce bed this year. Even after I harvested the entire bed a few weeks ago (I have pictures of that experiment, too, that I'll hopefully post someday), it grew back with a happy vengeance. And despite recent temps in the upper 80sF and high humidity (and that I unshaded it--click here to read about shading lettuce), it is as delicious as ever. Today is supposed to be up in the 90s, though, so I harvested all of it. Baker Creek says this about Petite Rouge lettuce: "An exciting true baby red romaine! This cute specialty lettuce is hardy and easy to grow in many climates. A hard-to-find variety." Packets are $1.50 for 700 seeds. I highly recommend them, especially if you are in a warm climate or if your springs go from 24F to 90F in the blink of an eye like ours do here in Missouri.


  1. Susan,
    They don't look red to me.

  2. Awwww shucks, thanks for the kind words. I am preparing a small photo-essay on the really ugly parts of my yard though. I've just been hitting my garden from the right angles, like a fading Hollywood starlet.

    My taters look about ready to flower themselves. Since I've expanded the garden so much this year, I think I'll have room for different varieties of potatoes next time.

    I'll keep you posted on the tomato trellising, everything I've read says this method decreases yield slightly, but increases size and the amount of actual vine-ripe toms.

    I'm off to NYC on Thursday so I'll have some bread porn for you in a week or so.

  3. nice. your gardens always look nice. the lettuce you might be able to help me a bit. mind commenting on my mesclun blog article: when you've the time?

  4. For a couple years I grew potatoes in my grandmother's compost piles. Well, the piles of weeds she pulled from the garden, which were about 3-4 feet deep, 3 feet wide and waaaay long. It seemed like a good idea, no digging, easy harvest. It worked, too. Then my mother had the piles hauled away, and I lost my potato "beds."

    I love growing my own potatoes, so I'm eager to hear your secret method.


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love to hear about what's going on in your own garden. I know, too, that other readers also delight in reading about your garden successes, failures, helpful tips, and lessons learned. Feel free to leave comments on older posts!

I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

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