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Growing Great Potatoes
Potatoes are so easy to grow in the no dig, organic way. They are one of the top three in vegetable growing due to their popularity and versatility. Boil 'em, mash 'em, fry 'em, bake 'em. It's hard to go wrong with this staple in the diet.
They're also a great source of vitamins, minerals and iron. Most of the goodness lies just beneath the surface of the skin though, so try to keep at least some of the skin intact when preparing for cooking.
To the growing!
Purchase some seed potatoes from a nursery. You can use potatoes from the supermarket, but seed potatoes will bring better yields. You can 'chit' them first (allowing them to start to grow) before planting, simply by placing them in a sunny spot.
There are many different types of potatoes you can grow and it's important that you grow one you like! So start at the end...how do you like to eat them? See the description of potato types below to choose.
Once you decide what type to grow, place your seed potatoes directly on the ground about 30cm (12-14 inches) apart. Cover them with a 50/50 blend of straw with old manure, blood and bone and compost. Water generously.
In a couple of weeks, the tops will emerge through the straw. As they grow, keep topping them up with the enriched straw blend, making sure the tubers don't get exposed to sunlight. This can turn them green and make them toxic.
Potatoes take 14-16 weeks to mature. When they flower, they are getting close to maturity. When the plants begin to die back and yellow, the crop is ready for harvest.
The beauty with growing them under a straw mat is that you take the guess work out of the growing. You can actually lift the corner of the straw and see your potatoes developing. When you are close to harvest, you simply pull out some of the bigger ones for early eating, without killing off the plant.
On the ground, in your no dig garden bed or inside an old tire (for containment) these things will grow anywhere given the right conditions.
Whack some in. Very satisfying gardening!
There are dozens of types of potatoes you can grow. Some are small with waxy flesh, others are large with floury white flesh, and there is everything in between. What you grow will depend largely on how you like to eat them. Not all potatoes are created equal. Some are better for boiling and some for baking.
Baking potatoes are those higher in starch than others. They generally have a course skin and a firm flesh. These are best for baking, mashing and frying. They are light and fluffy inside once cooked and are just brilliant.
It's impossible to name all of the types, but some examples of good baking varieties are Russet, Goldrush, Idaho, Bintje and Norgold.
Boiling potatoes typically have less starch and higher sugar content. This means they will hold together when boiled or used in soups, casseroles and salads.
Some good examples of boiling varieties include Red Potato, La Soda, Bismark, King Edward, Sequoia, Bronwell and Pontiac.
Those that fall in the middle, the all-rounders, include Kennebec, Yukon Gold and Sebago.
Judy Williams (http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com) aspires to become a fulltime earth mother goddess. This site acts as a primer for all vegetable gardening aspects covering topics like how to build a garden, nurture seedlings, container gardening and composting.
Invite Spring Early - Grow in Your Basement
Now's the time to get ready to grow your own seedlings! It's not really difficult, and can extend your growing season by many weeks. For example, by planting brassica's (cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower) in February in your basement under grow-lights, you can put large, sturdy transplants into your garden by the end of March or early April, and be eating them when others are just seeing them come up! However, remembering that photosynthesis, using light, heat and moisture causes plant growth, you must follow a few key natural principles very carefully, or you will be disappointed.
CO2 for Free
We've all heard that there is no such thing as a 'free lunch'; well the process described in this article may be as close to one as you get. Most of us already know the benefits of CO2 enrichment for photosynthesis. To maximize indoor growing and greenhouse potential, CO2 is supplemented to maintain an approximate level of 1500 ppm, this can require frequent trips to an industrial gas supplier and/or a lot of propane or natural gas use, and related costs. It is ironic that many indoor farmers are exhausting CO2 to the outdoors from home heaters and hot water heaters while simultaneously releasing or generating CO2 for an indoor grow room or a greenhouse.
The Rich History of Chrysanthemums
Did you know that those lush, colorful blooms called chrysanthemums are rooted in beliefs of human immortality and perfection? Today the "mum" graces gardens, cut flower arrangements and even salads (yes mums taste great), but they were taken much more seriously after T'ao Yuan Ming started it all in China around 500 A.D.
Why Should You Create A Butterfly Garden?
Have you noticed you do not see as many butterflies as you once did? It is sad that we do not see as many butterflies as we might like. You can change that by planting a butterfly garden.
Wild Flower Garden - Plan to Plant
In the previous article I discussed design for your new wild flower garden. The next stage is planning the planting. This is an exciting stage, we are just a few steps away from turning your garden design concept into a reality. But first things first.
Everyone Loves Flowers
Flowers Truly Reach Your Soul.
Want a Garden, But Don?t have Enough Dirt Or Space? Hydroponics Gardening Is The Answer!
Hydroponics gardening is the perfect solution for anybody who wants a garden, but does not have enough space or dirt. Hydroponics gardening is, simply put, a method of growing plants using a nutrient solution instead of dirt. With hydroponics gardening, you are able to grow beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables virtually anywhere you want.
There are many reasons why you might want to dry your roses. Some people just want to keep a memento of a special moment. Perhaps they are a part of a wedding that you went to; maybe they were a gift from a mate, friend, or family member. Whatever your reasons for doing it, this is the section where you will learn to dry your roses properly.
How to Grow Blueberries
Along with lip-smacking sweetness, flower and foliage are also worthy reasons to grow blueberries. White, bell-shaped blossoms make a lovely addition to a spring garden and fiery scarlet foliage adds drama to a fading autumn landscape. In addition to taste and appearance, blueberries are ripe with medical advantages; they help lower cholesterol and studies suggest that blueberries also reduce the risk of some cancers.
Flowers That Beautify Your Home and Garden
To help gardeners choose flowers, various systems for rating hardiness have been developed. A plant is considered hardy in a region if it can grow and thrive there without requiring special protective measures such as insulating with straw mulch.
Keeping the Balance of Nature: Pond Water Maintenance
You might be tempted to let Mother Nature, tend to your backyard pond, and who could blame you? After all, she does a pretty good job of taking care of really big ponds, so why would your backyard ecosystem pose much of a challenge to her?
Adirondack Chairs - How to Choose One
In Blue Mountain Lake, New York, you will find a unique museum called the Adirondack Museum. According to the experts that run this museum, the Adirondack chair was originally called the Westport chair, named after a small town located nearby Adirondack Mountains. The design of the chair was first created back in 1900 by Thomas Lee. On a mission of designing a chair that could be used indoors or outdoors and one that was overly comfortable, he began his work, using standard boards and nails.
Choosing Garden Furniture
No matter how pleasant a garden is, it is not being enjoyed to its full extent if there is no where for visitors to sit and admire the beauty of the garden. Luckily, few gardeners are willing to sacrifice design for comfort and with the wide choice of garden furniture available today, it is rare to find gardens bereft of furniture. Garden furniture will if anything look great with just about any style of garden.
Beauty With Indigenous Species
A garden a serves a man's every day need for s refreshing and pleasent experience.We have to appreciate that the garden serves as a home not only to the trees and plants that appear, but is a home to lots of small and big creatures of animal kingdom. Thus a garden is a conservatotory in these modern times of fast industrialization and increasing threat to ecological balance.
Budget For Your Garden
Have you ever thought about how much it costs to maintain your garden? Most people never give it much thought - spending the odd day in the garden when they have time and impulse buying plants at the local nursery.
Solar Garden Lights
Solar lights are very popular for lighting yards and gardens. They are virtually maintenance free, easy to install, and cost almost nothing to run. Once you have bought solar lights, the only future maintenance costs are for replacement batteries.
Hummingbirds ? Attracting Those Little Flying Powerhouses
It's early in May a beautiful fairly warm day so I've decided to enjoy it and sit on the front porch.
Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners
The Basics of Hydroponics Gardening.
Themes of Shade
A Shade Garden can be created in any of several different types of shade. It can be in the mottled shade that comes from a broad leaf tree to the deep dark woods mentioned in Robert Frost's "Stopping by A Woods on A Snowy Evening". We have morning shade (not so good for a shade garden if this area gets afternoon sun - it will much too hot and drying) and afternoon shade. And we can even create or modify our shade with man-made constructions. Each type of shade supports different types of plants although there is over-lap. Of course, you should always be prepared to experiment with your garden.
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