|This is the Purple and Red Trial Collection |
from Maine Potato Lady.
I'm pleased to report that I have finally started planting my garden. This year, pretty much all of my garden will be grown in Minibeds. 78% less weeding, no watering, no rototilling, and focused, high culture in manageable, 6-square foot beds worked very well last year. My wife says it was the best garden I ever grew, and I've been growing gardens for the 37 years of our marriage. 2018 will be year #2 with the Minibed Experimental Garden.
But my results growing potatoes in minibeds last year was only partially satisfying. Although my Onaway potato minibed was a superstar (see ThisYouTube Video), the others were not. This year I'm anxious to see if I can improve my yield, while experimenting with some new potato varieties.
Now, mind you, Minibeds are not suited for growing a winter's supply of spuds. They are, however, ideal for growing some potatoes for fresh eating through the summer, and they are ideal for trialing some new varieties. After all, part of the joy of gardening is trying new varieties.
It is with trialing potatoes in mind that Maine Potato Lady offers a Purple and Red Trial Collection of seed potatoes. Five seed potatoes of six varieties, as you can see in the photo above (click the photo for a closer look).
And Wood Prairie Farm up in Bridgewater, Maine has their Potato Experimenter's Special. This year I opted to try two varieties of fingerling potatoes from Wood Prairie...
All the seed potatoes got here over a week ago. I put them in a warmish spot and they started to sprout, which is a desirable result. Seeing the sprouts allowed me to position the tubers just right for growth (sprouts up).
I planted all the potatoes whole. The larger ones were planted four to a bed, near the center, about 8" apart, as this next picture shows...
They are 4" to 5" deep. I filled them with a couple inches of soil. I'll fill the depressions in more as the plants emerge and grow.
Then I covered each bed with a cloche. A Whizbang Solar Pyramid cloche. I think that Onaway Minibed did as well as it did last year because I cloched it right after planting. Here's a photo of my garden after planting potatoes today...
The 10 cloched Minibeds that you see are all planted to potatoes—8 different varieties.
I have some Kennebeck and Yukon Gold potatoes yet to plant. They will go into rows outside the Minibed garden.
It was overcast, cool and dreary outdoors today, but I feel good about having those potatoes planted. I also planted parsnips, parsley, beets, and Romaine Lettuce.
How is your garden coming along?