Thursday, April 5, 2012

No Small Potatoes

Good Friday has traditionally been the day to plant your potato seed and onion sets, so I stopped off at the local Pac n' Save grocery and picked through the cardboard boxes of dirt coated potatoes for this year's crop.  If you have been reading for over a year now, you'll remember that I murdered my potato crop with organic aphid spray last year thinking I wouldn't have any potatoes, but I did!  Anyway...

I wanted to share a few tips for those of you thinking of trying potatoes this year.

1.  First of all, I love the symbolism of planting these two things on Good Friday.  When it's time to harvest the crop later this year, I'll be reminded again of the reason I can feel at peace, the reason I don't have to fear death, the reason I try to do my best, the reason that testifies of the kind of love God has for us.  And the blessings on our table will speak of that abundance given to us because Christ was willing to die for us. I'll be reminded that life and love win.

2.  I'm not sure how to transition here, so I'll just say that potato seed doesn't look like seed.  Potato seed is actually a potato with eyes growing.  For those of you thinking, "Hey!  I have a bag full of those growing in my kitchen right now!" I want you to back away from that thought and that bag of potatoes.  You can try to plant them, and sometimes they work, but usually the potatoes you eat have been sprayed with a chemical that inhibits it from sprouting eyes.  You may see some potential there but they wouldn't grow.  I've tried.  My mom actually had some grow once, but she's just lucky like that.  Stick with actual potato seed.

3.  You only need two eyes per seed, so feel free to cut your potatoes up.  Leave them out in a cool, well-lit place for a week or two until they've sprouted a few places, but don't let them get over an inch or so long.

4.  Plant them between 8 and 6 inches deep in holes spaced between 8 and 12 inches apart.  (Remember, we're doing away with rows, so I won't be adding the 2-3 foot row between them.)

I think potato plants are really pretty.  Plus, next to that chocolate cake plant I'm working on, potatoes are one of my favorite garden treats.  I mean, french fries.  Need I say more?

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