The Great Potato Planting of ’21

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret Atwood
And yesterday I did.
We aim for St. Pat’s Day as Potato Planting day. . . but every day around here is Pat’s day and today most especially as it is Herself’s BIRTHDAY !!! And since this is a journal entry about the garden this photo of the Eggplant Whisperer is most appropriate to celebrate her new found gardening prowess…
Well on their way to a parmesaned casserole near her soon. Meanwhile in the studio nursery, we had around 50 lbs of seed potatoes chitting out for the last week. They arrived from The Maine Potato Lady the week before, and every available square inch of the studio was lined with boxes and dedicated lamps to aid in their preparation for planting. Then out to the wheelbarrow they came . . .
Box the First.
Raking back Ruth
Next step was to rake back the matte of hay which had been snug and cozy under a heavy blanket of snow in the Ruth Stout Bed all winter. Exposing the rich organic matter underneath I am beginning to realize the work that our soil bound friends have been doing. . . or is that chewing . . . for the last few years. All that organic matter is building a substrate of nutrient rich medium for the veg and makes for easy planting.
Rake it back.
Toss on the spuds
Round the corner and up the back leg.
Then cover ’em back up with fresh hay.
And that’s job done. Turning around you can get a peak of the RS annex which was added last fall.
The ground underneath that section, which only 5 months ago was the grass you see to the left in this pic, is still in transition. Covered with cardboard, a few inches of mulched leaves, and then a foot of loose hay. . .the grasses and weeds beneath are a muddy slick and, judging by past experience, will be for some time. So, the plan is for straw bales to provide some growing area this season and then the decomposing bales can be strewn in the fall to add another layer of goodness. By next year this section should be plantable. The squash tower in the distance straddles those bales and two extra ones on the other side. Last year this method proved successful so we’ll try again. The skinnier Pea Tower to the left got a boost of some compost added to the two rows on either side. Something for the Peas to ease into before having to contend with the hay. Today’s rain is sealing the deal and gives the gardeners a chance to rest up. So here’s to the wonders of the burgeoning Spring. . . And celebrating the most wonderful Pat Lackey. . .
Happy Birthday My Love,

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