Saturday, July 16, 2016

Gardening with Potato's

Potato's yet another garden challenge. It is coming to my attention that the problem is not the soil or the water or the tools. It is me.
The beauty of that is the mistakes I make I learn so much.

The little potato's you see to the left are my first crop. Small but wonderful and the 2 pds. of butter just made it better!

I have tried a few different trick's to grow them. My first thing was a Potato Tower. I saw this idea in Mother Earth and also in Sunset magazine. Both worked great but not for me. You should try it. I am going to give you my experience . strength and hope ....that you can do it!

The first thing you need are potato's. there is a lot of conversation on pre-ordering or just taking a potato and letting it grow in the pantry. I have done both and they both worked.

 What ever you choose you need to let them grow the little sprouts on them. Like the picture to your left.Put them in a brown paper bag into a cupboard.

Once they grow you cut the potato's so the sprouts are left on each piece. Lay the potato's on a flat surface. I used a cookie sheet.

You want two to three eye's per piece.

Give your potato's a few day to shrivel up.
The sprout will stay fine.

While this whole process is coming about you can prepare your dirt. Either Potato Tower or just plant them.

I did pick a spot where we can do both the tower and the ground.
To make the tower you will need:

Reed Screen - Bamboo
Stakes to secure wire
Wire to make tower's

The first thing you need to make is a tower. You can follow the pictures rather than me explaining each step. Use your own judgement to make the size that best suit's your area.

I put my tower in a garden already tiled it is lined with old wine bottles from when my mama use to live with us. The reason I put it there is that I have just enough space to put some of the potato's into the ground.

See how the wire cylinder is shaped round.

With the stakes around it to keep it in place.

Now here you see that I am going to start the layering process. The little ditch next to it is where the ground potato's will be planted.

Line your tower with straw and put a layer of dirt into the tower. On top of that layer place potato's close to the wall of the tower. They only need to be next to the straw they will find there way through.

Here are a few tips on potato planting out of the tower.  Plant them 6" deep and 12" apart. As the plant grows you need to add soil to the stock to protect the tubers from sunlight. The potatoes start to form after the flowers bloom. 

Keep the process going straw, dirt, potatoes, straw, dirt, potato's.
No need to pack them they will do it naturally.

This is my area about two weeks after I first planted the tower and the ground. Notice the little green of the potato's coming through the tower.

The ground potato's are doing well also.

Here is a post that gives you a lot more information on the potatoes and the how to with regards to growing them.

Oregon State University  
their link has a good amount of information for you.  

You can see how the potato bush sprung out of the tower.I wish i had mre to post on this subject but it really is an easy project. Here is a link to the Burpee site for ordering potato's also if you are all organic you could go check out Seeds Saver's. I get a lot of stuff from them also. But at this point in the season they are sold out of potatoes.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bye Bye back 40 ??????

My garden is an ongoing project. The yard is big but not to big. The older I get the less maintenance I want. But does that make me lazy??? Shit there I go again. I happen to live in a neighborhoodie that has a bunch of very nice people who love to share there garden cutting and stuff. And I am always on the look out for crap to put in my yard.

This year I started to think more like a logical (funny) woman. And here is what I have pondered!

Grumpy Gnomes have wondered Why Ma Why?

Red Tailed Hawks have admired my work! But I know the noise they make is sounding more and more like Shamuuuckkkkk.....

Home for the Fricken Grubs had I known ! Watch when you make a compost pile they love it and can destroy your garden. OR Borrow a neighbors chicken and they will eat them. My neighbors won't let me borrow their chicken's they know I will eat them.

Yes, I though that if I watered enough it would grow. That is what the fricken movie said. Build it and they will grow RIGHT?

Ok so I was talking to one of my Gnomes. Yes I talk to my Gnomes look a girl has to talk and the yard is big and I am not often with friends in the dirt. My mud wrestling days are gone. Sad but those day's are over. If you know me friends and family have dwindled in the last few years.


So we have about an acre of land and behind the barn is a spot where over 16 years ago I thought I could make a magic garden. 16 Years eez how long does it take to learn ......

 I have built .......

2 viewing  patios - that the hooligans from around the neighborhood have jumped the fence left booze bottles and enjoyed the view I m assuming.

    4 raised garden's. I do say I did have some success in the cabbages. But the tomatoes, beans, potatoes, lettuce the list goes on. God Dam Wabbits!!!

    Planted 8 fruit tree's and seen about 6 pieces of fruit oh no no my friend the tree's are great but the fruit no can do. But this year with the rain "Thank you babay Jesus" we may get more fruit ?

    Managed to level off part of the hill to make walking path's. Hauled a zillion rocks, pavers and wood to make the area more comfortable for the visitor's.

    As if they would even walk up here from the house. Yes it is all up hill and God forbid these days anyone should walk. Yes it is a word. W-A-L-K go look it up between FB posts. 

    I never had Oh Wait there was small child that once frolicked on the hill with me.

    Build a scare crow a thing that I still decorate for the horse riders who pass by. I decorate her seasonally.  Ok ok when I remember. shit

    I have various antique tools and a wheel barrow I have planted, painted and fixed to only re-plant paint and fix.

    WHY WHY WHY ! 16 Years Well this year I am going to down size Why you ask?  I have decided to blame it on the drout I know I know the drout has not been here for 16 years but the amount of water time dirt and sweat I have put into that area should have produced a magical place for all to enjoy. But I only have a depressed scare crow, fruit the size of cultured pearls.

    WAIT I do have some nice sitting area's and a killer view. Oh but in light of it all the tree I planted that is suppose to be planted in Arizona it is doing great!

    Ok ok I will not give up.  @#$#^&@*)

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    American Robin

    American Robin this was a surprise bird this year. One day Pa and I went out to the yard and our berry bush was covered with them. These birds were hanging upside down right side up. The driveway, the fountain they had the yard under control.

    They seemed to be after the berries on the bush. They had never landed here before in over 10 years. Once they polished off the berries they headed for the Pepper Tree's.

    They did take advantage of the fountains we have.

    Here is the best site I found so far. This site the Audubon has all the information and sounds of them chirping and singing. Sweet!

    Wish I had filmed them but there is always next year.

    These are the berries that they went nutty for. Go figure not like we just put the darn thing in. ell enjoy the birds my friend

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Cedar Waxwings

    Well my yard has become quite the refuge for birds of all kinds. This year we got this new bird not familiar to us. It is a Cedar Waxwing. 

    Well actually that is an understatement there were at least 100 in our yard. That is no exaggeration. We have berry bushes and a hugh Pepper Tree. Also we have three different fountains for them to frolic in. They do love water it is said. 

    Look at the  picture to the right. The tail is bright yellow.
    So pretty. I really enjoyed the time they spent in my yard.

    They swoop down in groups of 10 or more and go into the little fountain. The information said they do love water.

    They would just sit in the tree and enjoy the day. They eat the peppers off the pepper tree.

    Thursday, July 9, 2015

    Soon it will be Turning Fall


    Well it has been a while with no post but I need to get this little garden blog back up to date.Summer was a give and take garden. I consistently plant , dig replace.

    I conssitenly tell myself "Self stop planting, relax sit take it easy" 


    Oh no back into the dirt I go.

    I am currently going to try to get into the Master Gardner Program here in Ventura., I need a bit of book knowledge to help myself in the dirt. Also I will be able to pass on the garden magic I learn.

    I made a cute Chrystal pitcher for the garden. My asparagus lasted the whole season. I planted some Goji Bushes. This is something different and they seem to be taking so far.

    I have hung all kinds of bird houses in the tree's. Every shape and size. A few birds have taken them and made nest's.

    Lettuce is looking super good. Just got some snap pea's sprouting and cucumbers started to sprout in the green house. Today I will be ordering my seed potatoes. I will be trying to get the potato tower going this year. It failed last time.

    Monday, July 6, 2015

    Why doesn't my soil absorb water?

    This has been my issue for the last month I have a beautiful raised bed that I had put in for a birthday task from my son. It has grown vegetables and flowers great ever year. This last year 2014 I did not plant, there was to much stuff going on in personal area's. So this year I just planted some snap pea's.

    They dried up even watering them. Then I popped in some cucumbers they to dried up. I was watering and watering as much as possible but no go! Shit so now I am mad at my raised bed and I have top find some answer's.

    To the Web my friend to the web!

    I googled Why dosent my soil absorbe water ?

    Some answer's are as follows:

    The soil has to much peat moss. It will never become wet without wetting the area for several days.

    Your are not watering long enough. When you water it looks wet but it never leaves the surface. Many peat-moss products have clay which will not absorb water. Peat repels water and dries out fast.

    Your soil is to compact. Once people have walked on the soil or it goes unused and it has become to compact it can not absorb the water. Till the soil and water for 20 minutes every day until the water is absorbed.

    Your soil is completely dried out,. This will take time and patience. You need to re-moisturize your soil. Everyday water and turn the soil over making sure that all the dirt is getting saturated. Once the soil is moist completely again you are good to go.

    Re-moisturize you soil with a combination of organic baybay soap and water. This cuts the repelling action in the soil and helps to get the moisture to take again. Also DO NOT apply during the hottest time of day.( morning or late evening) 3oz/per gallon for 1000sqft area. Then water it in for about 30 min. This should help absorption process. If you still see the soil repelling water you may need to reapply. Absorb

    So there you have it my answer to the puzzle wit the help of others who have suffered dry soil! 

    Here is a link to a page that gives you tips on keeping and improving your raised bed soil. 
    Improving your raised bed soil 

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    Citronella Plant

    The reason I am highlighting this plant today well here is the thing. I have a nice little group of baby flies on the patio. The type that just fly round and around all day never going anywhere. They do not even want to go in the house. Now last year I had no flies near the patio No where No how!

    Last night as I sat just looking at the little flies I thought Wait a Minute! The Citronella Plant I moved it. That is why the little group of flies persists. So this post is all about that plant. I just got it a couple of years ago and let it stay close to the patio. It got bigger and bigger so I moved it. Prior to moving it I took some cutting's. This is easy to root they come from the geranium family we all know how hardy those guy's are.

    Citronella Plant or better know as Mosquito Plant. It is from the geranium Family.The same fragrance that you find in those expensive candles is right in this plant and not so much scent. Enough to drive the little pest's away. The experts say that they do not work as well as the repellents but I do my best to use natural method's to keep the outdoors livable for other's.

    This plant will grow 2 to 3 feet tall. It is a great border plant. It does like a little after noon shade to relax. It is good from Zone 9 to 11. You could even cut some of the limbs off and put them into a pot for tables during a party to deter little airborne varmints from landing in your guests food.