Sunday, January 15, 2017

Winter Time Planting of Potatoes

It is the season to plant potatoes again in Zone 9 and they should, hopefully, be ready to harvest in April.  My potatoes have a good head start: they are sprouting vigorously. I have never had potatoes with such hefty sprouts.

Last fall, my store bought potatoes were beginning to sprout so I put them in a plastic basket that I had lined with crumpled up newspaper, then put the basket in a brown paper bag, and stored them in a dark corner in the Summer Kitchen.

This is the time of the year when the fall vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are ready for harvesting to make room for the winter vegetables that need to be planted or sown.

Among the primary winter vegetables that need to be put into the ground are the potatoes that are sprouting so vigorously in my basket.

The potatoes should germinate within two weeks but that will depend on the weather.  If there is frost predicted, I put a generous helping of mulch around the potatoes and even cover up the tender greens with the mulch.  If a severe cold snap is in the forecast, I have my frost blankets available.

We had to make a detour around a cabbage that was still in the ground, but that is all right.  Once that cabbage is pulled, it will provide a spot for an herb that is compatible with potatoes such as dill, basil, oregano or rosemary plus a few others that I would otherwise plant.

Also, I am planning to sow okra when the potatoes are harvested.  The professional gardeners recommend that neither corn nor tomatoes be planted in the same place in the same season as the potatoes:  they are all heavy feeders and will deplete the soil.

Happy planting!

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