Monday, April 02, 2012

Quick Update: Early season crops

Yesterday (Sunday April 1st) Sprout members planted our early spring cold-tolerant crops, spinach, chamomile, mixed greens and potatoes.  We used the trench method to plant potatoes.  We dug a trench 12 feet long, four feet wide, and 1.5 feet deep.  Then we planted the seed potatoes at the bottom of the trench, under two inches of loose soil.  The seed potatoes used were blue potatoes saved from last year's harvest, and white potatoes from Maine that a sprout member kindly contributed.  We piled up the soil dug out of the trench along the sides of the trench.  As the potato plants grow, we will fill in the dirt to cover the stems of the potato plants.  When the stems are underground, they will become rhizomes which produce the potatoes.  The deeper the potato plants are buried, the longer the rhizomes become, and the more potatoes they produce. 

Potatoes can be planted when the forsythia bushes flower.  This is an example of phenology applied to gardening.  Phenology is the study of the timing of biological events.  For more about phenology, check out this document

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