Wednesday, 25 May 2011

GARDENING ~ Planting Purple Potatoes . . .

We spent most of the day outside -- getting the garden ready and planting various things (beets, cucumbers, carrots, chard, radishes, lettuce, etc.)  We were also trying to weed out the quackgrass, which was a very nasty job!  After John rototilled the plot, Alisdair and I spent a long time picking up the biggest bits of the green weeds from the dirt.  Then he rototilled for a second time before we began planting the potatoes.

We had a 10 pound bag of "Red Pontiacs" and a 5 gallon pail of purple potatoes (the flesh inside is white) a friend had given us.  And so the planting began.

Alisdair helped lay the sprouted seed potatoes on the ground and then John came by later with a shovel and dug up some dirt to cover them.  Alisdair was having a lot of trouble trying to accurately space the potatoes 12 to 14 inches apart.  Finally, John came up with an idea and told him to go inside the house and to get one of his shoes and a measuring tape!

When Alisdair returned, they measured John's shoe and discovered it was 13 inches long.  Now Alisdair could place a potato beside the string in the designated row and then put the heel of the shoe next to it.  The next potato was placed at the toe-end of the shoe. Then the heel of the shoe was set down next to the last potato, continuing with this sequence until he got to the stake at the end of the row.

"Everybody should get one of these fancy gadgets for their gardening projects," Alisdair exclaimed.  "Home Depot, and other department stores, could make millions off this nifty measuring device.  Best of all, it is easy to use and it is fairly accurate.  Why hasn't anyone else thought of this?"

You've got to admit, it is a good question!  Alisdair thought it was a lot more fun planting potatoes using the "shoe method."  I'm just glad it didn't "defeet" the purpose of our gardening! 

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