Thursday, March 8, 2012

chitting potatoes and other news

 
In preparation for planting my seed potatoes in a few weeks, I'm giving them a head-start by "chitting" or pre-sprouting them. I line crates with a bit of newspaper and spread them out in one layer. This allows the air to circulate and the light to reach them. Some recommend keeping them at a warm room temperature, but I prefer to keep them in the cooler mudroom since I feel it eases the transition to outdoors. I've definitely obtained better yields when I take this extra step, than when I've put them straight in the soil.
     

I'm also experimenting with growing a sweet potato yam to see if it's possible here. I'm using two different methods to sprout them (here's a great article on the subject), one in a water medium and the other in soil.


In other wonderful news, I spotted some garlic peeking through the fall-planted patch!  I loosened up the mulch to give it a bit of breathing room. The soil is still nice and moist from all our winter snow, so no need to water it yet. 


And, while checking on the garlic, I spied the ducks across the pond hanging out with the chickens. They seem to much prefer company of the avian variety (I don't blame them one bit).      

16 comments:

  1. We grow sweet potatoes up here in Northern Michigan.I need to read up on starting them. Thanks for the link!

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  2. I love seeing your garlic peeking out of the soil! At least those ducks don't fly away from *everybody*! LOL!!

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    1. I've been fretting about and hovering over that garlic all week! Such a welcome sight for me too :)

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  3. Oh, so fantastic! Those seed potatoes look great. We are still under snow at the moment, but with temps as high as they were today (+6!), we are seeing that snow melt faster than we thought... for now, anyways :)

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  4. Yay for the garlic! We just dug up a good crop of sweet potatoes but try as we might we never have any luck with seed potatoes....shall have to follow your tips!Love those duck pics!!

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  5. Yay for garlic! And thanks for the sweet potato link! I'm trying to start some myself...no luck so far, though!

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  6. every time I visit your place, I want to go work with some dirt between my hands. :)

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  7. I was just thinking today that I need to grow potatoes. Thank you for a great tip....

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  8. HI Jamie...I did the same with my potatoes. I let them sprout in the utility room that is also my back entry to the farmhouse. The only heat comes from the use of the dryer and the insulated walls. They were well sprouted before I planted them. I've not tried sweet potatoes, but may try what you are doing. Let us know how they grow for you this season.

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  9. Cool. I am starting my first real garden (first time I have space) and I need all of the pointers I can get!

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  10. Now that is a new one for me "chitting potatoes"...love to learn these things! I am about to plant my potatoes too!

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  11. we are chitting spuds too at the moment, good to hear it does make a difference, we were not really sure but if you've tried it both ways Then we'll keep chitting! I absolutely love your pond btw!

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  12. Wonder which method will be best for the sweet potatoes?! Have always put my tubers in the ground, but know plenty who do the widow water thing. Your birds look very happy!

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  13. I'd love to do potatoes sometime! I've tried to put a leash on myself at this point, though, in the planning and growing - I need to stick with the WAY too many things we have planned and focus on the chickens. Potatoes - next year? :)

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    1. Oh, I know exactly what you mean! There's always next year! ;)

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