Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Hoe-I Hoe and hope for potatoes

Potatoes are a crop of anticipation. You don't know what your harvest will be until you start digging.

I have three kinds planted. Norland to the left, Kennebec in the middle, and Pontiac to the right. Norland is a 70 day variety, and the Kennebec and Pontiacs are both 120 days. The Norlands are beginning to get pretty ragged. Potatoes and tomatoes are both from the nightshade family, so they suffer from the same diseases. Septorial spec, and late blight usually begin working on them around the same time.

So I decided to dig some early potatoes. They have been in the ground 63 days. It's so much fun to scoop away the dirt and find perfect potatoes hiding beneath. I dug 2 plants and yielded 5 potatoes each.

I laid them out in the sun to dry along with some onions. The tops are just beginning to fall over so I am pulling them selectively giving the remaining onions room to grow.

Beyond them is my row of dwarf zinnias. These are really cute little plants. I love zinnias, but hate the mess they make when they topple over, so these are the perfect solution. They are Profusion Sunrise mix from Park Seed, with some Apricot Profusion mixed in.

The paste tomatoes are ripening well, and soon it will be tomato sauce time.

Besides onions, I have a lot of sweet peppers to add to the sauce.

The second planting of beans and cucumbers are doing fantastic. I pulled the first planting of both to make way for a fall crop of lettuce.

These are Sweet Success cucumbers. The plants are doing very well. They seem more compact than the Marketmore, as well as being resistant to mildew. But the cucumbers themselves are not as nice looking. They are very sweet, and there are plenty of them, but the skin is dark and coarse and has a lot of blemishes.

Here is the third and experimental planting of cucumbers... just HOW late can you plant them? These went in the third week of June direct seeded. The White Pearl are doing quite well, but the Marketmores right beside them are still pretty sluggish. They have put out a blossom or two, so I guess the experiment is a success.

This is the third planting of bush beans from the third week of July. They are doing fine, and the Gotta Have It sweet corn, which is so fussy to grow in zone 5, looks like it wasn't a waste of time after all. The bushy catnip on the end of the bed is attracting hoards of bumble bees.

I also have some very nice chard.

And these sunflowers are now over 10 feet tall.

Besides peaches, Aunt Pat and Laurie brought us this adorable little planter fashioned after a sink. I spent about 10 minutes at the garden center untangling this half price black eyed susan vine from a flat of pitiful leftovers, and it is really taking off. There are a dozen or more buds on it, and it will add some fall color to the patio.


  1. Your garden is just amazing!!!

    But lets not say the "F" word just yet!! LOL I'm so not ready for it!

  2. Yer taters 'n' onions are makin' me hungry ! :)

  3. Awesome as usual. I don't know how you get all the energy for it... oh, yeah, eating all those fresh fruits and veggies!

  4. I agree with Michelle! Your garden is awesome, you're making me jealous. LOL. Good luck with those potatoes!

  5. Nice pictures. I love this time of year when all the produce is ready. Trouble is trying to eat it all and not let any of it go to waste.

    Just added turnip to a lasagna - I kid you not!


  6. I found you while researching my Smith & Hawken Christmas ornaments I'll be putting up in my etsy shop the first of September. I have 6 tomatoes, 5 grapes, 2 peppers and 3 pea pods.

    I'm a terrible gardener. It's my first year in this house and the only thing that grew (and I planted a lot of stuff!) was my lettuce and my mint. And we didn't even eat it. I even have 5 fruit trees that ended up wormy because I don't know what to do with them. Perhaps I should have you guest post on my blog sometime with gardening tips?

    angie :)