Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Ides of March

I suppose this could also be called Spring Cleaning Part II. I've been hankerin' to get the last of the old potatoes out of the basement. They did very well. I only bought a new bag from the store two weeks ago because I had run out of taters sizable enough to cut for home fries. Even though they were wrinkly and sprouty, they still made excellent mashed potatoes and I was using them for that. We also still have plenty of onions with a very low percentage being lost to sprouts. I am running low on peas, but am beginning to give away gallon bags of green beans!

So, despite the fact that it is mid-March, and at least 2 months early for the "sensible" planting date for potatoes in our zone, if you had a pile of ugly, wrinkly, sprouty potatoes lurking about in your basement.... would you compost them? Or put them in the dirt and let them take their chances?

We are in the middle of a minimum of 2 weeks of 70 degree forecasts. The soil is warm and workable. When I arrived home from the office today, Tim had just finished tilling the potato bed. I ran right down to the basement and got those taters. I had just enough for one row, half white, half red. I chose the row closest to the side walk, so if the weather changes and they freeze or rot, I can easily pull them out and start over.

It's a beautiful thing isn't it?

I also had two packets of Survivor peas left over from previous planting seasons. So, you guessed it, they went in too. The two rows planted today comprise half of my planned pea planting. I will be ordering more to plant by Good Friday. My mother recalls a year back in the 1960s ("the year Mom and Dad went on vacation"... her father was a dairy farmer, so there was only one vacation in family history to recon with!) that she planted peas on March 5th and got a wonderful crop.

There were a few odds and ends or potatoes left that didn't fit in the row. Those went into two 5 gallon pots on the patio. Those will be easy to save from bad weather should it occur, and they will be ready to pick before the end of potato planting season so I can use my next batch of leftovers to fill them for a second crop.


  1. I think you're fixing to have a fine crop of peas and potatoes !

    Our peas and carrots are shot. We're in the middle of 2 weeks of mid to upper 80's in the daytime and mid 60's at night and all the cool season stuff bolted. It's done for till next year.

  2. I didn't realize you could plant potatoes that had already sprouted. I put mine in, too, heedless of the frost date, and just mulched them with hay. Perhaps I smothered them b/c they haven't come up yet. The warm weather has actually stunted my peas. Can't win for losing sometimes!!! :)