Monday, February 8, 2010

Permaculture and Potatoes

We've been busy in the yard the last few weekends. We got two more truckloads of compost and created some new beds.

First was my potato coffins, I mean boxes... We used leftovers from our fence and to avoid any waste, we just used the board sizes as they were previously cut so the boxes are perfect coffin size, oh well.

The plan is to plant in the dirt below the bottomless boxes, then back fill with dirt and hay as the plants grow. We'll add front boards as necessary to hold in all of the dirt and stuff (and hopefully lots of potatoes). The idea is that the potato plant will make potatoes in any portion of the stem that is covered by soil, so ideally we could have up to 18" of potato growing stems instead of the pretty waist high potato plants I had last year.

The potatoes are not planted yet, they are biding their time in my kitchen window until this cool rainy spell passes (as of Feb 8th).

The other benefit of the potato boxes is that this will free up two big sections of the garden for other things... gee what to plant?!?

Most of the new dirt went to hubby's permaculture berry areas along the side of the house.

We put down a layer of cardboard to block out weeds and then dumped 8" of compost on top to create a planting area. This is a very low area of our yard, so the extra soil height will be a help.

Per hubby's design specs, we have planted:
3 Blackberries
30+ strawberries (Ozark Beauty, Quinalt, Sequia)
40 dayliles (heritage plants from Curtis' grandmother)
1 Celeste Fig tree (that was my addition)

Bare root Strawberries from Home Depot ~10 for $3.48, but most packages had 12 or more plants

Celeste Fig from NHG, $29.99, I could have gotten the same one a lot cheaper else where, but oh well.

All of this is behind the fence in the back yard. Directly in front of the same fence we also have a new berry area with:
2 blue berries
2 raspberries
5 Buddleia (4 white, 1 purple)

All of this fits into our plan of LESS LAWN, more edibles. While I tend to enjoy my annual veggies, hubby has been in love with the idea of permaculture... basically permanent plantings of things that you can eat--hence all the berries. I'm kind of excited about it too.

My permaculture addition is the asparagus bed. This is located next to our veggie garden, just to the east side of our back fence. There was a load of sandy top soil here from the fall, and I added and tilled in about 2 wheelbarrow loads of compost. I used boards across the bed to prevent smashing my pretty fresh soil when planting.

Here is a bare root asparagus crown. I got 18 Mary Washington and 3 Jersey Giant plants.

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