Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Potatoes 2015: Yeah, I'm Trying Again

I'm trying again. Last year's potato patch was an abject failure, thanks to fire ants. They ate the roots, giving me only a few potatoes in a big patch I planted.

This year, I'm watching for them. And I WILL kill them all.

As you can see in the background, I've got a little 2-year-old helper who was fetching seed potatoes for me. Life is better with baby helpers.

The hoe I'm using to make the rows is this cool one from (Thank you, Greg. I like these tools.)

These potato beds are in my former sugarcane patch. The yield of annual vegetables is much higher than the yield of sugarcane and my space is limited. Now I'm planting white potatoes - later in the season I'll plant something else, then in the fall I'll plant it yet again. You just can't get that kind of productivity from sugar cane. Sugar cane also isn't great for feeding the family... or reaching my goal of growing 2,000 lbs of food in 2015. (I've still got some cane growing in the food forest, so it's not totally gone - I really like chewing fresh cane in the fall and so do the children.)

The soil is rich sandy loam and I'm very happy with it. If potatoes fail here, I might just quit.

Don't they look pretty?

Hoping for the best.

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At January 21, 2015 at 5:16 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Dude, I LOVE your yard. I am steadily working towards that look. Haven't completely let go of the standard "Florida yard". Grass, inedible shrubs, and weeds. I'm slowly covering it up though. Good luck on your ton of food. I canned 21 QUARTS of sweet potatoes from two small beds this month. And still had 20-30 whole potatoes to give away/eat. Still amazes me what can be done in such a small space.

At January 21, 2015 at 6:50 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Thank you, Scott. Half the fun is giving produce away and having people say "WHOA - you grew all this?" Definitely satisfying.

If I was in your shoes, I'd start by planting lots of fruit trees to replace the inedible stuff. Many can be kept small, such as the Dwarf Mulberries and the Japanese persimmons. Then use the trees as islands and work out from their bases, adding other good stuff until the grass is just in the pathways. Good luck.

At January 21, 2015 at 7:58 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At January 21, 2015 at 7:58 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

That's exactly what I'm doing, you must be psychotic (or is it psychic?). Anyway, I'm building frames around all the fruit trees I've planted (mango, papaya, fig, avocado, guava) and amending the soil inside the box. Working great so far. I too love giving food to family and friends. I'm even trying to "buy" the affection of a young lady at work with vegetables. No luck so far though.......

At January 21, 2015 at 8:00 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Drop me an e-mail - david (at) goodmanshow dot com

At January 22, 2015 at 6:38 PM , Blogger Ten at Eat Your Sands said...

ok, so sweet potatoes have already been mentioned. in terms of pure poundage, taro and sweet potatoes seem to be the way to go. although i still haven't been able to get a hold of water hyacinth, reported to be lettuce-tasting and full of ... whatever...
i have been making a lot of green smoothies from the yard. water is added, so not sure if that would upset your poundage totals. :)
i bought 3 imported african white yams from a store in tampa to plant this spring, along with the cowpeas. what proteins are you growing? velvet bean? are you still growing cassava? yes, be envious of the yams... if they grow they should be awesome here. i have a pal from nigeria, she says it should grow well here since the two climates are so similar. i'm excited.

off topic - scott, are you married? :) and must love kids, birds, rabbits, gardening...hehe


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