Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Potato trenches

Last fall I put down some cardboard outside my yard fence.  Then I put the clipping from the last mowing on top.  Lots of leaves were in it.  Here's what winter and this spring's floods did to it.  Not bad.
It's easy to dig a trench.  It's almost easier then digging individual holes.  This is turf I'm digging in.  I don't mow it as much as the lawn so it's not as dense as the lawn.  But it's pretty much the same as converting lawn into garden.
Put the spade in, plant with your foot & let gravity do the work.  Don't take too much.  If you do, you'll need to tear the turf.  With small bites, the shovel cuts it & there's very little to tear.
Pull the handle back and turn the turf to the side.  Ideally you have the grass turned over on top of the turf between the rows.

Supposedly this is an old Irish technique for converting turf into garden.  Next year the grass will be decomposed and the whole thing will be loosened up and easier to turn in.
This is what it looks like.

Four rows down the long way.  I did the plot next to the clubhouse like this and it's easy to dig there now.  This will be even easier next year.

 Finished,  from the side.

And the end result.

Now I need to get the potatos starting to sprout and cut the eyes for planting.  I have 20 lbs to plant, up from 2.5 last year!

This is outside my fence and closer to the woods.  A deer run goes through here.  I'm hoping they won't be that interested in potato plants.  I do have some wire fencing I can put around later if I need to.

Next year, I'll need to rotate another crop in here.  I'll surely need a fence because anything else will probably attract critters.  I might just plant a cover crop for 2 years.  I have room back here for 2 more potato plots of the same size.

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