Our 2023 garden: Red Thumb potatoes are in

Gooby tried to help.

He was not a very good helper!

The Red Thumb fingerling potatoes had to get into the ground, so they went into the beds that were ready.

I have no doubt I was crowding them a bit too much, but these are fingerling potatoes, so I hope that will make a difference. I still couldn’t fit them all in the bed along the retaining wall. The last of them went into the short end of the L shaped bed, where you can see the straw mulch. I was able to add straw mulch to the rectangular bed with the Irish Cobbler potatoes in it, too.

The extra height added to the bed along the retaining wall came in handy. I did work in some of the composted sheep’s manure first. The bed was already starting to compact! The height of the soil is almost as high as the retaining wall (it is settling a bit, still). The logs are high enough to hold the straw mulch in place.

Unfortunately, the cats seem to think that straw is there, just for them! Especially Gooby.

It started raining by the time I was ready to add the straw, but I gave all the straw a thorough watering, anyhow. They’ll get more deep watering, even with the rain. I’ve noticed that, if the straw doesn’t get saturated first, the top will get wet, but the bottom stays dry, so the moisture never quite gets to the ground. I want to get these beds soaked down through all the layers. Once that’s done, the beds will hold the moisture for quite a long time before they will need watering again.

The whole point of our wanting to use grow bags this year was because we have such a problem with slugs. I’m hoping that, by planting these in raised beds, it will be less of a problem. I suppose we could leave out some beer traps for the slugs, but I have no doubt the cats would be getting into them! I’d rather encourage garter snakes or toads and frogs.

Meanwhile, we’re also seeing peas starting to break ground. Just barely visible! We’ve got carrots sprouting, too, but they are very small and it doesn’t look like we have a high germination rate. They really should have had the plastic right on the ground until they germinated, instead of on hoops, but the hoops were as much to keep the cats off as to keep the moisture in. Hopefully, the heat inside didn’t kill off too many seeds. We do still have 2 other varieties of carrots to sow, so we should be able to make up for any losses.

We’re getting air quality warnings right now. There is a cold front moving in, so the temperatures will drop quite a bit, tomorrow (though not low enough for frost), and with it will come smoke from the many fires in Alberta. Rain is desperately needed, though with so many of the fires being started by people, more than rain is going to be needed to get these under control!

Along with rain today, we’ve also got a fair bit of wind. Nothing exceptional, but too much to take the transplants out. We have no way to protect them from the wind on the various surfaces we use to lay them out. So they remain in the sunroom, which isn’t much warmer than outside right now, with the fan and the lights, for today.

I’m glad I got the potatoes in right away. Rainy, grey weather like this always makes me incredibly sleepy. If I’d delayed it, I probably would not have been able to get it done. As it is, I think I’m going to have to lie down for a bit. I can barely keep my eyes open, as I write this!

So… all three varieties of potatoes are planted. Which means I can finally turn my attention to taking down the trees we’ll be needing to build the trellis tunnel. That should have been done, long ago!

The Re-Farmer


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