In spite of the miserable weather this weekend, we did make some progress. Having a 14-year-old nephew willing to work in inclement weather for cheap definitely helps! As you can see, we added a second raised bed right off the patio. This is a small bed, 3 X 5, and I am planning to grow peas in it. One of the varieties of peas that I purchased, Alderman, grows quite tall, 6 – 8 feet. Luckily, I have just the thing and it is free! I have a small decorative windmill in my yard that has seen better days. I kept it, though, thinking I might find a use for it in the garden. So here it is all set up in the new bed, ready to support pea vines. BTW, the peas that I planted a few weeks ago, before the last round of snow, are still looking good and growing. Well, at least one variety is. The Oregon Giants have emerged and held up fine under the snow. The Canoes still haven’t emerged. I’m pretty impressed with the Oregon Giants so far.
Today I also planted the rhubarb that arrived from Territorial Seed yesterday. Along with the rhubarb, I received my order of seed potatoes. I bought a four-variety collection of early, mid, and late varieties. I didn’t like spending $40 on seed potatoes, so hopefully this is the only time I’ll spend that. If I can effectively store some of the potatoes over the winter as seed potatoes, I shouldn’t need to buy them again next year. After receiving the potatoes, I went over to DoubleD’s site to go over her potato planting instructions. The one thing that surprised me in the instructions was that she planted whole seed potatoes. For some reason I thought they could be cut up prior to planting.
The potatoes had me thinking about food storage again. I’ve been perusing Root Cellaring and thinking about different cold storage options. We do have a great location where we could build a partially underground root cellar. I keep hinting to Derek that I’d like to start planning this. My hints are being rebuffed and I might need to come up with some other solutions for this year, potentially leveraging part of the garage or a crawl space area off the basement. If you have any great ideas, I’d love to hear them.
Finally, we are going to look into the green energy rebates included in the stimulus bill. It would be cool if we could take a first step into solar this year, which would probably be a solar hot water heater.
I love the recycled windmill/trellis! Good thinking and it looks great.
As to the potatoes… you most certainly CAN cut up the seed potatoes. Many people do. It is a good practice if you cut them up to make sure you have at least one “eye” on each piece and to let them cure/set out for at least 24 hours so the cut can heal a bit. This keeps it from rotting as easily in cool soil. Cutting your seed pieces will make them go much further. I personally save medium to small potatoes for seed and save enough of them that I don’t have to bother with the cutting process. It’s just a choice – not a requirement.
I forgot to mention. I did two postings on my blog to day – including a big section on planting peas! Seems we are on the same schedule.
Sounds like lots of exciting things are happening. The tall pea must be an heirloom if it grows that tall. I think the windmill pea trellis looks great.
I planted rhubarb crowns about 4 years ago. I really like rhubarb, rhubarb pie is my favorite. What variety did you plant?
I just picked up that ‘Root Cellaring’ book from the library, they are a great idea. I would love to construct one in the basement some time with an in & out air pipe.
DoubleD, thanks for the info about being able to cut the potatoes. I’d like to do that so I can share my seed potatoes with my sister and brother-in-law. I’ll go back and check your second post as well!
Dan, the rhubarb is Crimson Red. I’m looking forward to strawberry rhubarb pie!
OK…I’m not ‘rebuffing’ you on the root cellar, I just have a honeydo list a mile long that I’m working through. I’ll get to the root cellar when I have time.
What a great idea! I need to get my peas planted today. What fun, time to plant.
I need to come up with a pea trellis as well. Since I live in the woods I usually just cut sapplings for that purpose, keeps the woods clear and it gives me free trellises.
I use twigs too for the smaller pea plants, but definitely needed something tall for the Alderman variety.
Ah, a root cellar. Kinda need a water table a bit deeper than 12 inches like we have here. Ah well.
Peas, gotta plant those. Boy these coming weeks will be busy, peas, potatoes and no time to plant them. Grrr.
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Thanks buddy. Great submissions you got going on here. Have some extra sites to link to which have more stuff like this?
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