‘Taters dug, Wheat planted
Virtues of Raised Bed Gardening
Back in March, the youngest daughter and I tilled up one of the raised beds in the north garden. March? Yes, right around Saint Patties day. We *conserved* some old Idaho potatoes from the basement, you know those ones that have the klingons growing out of their sides? We (roughly) quartered them, one growing eye per quarter, scratched a few lines in the dirt with the corner of a hoe, and plopped the potato quarters in.
Potato plants appeared five or six weeks later, along with little sprouts of dill, garlic and very few onions. Hmm. Weeding was done sporadically. Then, one day, the whole raised bed was just chock-full of giant dill, and weeds. The potato plants went missing.
I had considered it a loss, well, after I pulled the garlic.
Then just a few days back I pulled a large, egregious weed from that raised bed. In the crater left by the weed’s root I saw a small potato. So I grabbed a fork and began carefully excavating. As it turns out, the potatoes had NOT completely died off. And I gathered a small bushel basket of them. I also completely weeded the small raised bed. Then sweetened it with a large scoop (4-5 bushels?) of aged cow manure, which was roto-tilled.
The Grain Experiment
The final touch for 2010 is that I seeded it with wheat- hard white winter wheat. Not having had much luck with this in the past I am calling this an “experiment” in grain growing, as it seems awful late in the year for this, and wheat is supposed to get up one to three inches before *winter* sets in, to have enough life force to stave off the cold. Being that it has been so dad-gum dry around here, I took out the garden hose and watered the raised bed heavily, and then watered it again a few hours later because it has been so windy.
So, when I heard the forecast for last night’s temperature to drop down to 27 I figured that was all a big waste of time. Now it appears to have only gone down to 36 overnight, so I feel bold enough to write about this, and to call it an experiment.