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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting my spring garden. It's a bigger garden than I have ever done before. I want to share what I'm doing, in hopes of helping others, and getting advice from more experienced gardeners. Please feel free to ask questions or give input. Warning, this thread will drag on for months. That's a good thing for you northerners as I will be finishing up about when you start, so you can learn from my mistakes. Although I'll bet gardening up north is very different from southern gardening.


First I tilled the soil twice. The garden is about 30' wide by 50' long...





Then I made my rows by hand, with a shovel. My kids also staked out their corners for their gardens....







Already planted are beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, basil and bell peppers. The last 5 rows are reserved for red potatoes, which I haven't planted yet. They will actually be planted in the trenches between the rows, covered till they sprout through, than covered again. In the end the potatoes will be the mound, with a trench on each side. I've laid the potatoes out in the sun to get them sprouting. Than I will cut them into eye/sprout cubes. Than I will let them scab over (a few days) before planting. I've never done potatoes before.

I'm very excited about growing them because they are such a great source of nourishment. What I'm trying to say is that you can starve to death with a garden full of green beans and bell peppers. A successful potato crop will keep a family alive in a SHTF. I really, really hope I can make the potatoes work.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Will,

Did you break the ground up first before tilling? I suppose here in Florida you probaley don't have to. Also did you add anything into the soil while tilling?
There are no rocks in Florida. It tilled up real easy. I cleaned out my chicken coop, tilling the poo into my garden. I'm thinking of buying a middle buster fo next year and going bigger. We'll see.
 

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Your ground looks so nice and dark, you have a very good looking garden! That looks like sandy soil and I bet you'll have more potatoes than you are expecting. We have clay soil here and it makes root crops very tough, I bet you'll get 15-20 to 1 yield on those seed potatoes if you mound them like that.

How is your soil pH?
 

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I've laid the potatoes out in the sun to get them sprouting.
Do not put the potatoes in the sun. If you want them to sprout, cut them up, and put the cuttings in a thin layer of water, like a cookie sheet.

When the potatoes are exposed to sun light, they release a mild toxin - http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=5658

If the potato starts to turn green, its been in the sun too long.
 

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Looks great! Soil looks nice, and looks like you have plenty of exposure. Don't worry about sprouting the potatoes at all, just dust the wounds with a touch of sulfur, then bury em. They'll do fine all alone. Unless the ants eat em. (Happened to both my bins last year)

Also, hope you're going to fence. Either the dog or the garden. Nothing worse than a single run through by a good sized dog to much up a nicely starting garden. I have two of my own paw compactors. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do not put the potatoes in the sun. If you want them to sprout, cut them up, and put the cuttings in a thin layer of water, like a cookie sheet.

When the potatoes are exposed to sun light, they release a mild toxin - http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=5658

If the potato starts to turn green, its been in the sun too long.
Thanks for the input Kev. I cubed them and put them in a pan with a thin layer of water on the bottom....

 

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When you say you dip the cut potatoes in fire ash (high potassium) I'm assuming you are refereing to ash from burnt wood.

What about ash from charcoal briquettes? Or what about those compacted newspaper logs? Is the chemical composition of ash the same or does it depend on what source was burned to get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
When we cut our potatoes to plant, we dip them in fire ash (high potassium) to seal them and leave them in the shade for a day or too.
this stops them rotting and helps stop disease. Also helps them sprout quick.

Thanks for the input Farmers wife. I wet the spuds, and covered them in wood ash...




I can see family friend Mr. Dog thinking of future burial sites for bones too.
I'm currently working on a cheap, portable fencing idea. With a portable fence, I could move the garden to a new location to rotate soil use, move the fence to get my tractor inside for mowing or tilling, or expand the garden without much cost or effort. Here's some pictures showing my progress.

I already had a solar powered, electric fence unit near my garden, at my dog pen. The idea is to tap into that power unit and electric fence in my garden. That unit and the fencing supplies cost me about $200 5 years ago. I have some left over insulators and wire string, so the addition is almost free....



I bought about $36 worth of 2x4x8 PT wood, cut it to size, and nailed it together...










Here it is installed around the garden...





 

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Just so you know some of us are very envious of your garden already. We can't even think about gardening except dreaming about it. We still have over a foot of snow here today. hmmm...I wonder if I should start peppers indoors soon?
 

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Just so you know some of us are very envious of your garden already. We can't even think about gardening except dreaming about it. We still have over a foot of snow here today. hmmm...I wonder if I should start peppers indoors soon?
lol except for us on the west coast of canada, everything is growing in my garden. the garlic has grown a foot since the "winter" olympics started:thumb:
 
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