Yesterday I wanted to get out into the garden and plant my potatoes before the storm came in. So I went out not long after I got up. I've tried other ways to plant potatoes, but never Jeavon's way. Laura introduced this to me and I figured I'd try it.
I don't know what Jeavon's says about chitting potatoes or letting cut potatoes scab over. I do know that research says chitted potatoes have a better chance if you plant early. Cold wet soil can rot a potato out if it isn't already growing. The same is true for letting the potato scab over for 2-3 days. For me I don't think it mattered either way since they are getting planted fairly late and the soil is pretty warm and dry. I still chitted them. I didn't have to chit them for long since they were already started when I bought them. Then a couple days ago I cut them into pieces. I needed exactly 50 pieces for a 4'x8' bed. I had 10 Russets, 20 Kennebec, and 20 Yukon Gold.
Yesterday they were planted in the Jeavon's method. As you double dig the bed plant the potatoes 9" down and 9" from each other. My garden doesn't really need to be double dug at this point. The soil was put in last fall and I have 18" of good soil all the way down. But I followed the procedure and made a trench and then loosened the "subsoil". Then put in the seed potato.
I ended up with an extra Russet after planting. Whoops. I had the count perfect when I cut them, so somewhere in the Russet section is a missing spud. Well no matter. The other potatoes will just have to full in.
I finished at 8:15. It wasn't all the much work and wanted to get more done. After breakfast I went out and built another trellis along the back of the three sisters beds in bed 8. I've started numbering the beds. I have eight beds all alike. I think I should give them names though. A number is so impersonal. Anyway the three sisters beds are not normal three sisters since I've found they don't work here. The beans just overtake the corn and smother it. So what I'm doing this year is to plant pole beans long the back foot of the bed up trellises. In the front will be blocks of corn with squash roaming in from the ends and middle. I'm thinking the corn will be in blocks of 12 (3x4). I hope it is good enough for pollination.
Anyway I digress. There will be two 4'x16' foot beds for my three sisters. and one 4'x8' section for summer squash and beans. So I have about 40 feet of beans to plant up. Most of this will be in dried beans.
I have 19 varieties of beans to trial. Some are just little packets of five beans, so those will only get a foot of space as I plant pole beans on 6" centers.
Bed 8 (16' long):
- Fortex green beans from Jane
- Kentucky Wonder green beans
- Green Yard long beans from Jane
- Red Yardlong beans from Jane
- Soisson Vert shelling beans from Jane
- Turkey Craw Dried beans from Michelle
- Mexican Pinto from SSE Yearbook
- Ga Ga Hut Pinto from the SSE Yearbook
- Painted Lady runner beans from Mike (for the trellis over the path)
Bed 5 (8' long):
- Apache Red dried beans from SSE Y
- Norridgewok dried bean from SSE Y
- Tarbais Alaric shelling bean from SSE Y
Bed 2 (16' long and will be planted late since I have to wait for the spinach to come out) all dried beans:
- Cherokee Trail of Tears originally from the Ottawa Gardener, but I've been saving it for a couple of years now
- Aunt Jean's Pole, Rattlesnake from Mike
- Lazy Housewife from Jane
- Petaluma Gold Rush from Michelle
- Borlotto Linguia di Fuoco from Jane
- Ottawa Cranberry. The Ottawa Cranberry came first from the Ottawa Gardener then I grew it out and sent some to Granny. Then I ate all my seed stock except for the previous years. So Granny sent it back to me. So it is a well traveled bean. It started in Canada; came to the east coast of the USA; went to the west coast; then came back to the east coast.
Dang that is a lot of beans to trial. I hope I can keep them all straight. It won't be easy. But I'm hoping to have a selection of maybe six beans that I like after I'm done. But the reality is I will have 10 or more. I have to learn to pick an choose better but it is so hard to cut out the varieties.