Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I decided today that I am not weeding... I am collecting fresh compost material.

So the potatoes are setting flower buds. Not all potatoes do this though... many of the current cultivars for commercial production are hybrids and are propagated by means of the tubers. So if you decide to take a chance on a bag of sprouted potatoes in your fridge, don't be surprised if they don't flower. Also.. you would really want to think twice about the store spuds as many of them come with baggage. By that I mean viruses and other pathogens which may either be difficult to detect.. or the main way they can express there are issues are by reduced crop yields.

There is a way around that.. but it does involve sprouting the eyes from the potatoes and then cutting the sprouts of a few inches up to then root in clean potting medium. It is banking off of the sprouts growing faster than the viruses can infect them.
So they set out flowers.. and then after pollination they create fruit. If you leave the fruit to ripen, you can harvest the seed and ferment them much like collecting tomato seeds. To grow a crop from seed though will take roughly 2 years. 1st year the plants will produce usually just tiny taters which then can be used as seed potatoes the following year. The results.. well they will vary. Don't expect them to breed true.. very few strains do that. This is however one of the ways new strains are created. Then keeping the strain true is just a matter of clonal propagation by replanting of the tubers.
The matter of hilling them to get a greater crop is kind of up for debate. Reason being that it depends on how large the stolon is.. and as that forms the first week after the potato sprout emerges.. if you don't catch it soon enough, hilling it is a wasted effort.

Tomatillo have already begun to flower.. well this one anyways. It's buddies still need more time to catch up. If this sets fruit.. the seed from it will not be viable as tomatillo are self-incompatible.

The heat + the days of rain.. and now the heat again is causing my snow peas to wind down. No doubt the family will be glad at least some of the peas are no longer on the menu. I managed to add snow peas to pretty much every meal and shared some extras with a friend. I don't bother with freezing snow peas.. they are one of those things that never quite revive, so we just eat them seasonally.
The Alaska shelling peas have been producing for awhile. I am now stopping collecting from them so the rest may have enough time to finish for seed next year. I have another patch of shelling peas that will be ready to start picking soon. I still can't find what strain they are. I did find a quick map I drew and only because of that I know they are a shelling sort. The sugar snap peas are still being devoured by our daughter. I got to try just a few and they are very sweet. I have to fend her off soon so I can get enough to plant next year.
Off I go to collect more fresh composting materials (sigh) and plant more dill. My husband's friend can't seem to get enough of it. I told him to buy some lumber and we'll help him make a raised bed so he can grow his own. It will reseed itself easily and all he has to do is keep it weeded.
Back to work.. always so much to do and just when you think you are close to being done.. there is more.

No comments:

Post a Comment