July 24, 2017

Gardening Tip – For the week, 16th – 23rd April.

Speedy Potato Planting Day!

Traditionally the Easter weekend is the time to plant out your potatoes. In the American Calendar there are around 60 ‘Days’ – there is even a Pi day on March 14 (3/14  in the American Calendar) when mathematicians send cards to each other. Hallmark, one of the largest cooperatives in the card making industry was once criticized for fabricating  these ‘Days’ to sell more cards – and they had to write a disclaimer saying that these days were not made up by themselves to boost their profits but were genuine days on the calendar.

The gardener should definitely have a different selection of ‘Days’; Onion planting Day (the shortest day of the year), Onion Harvesting Day – ( the longest day of the year,) Potato planting day – and so many others.

The problem is that we cannot always manage the ideal jobs on exactly the given day, especially now with the children (or grandchildren) off school, these important jobs often get delayed. The potatoes could wait a week or two but I have a bigger dilemma with dahlia or lily bulbs, especially those that I have ordered by post – they always seem to arrive on the busiest day of the year! The ground is not always ready for planting, and the time to plant them is just not available.

dahlia and lily bulbs in old compost

This year I thought of a new, simple quick and time saving plan. I had some compost still stored from last year in its original bag. Some gardeners claim that compost gets sour and loses its original strength when kept for too long, but for my purpose as described here it is excellent. I lay the bag down flat and cut away the top cover of the bag. I then semi sunk the dahlia and lily bulbs inside the compost. This will stop the bulbs from drying out and it will begin the process of encouraging those tiny white roots to begin to emerge from the tubers.

I could do the same for the potatoes, without going into the argument of whether to chit or not to chit, this ‘compost plunging’ , will definitely get them off to a head start. I would not leave them there for more than a couple of weeks, and then I will make my Grand Potato Planting Day. In a fortnight I will be looking in my postbag for your Cards wishing me a good crop!

Good  Gardening and planting to you all


About The Author

Profile photo of Boris Legarni

Boris inherited his green fingers from his mother, who was still planting potatoes and rhubarb in the sixties as she was afraid that they would once again be rationed. As a teenager he used to plant radishes in the corner of the school garden and sell them during break time for sixpence, to give his classmates a healthy crunchy snack. He and his wife both have had an allotment for years, but there is no competition – he does the planting and she does the harvesting and cooking. With a passion for growing anything edible, Boris has planted dozens of named fruit trees in his orchard. Nevertheless he is an avid flower arranger, and assists local communities and charities with his flower arrangements. Boris tells us that after so many years on the allotment he has made all the mistakes possible, and he will share with you his practice to make yours perfect!

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