The potatoes are making a bid for freedom….

What a strange growing season we’re having! Our spring was so cold and wet that I direct sowed my veggies almost two weeks later than usual – a huge difference when you consider that we have, on average, 117 frost-free days in the city.  (I didn’t start anything indoors this year or do any winter sowing).  June was pretty much a blur of rain – I’m not certain we actually saw sunlight for the entire month.  To this date, July has been considerably more moderate as far as temperature and drying are concerned…and my potatoes are kind of blissed out at the moment. I’ve got foliage going on like nobody’s business – I just hope there are a few tubers forming under there.  A gardener in the Alberta Gardening Facebook group recently remarked that her potato plants were over five feet tall and those that commented echoed her claim – this is clearly the year of giant potato plants in our province!

FPPNormandeau

And yes, those are hula hoops forming the tunnel in my raised bed…you can see how I set that all up here.  I’m a big fan of the hula hoops – they’re cheap, sturdy, and they liven up a public space with their colours!  (I’m not sure what our community garden leader thinks of them, but she hasn’t sent me a cease and desist letter so I’m guessing they don’t offend too many sensibilities).   Instead of row cover fabric this year, I put up fibreglass screen. Its purpose is two-fold: we have deer that like to jump the fence of the community garden and nibble, so this saves my beans; as well – and more importantly – we are plagued by frequent hailstorms in this part of the world, and this keeps most of the icy stones from shredding my squash.  I could combine this set-up with row cover fabric in future years – a good idea if I decide to plant cabbages and want to thwart flea beetles, or if I get seeds into the soil early and need a bit of protection against the cold – but for this year, the screen without the poly has been a satisfactory choice.

Did you plant potatoes this year?  And do you use hoop tunnels in your raised or in-ground beds?  

And…just for fun – what is your favourite way to make potato salad?  

12 thoughts on “The potatoes are making a bid for freedom….

  1. Our potatoes are in the same spot as you have mentioned. Very tall and yes, we are hoping for a nice colorful yield this year. 😉. We planted two colors – red and bluish/purple. That is almost how they name them. As for potato salad, my hubby actually makes egg salad with potatoes in it, but I don’t eat any of it anymore. Too much growing up, I guess.

  2. Well, I *love* the hula hoops–such a good and fun idea. We don’t grow foods except for a couple random raspberry bushes but I like to read about other people’s efforts!

  3. No potatoes this year and probably we won’t be growing them again which is a pity, but my husband’s back suffered too much last time we grew them. I also love your hula hoops!

  4. Hula hoops? Well, it is prettier and cleaner than the scraps of old irrigation lines that we use (on rare occasion that it is necessary). I will still use old pipe though, just because I dislike wasting it more than I dislike using it in the first place. I also use redwood limbs, just because they are so predictably uniform. They don’t bend well, but make nice ‘curvy’ frames if bound together.

  5. We had a similar spring, and my tomatoes are doing a similar thing. Looks like a jungle in my little bed. Love the idea of the hula hoops. And the mesh is great, too. Hope you get some potatoes!

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