Friday, March 20, 2015

Controling tempature and rainfall in the potato bed

I have started this garden bed 1 month early. See the post below for more info.

On March 16, 2015. Temperatures stared to drop into the high 30's F
So, I went ran outside and added a plastic cover to the top of the bed. This allowed me to control the soil temp decrease. It only went down to 48f . The next day I did this video. (March 17)

The next day. March 18,  I took the cover off again for  few hours. Air temperature was 44° | 37° ground temp 48. It went back up to 50f. 

March 19, air temps 42° | 35° soil temps 49-50 rain fall .11 inch 

Today March 20.  air temps 55° | 43° Soil temps 50- will put in the number when I cover the bed for the night. 
Note. This bed contains potatoes I started from Pull sprouts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Planting potatoes from pull sprouts

On the 16 th of March I took the potatoes that have been growing in soil since the end of February. I carefully separated them from the mother/tuber. Then divided them up into individual plants.   The ones that were tiny and had small amounts of roots were left on the tuber and returned to the moist potting soil in the box.  I returned the parent tubers to the box too. They will regrow more plants. Then I will repeat the process, when they have at least 2 inches in height and some really nice looking leaves started.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Growing true potato seed TPS

TPS True Potato seeds come from a fruit that develops of some potatoes.
They are like a small tomato in size. But not edible. You collect the seed from the fruit to grow new plants next year. I will write more about the fruit when my potato plants develop there this summer or fall. 

On March 7, 2015 I placed 1 seed in each cup. Planting 4 cups of each potato seed. The cups contain a sterile seed starter mix.
Tom Wagner Seeds
On March 13 all 4 cups of what is called 320370 sprouted and 1 cup with Muru
I placed a grow light over them to start greening them up. I will keep them moist as they could take 3 weeks to sprout.

I planted more of them today.These were spread from top to bottom in rows.True potato seed need to be started around the same time as tomato seed. Which is about 8 weeks before they are put in there place out side. They will be taken out when the weather is nice to get them use to real sunlight. And outdoor conditions. I do not have a green house, so they are kept under grow lights indoors. 

My other potato sprouts are doing well also
Sprout started from tuber
My first sprouts were placed in the ground yesterday the 212th of March. The ground temperature was in the high 40's, at a level of 6-7 inched deep. Out side temps were in the 60's. But I put a bird net over them And keep a shade cloth on them at night and Today we had rain. I kept them covered. 

Temp was 49-55f. .3/8 inches of rain. 
Potato seed planted
320370 potato,
Diamond, Toro potato, Tetraploid A blue skin, blue fleshed potato
Muru potato, Tetraploid large, late season, blues, blue and white, or white. Some russets.
Poor dog potato,
Skagit valley gold potato, Diploid
Blue doll,  Tetraploid Round Blue with mostly blue flesh.

Tom Wagner seed, TPS, True botanical potato seed, True Potato Seed

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bocking 14 variety of Russian Comfrey

Update. I received the root cuttings on March 13, 2015 The first photo is what they look like. Seems to be a good size root cut to about 1/2 inch. Then split down the center.
I placed them cut side down and covered with a little wet potting soil. We will see how long it takes to root.
I just ordered and will be growing the Bocking 14 variety of Russian Comfrey. (Symphytum x uplandicum)This sterile variety of comfrey grows very well in Zones 2-9. Comfrey has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb as well as a fertility builder for the land.

Both Bocking #4 and #14 can be used as garden fertilizer, compost activator, mulch, medicine, or be fed to animals as fodder
Both reduce transplant shock of plants. Put some leaves in the hole before you replant.
Plant indoors in pots and keep indoors until spring. After winter passes and the ground can be worked move the comfrey outdoors and plant in the ground.

I will be getting 10 individual 1" to 2" long pieces

Non-invasive Bocking-14 form of comfrey, which will not produce viable seed.

Bocking-14 comfrey is the most desirable cultivar for making a tea to fertilize your garden with an NPK ratio 1.8 / 0.5 /5.3. Comfrey is a dynamic accumulator of nutrients, most notably iron, silicon, nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium and many trace minerals.

Save money on animal feed! Comfrey is used worldwide as an animal fodder. Dried comfrey leaves contain 26% protein. Although some animals enjoy comfrey fresh, if you find your animals do not like fresh comfrey, offer them comfrey which has wilted for a day or dried completely. The little silicon "hairs" on the leaves sometimes bother animals, though the problem is solved by allowing the leaves to wilt first. Comfrey is the only plant which harvests vitamin B-12 from the soil!

Use comfrey leaves to turbo-charge your compost pile, especially piles made predominately made from carbon heavy "browns" like dry leaves, straw, brush, wood chips or shavings, etc.
 #14 is more frequently used as a garden fertilizer because its stalks are a little thinner than #4 so it decomposes faster.

 Note: All types of Russian Comfrey (cultivars Bocking No. 1 through Bocking No. 21) are botanically known as "Symphytum × uplandicum" or "Symphytum x uplandica". They all are a cross (natural hybrid, not GMO) between rough comfrey and common comfrey


Comparing #14 to #4: Potassium

Russian Comfrey is high in potash (potassium). Dried leaves of Bocking #14 are 7.09% potash. Bocking #4 is 5.04%. True Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has 5.3% potash.

Wilted Comfrey #14 has more than twice as much potash as farm manure and 30% more than compost.
Comparing #14 to #4: Potassium
Russian Comfrey is high in potash (potassium). Dried leaves of Bocking #14 are 7.09% potash. Bocking #4 is 5.04%. True Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has 5.3% potash.

Wilted Comfrey #14 has more than twice as much potash as farm manure and 30% more than compost.
The Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (NPK) ratio of True Comfrey is 1.80-0.50-5.30.

Another way to use it is by making liquid fertilizer or compost tea. You put about 5 pounds of comfrey leaves in 7 gallons of water. If you want a lot of fertilizer, use a 55 gallon barrel. Use a proportional amount of leaves. Cover with a lid and let sit for 4-6 weeks. The liquid is used to fertilize your plants.

How the amount of sun light affects plant

 Photoperiodism The response of an organism to changes in day length (photoperiod). Many plant responses are controlled by day length. (Short, Long, Neutral)
"Short day"A plant that requires a long period of darkness, is termed a "short day" (long night) plant. Short-day plants form flowers only when day length is less than about 12 hours. Many spring and fall flowering plants are short day plants, including kalanchoe, onion, viola, some chrysanthemums, poinsettias and Christmas cactus. If these are exposed to more than 12 hours of light per day, bloom formation does not occur.
Chrysanthemum (some types) critical day length: 15 hrs.
Poinsettia critical day length: 10 hrs.
  "Long day" plants,  bloom only when they receive more than 12 hours of light. Many of our summer blooming flowers and garden vegetables are long day plants, such as asters, cone flowers, California poppies, (dill, 11 hrs),  lettuce, (spinach, 13 hrs) foxglove, lettuce, petunia, sedum, and hibiscus.and potatoes. These all bloom when the days are long, during our temperate summers.

  "Day neutral" Some plants simply begin flowering once they’ve reached a certain age. They form flowers regardless of day length.  Rice, corn, Tomatoes, cucumbers, pea, sunflower, dandelion and some strawberries are day-neutral.
  Day-neutral strawberries called “ever-bearing” strawberries, are smaller and easier to manage than June-bearers.
 Scientists discovered that it was actually the hours of uninterrupted darkness that triggered flowering, rather than the hours of light. Experiments showed that even brief flashes of light during the dark period of the cycle could interfere with flower development. Despite this new understanding of photoperiodism, the terms long- and short-day, which refer to hours of light rather than darkness, are still commonly used