Raised Bed Potato Tower

Having grown various Potato varieties for several years, it seemed like time to try out growing them in a Potato Tower. The idea is to grow small crop of each variety in its own isolated raised bed. Growing Potatoes in field beds is space intensive and time consuming interns of management. The strategy for the tower is to add soil and straw to the growing Potato plants rather than hilling the field beds. By adding additional side boards, the depth can be continued with minimal materials. New Potatoes can be harvested by removing a board and hand probing into the bed. When time for the main harvest, more of the boards can be removed to reveal the Potato crop.

The following post details the construction and preplanting phase.

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His Royal Highness on Watch

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April 14 – 25th day of Spring!

If the weatherman is hoping for a Christmas Card this year, he can just keep hoping. And he might just as well forget getting a Birthday Card too after this !

The only good thing is the ground has thawed so these 4” shouldn’t last long.

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Next Crop Starts – Brassicas

The early brassica crop of cabbage, broccoli, pak Choi, and Napa Cabbage have been seeded. These can take a little chill so once they’re strong enough, they’ll transplanted directly into beds outdoors.

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Yes!! No!!!

Some one thinks this is absolutely Wonderful and someone else thinks this is Horrible. Guess who thinks what.

Snow again March 30th
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Seed Starting Rack

After a few years of experimenting a slightly different design was chosen. Most often the grow light fixtures are suspended on chains which lower or raise the lights as needed. After a few crushing slips, a different approach was needed.

After the basic rack was constructed, the lights were placed in a fixed position above the trays. To adjust the light height the idea is to raise or lower the trays rather than the lights. To do this boxes were made from 4”, 6”, and 8” boards. The trays fit snuggly inside the boxes while the bottoms rest on rails inside the rack base. To increase the space between plants and lights, smaller height boxes are used. The boxes can be used in various combinations to achieve an ideal height.

In the photo, the right side uses an 8+4 boxes for germinating seeds (which puts the lights at 1” above the seed tray. On the left are 6+4 boxes which gives about 2-1/2” for the plants.

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“Spa” Visit

Now that the snow inside the fence has mostly melted Wonder Dog Gus finds Spa treatments wherever he can.

Problem is that when he’s relaxing obeying simple requests like “Get up” will be completely ignored until further notice.

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Steadily Getting Stronger

All of the first seeding of tomatoes and peppers are doing fine and getting stronger everyday. In a few more weeks it’ll be time to pot them and eventually moving out to the greenhouse for finishing.

The second seeding of back up plants is just starting to germinate (started two weeks after the first). Any that aren’t needed will be gifted to others once it’s warm enough to transplant outdoors.

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Little Green Things

After just a week, most of the first seeding of Tomatoes have popped out of the soil. Sitting on the soil warmer helps to get these hot Summer vegetables off to a start. Now to keep them close to the lights so they don’t get leggy before heading outside later in May.

The peppers are still shy and hiding under the soil.

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Tomatoes and Peppers

A friend asked what tomatoes and peppers were started. Here’s the list:

Tomatoes (days to harvest from transplants)

      Cherry/ small

Super Sweet 100 (65)

Juliet (60)

Yellow Pear (78)

Red Pear (70)

Gold Nugget (55)

Golden Jubilee (72)

Blush (70)

Indigo Blue (75) 

Italian Ice (65)

Maglia Rosa (70)

      Large

Lime Green (58)

Great White (80)

Celebrity (70)

Black Sea Man (75)

Black Keim (69)

Mortgage Lifter (80)

Red Brandymaster (75)

Brandy wine (100)

Pink Brandymaster (75)

Yellow Brandymaster (75)

New Yorker (66)

Bushsteak (65)

Peppers  (days to harvest from transplants)

Gourmet (orange) (85)

Sweet Sunrise (yellow) (85)

Red Knight (red) (77) (green) (57)

Intruder (red) (82) (green) (62)

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