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Planting Potatoes and Installing Irrigation in Our Garden

Rain, rain, and more rain. We have been a little waterlogged out at the farm the last few weeks. While the abundance of precipitation is making it a little difficult to get our spring plots planted, I’m sure we will all be doing the ol’ rain dance by the time July rolls around.

The seedlings that I spoke of last month are starting to bust out of their seed trays and desperately need to be planted before they become root bound. We were finally able to prep half of our spring plot when we had a break in the weather and I hope we will be able to set out these ‘more than mature’ plants in the next couple of days.

seedlings bursting from tray

We had one of the prettiest days so far this year a few days ago and we were able to take advantage of the weather and planted around one-third of our seed potato inventory.

The traditional knowledge prescribes planting your Irish potatoes on a ‘dark night in mid-February’ however, the weather prevented us from doing that this year. If we can get the remainder of our spuds planted in the next week or so, I think we will come out alright at harvest time. When cutting your seed potatoes before planting, it is important to try and keep two ‘eyes’ per piece to give the best chance for sprouting.

foggy morning

Once the potatoes have been divided or cut, it is good practice to let them cure for 1-3 days before planting so that they can heal over.

One task that the crew has been working on is installing a permanent drip irrigation system to service our blackberry patch. A trench was dug perpendicular to the rows on the upper side of the patch. Next we will lay PVC in the trench with a header coming up at the beginning of each row. We will then run drip tubing down the length of the row.

An underground system is ideal for a perennial crop such as blackberries or blueberries; it requires little maintenance and makes mowing much easier. I think we will experience a noticeable increase in production this year by instituting a consistent irrigation schedule.

That wraps up this edition of From the Farm. I hope you all have an enjoyable and productive first month of Spring!

Brad Kelly
Business Development Manager
Kelly Products, Inc.