Potatoes don’t smile

When it came right down to it my will to grow potatoes wavered. It did. It became actually wobbly and prone to distraction. But I had purchased those organic very special roundish plantable mail-order seed potatoes so I was committed.

[For a moment there was a dark thought of making soup…]

sprouted potatoesThe sproutings weren’t as good as the ones I’ve sometimes found on the potatoes in the kitchen drawer, but I went with it.

I hacked them up into three-eyed chunks.

three eyed potatoesVery creepy.

Then I gathered up a nice blend of composts from my vast compost collection and stirred the mix in the wheelbarrow just like if I had gone ahead with the soup I didn’t make, except I used a shovel.

Well I was going to add photos of the compost and the pots with the little cut potatoes tucked in like half hidden Easter eggs and then topped off with more compost but really you can imagine it and the potatoes absolutely refuse to smile for the camera so here’s just the fabulous outcome: four pots, each about a quarter full of soil and home to four or five potato chunks.

potato potsAnd now it’s been a week or so and they are still down there under the compost and I just wonder if they will find the strength and confidence and the Potato Will to forge upward and burst into potato-plantness or if they have given up all hope and interest and are maybe just looking for exits out the bottoms of the pots.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

But, you planted potatoes too right? Are they up and green and ready to “hill up” –which is to say, to bury the new growth again in compost and see if they can do the same growing trick a second time or if instead they get discouraged and finally give up and die. (Aren’t there international laws concerning this treatment?)

In more positive vegetable news, the purple orach (Atriplex hortensis) is my new favorite salad leaf. It is the most incredible color, very Martha when mixed up with green lettuce leaves, mild flavored, and is said to self-sow and come up in the spring just in time for next year’s eating. Here is one of the plants before I planted it out in the garden and clipped off quite so many of it’s ruffly leaves but it seems to be recovering so really it is my kind of plant.

Purple orach

Escaping the (often hazardous) vegetable area, we move now to some more relaxed and carefree neighborhoods. Here is a bicolor azalea which I theorize is named ‘Mardi Gras’ and is just so pretty that I planted two together even though I know they get about two feet tall and wide and some day they will prove to be  too close to one another but no problem, remember I have a shovel.

Azalea "Mardi Gras"I can’t get the color of this azalea to appear with screen-accuracy even though I tried all the cameras, including the iphone and my Dick Tracy ring, and editing after that. In reality (my reality) the pink is more of a peach color and not so much that color my mother painted my bedroom when I was five.

Mostly I seem to have plants with less showy blooms, because I do love the wildflowers. Here, just unfolding into flower, is something called Hooker’s fairybells which I remember the name of because the blooms flare like little skirts. Oh I shouldn’t have written that. Where is my editor!?  Anyway I love this tall (36″) perennnial shade plant, growing among the ferns and thalictrum and cyclamen.

Hooker's fairybellsIt has a pretty cousin called Smith’s fairy lanterns, which has discreetly vertical blooms and a more unified and controlled overall shape. (Smith’s is quieter and behaves better at parties.)

Smith's fairy lanterns, Prosartes smithiiThese plants disappear every winter (off to the Caribbean I think) and return in the spring like a celebration, so nice. Note: they self-sow in a polite way that is no problem to the gardeners on our staff.

I know your gardens are all bursting with growth and flowers and potential fruits– unless you are Lyn in Australia in which case your gardens are shutting down for fall, such a planet we have… Anyway I will close with this shot of a Clematis montana vine which I grew from a cutting, prettily blooming on the arbor where the raspberries used to NOT grow every year so last year I ripped them out–an inspired decision.

Clematis montana

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About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in Clematis, Pacific Northwest native plants, vegetable garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to Potatoes don’t smile

  1. Good luck with your potatoes! Nothing is more delicious than creamed new potatoes from the garden with peas. Also love that white clematis.

    • linniew says:

      Oh Jason you are so encouraging–and don’t tell anyone but today I found some potato leaves peeking up so there is hope! But the clematis is pink. (I need a real camera…)

  2. kininvie says:

    I’m baffled as to why you chop your potatoes up before you plant them. It’s not exactly going to encourage them, is it? There are some things you can do to improve on nature, but I’m not convinced chopping up seed potatoes is one of them.
    The purple orach obviously belongs in Where the Wild Things Are, not in a garden.

    • kininvie says:

      PS How’s the book? Disappointed not have had another extract….:-(

      • linniew says:

        How I do hate to disappoint you. I wish you here I would make you a salad with orach.

        And when I post another extract it will all be your fault.

    • linniew says:

      Kininvie dear I must assume either you grow potatoes about as often as you grow neeps or else there is a vast difference in the approach to potato planting in Scotland–here we chop. As to orach, the catalog calls it a ‘European Green’ which maybe is just glorifying a weed, as Alberto suggested once, but it is truly beautiful in the bowl with the lettuces and spinach and dill and sorrel and quinoa and whatever else I find in my hunting and foraging about among the gardens. And it’s easy peasy to grow.

      • kininvie says:

        Well, I’ve grown potatoes from time to time, but more to the point, I’ve asked Dr Google about this strange habit, but can only find US sites extolling its virtues. It seems to involve powdered limstone and curing the cut bits. I hope you did that? It is unlike Americans to be mean, but it would appear that the chief rationale is to make your potatoes go further, so you don’t have to buy two packs. Why not try leaving them intact next year, and see if there’s any difference in yield?

        • linniew says:

          Welcome back to the Great Potato Controversy, Kininvie. No I did not cure the potato chunks, and if you read perhaps even more from dear Dr. Google you will notice a controversy in that department too. Since I tend toward the simplest approach I have sided with the school of thought that denies the need for curing. But you will say the truly simplest approach would be no cutting at all, and I will astonish you and reply ‘But I had never heard from even ONE source that planting whole potatoes was a choice,” and you will say my research was inadquate and I will say but clearly this is just another one of those vast differences between our cultures and to think WE have unearthed it right here on all these garden blogs– isn’t this exciting? (I hope you enjoyed our conversation. Another beer?) But it is not polite to suggest cheap. Although I stand by my theory that the process MAY have evolved from pioneers (like those from Scotland and Ireland and England) trying desperately to make more out of less. Still, see Rachel of the Potatoes’ practically-professional comment. As to next year, perhaps we could have a potato race using our various methods in similar sized pots. But wait, you still owe me for the clematis bet…

  3. At first I thought the purple orach was potato foliage and I was ready to run out and buy some seed potatoes. I think all salad should be purple and I’m dying to try some orach! Hooker’s fairybells? Hysterical! I’ve only grown sweet potatoes but if all i have to do to grow a regular potato is stick one in a pot, I might need to give it a try.

    • linniew says:

      I’ve never tried growing sweet potatoes. Well I’ve not seriously tried growing any sort of potatoes before I guess. Hence my doubt. But that orach is part of my salad garden forever!

  4. Katie says:

    The potato to the left in photo #2 is giving you a raspberry. Just like with horses and dogs, I’m afraid your natural ability is spent and you are in need of a potato whisperer.

  5. Perhaps I SHOULD grow some potatoes this year? After all, there are plenty of shoots on the potatoes in the vegetable drawer, so they’re not really fit for anything but the garden, be it in a vegetable patch or on the compost heap…

    And as for the clematis: This MUST be the year when I successfully grow some more clematis from cuttings, so I guess this means I should, y’know, CUT something. Isn’t that the first step?

    • linniew says:

      Yes it does seem that those potato plants that sprout in the kitchen might as well be outside. (I think in future I may skip the buying of ‘seed potatoes’ and just plant from the drawer.) As to clematis– well let’s just say I have traveled that road dear Søren! HERE is where it all started and then HERE is one of my many follow-up posts. It does take patience but in the end I had about five new vines for my efforts, the most robust of which is the montana.

      • I shall do my best to learn from you, of Wise One. 🙂

        We’ve just ripped the roof off our covered terrace (there were too many structural problems with it), so now instead it will be a terrace surrounded by the pergola-like remains of the structure, necessitating loads and loads of climbing plants! And there’s no plant like a home-grown plant, right? (Especially for the budget…)

        • linniew says:

          (Oh I do like “Wise One.”) You have created a ruin, so perfect among the gardens! I am always looking for structures for vines… Homegrown plants are special in many ways not the least of which is the abundance for no cost. Good luck with the cuttings–

          • I do hope we haven’t quite created a ruin, picturesque as that may sound; rather we’ve tried to make a tumble-down porch look like a sturdy arbor or pergola around the front terrace. And LOTS of room for climbers! 🙂

            • linniew says:

              Oh Søren I was just joshin’ you, as my high school science teacher used to say. A roofless porch becomes an instant arbor, so perfect!

              • But now you’ve made me want a ruin in my garden; there’s the rub! I want a folly of some sorts… How, I wonder, would a crumbling medieval castle look at the back of the borders? Or a Greek temple in the middle of the dahlias? Or how about something more contemporary, like the remains of a bankrupt investment bank HQ, positioned carefully between the rhododendrons?

                • linniew says:

                  There are a few banks I would like to see in ruins, but that’s different I guess. Personally I dream of stone walls, and maybe a standing stone or two. (My house is sort of a ruin and it’s taking forever to fix it.)

                  • I’d like a brick structure somewhere in the garden; it seems somehow less formal than stone. Mind you, I seem to use up my scant supply of bricks on practical stuff like edging flower beds and builting planting boxes on the terrace, so I guess I’ll never have bricks to spare for a folly.

                    A standing stone, though, is on my must-have list. Or just a LARGE field stone to lay in one of the flower beds… but as my means of transportation is bus, train and/or bike, I guess schlepping around large stones is not an option just yet. Sadly…

  6. Wow that purple orach is stunning!!!! I’m not sure if I’d want to eat it or photograph it first! Interesting about the potatoes … didn’t know you could chop them up before planting.. I wonder if ginger is the same.

    • linniew says:

      Hello and welcome!
      You should see the orach leaves with sun shining through them– a jewel-like ruby color. As to ginger I always assumed it needs some sort of tropical climate but who knows. I do typically endorse chopping of things. (I provide cautionary warnings at the start of my posts about pruning.)

  7. Jeannine says:

    Love the clematis and the bicolor azaleas. Jeannine

    • linniew says:

      Hi Jeannine
      So much is coming into bloom now, I have to control myself from just posting images with ‘look at that!’ as the only text.

  8. Hi, we planted our new potatoes in March and they are only just starting to show greenery. Our main crop are going in now and will be ready around Sept/Oct, so don’t be in too much of a rush. Can I ask why you cut the seed potatoes up ? I’ve never heard of this before.

    • linniew says:

      Oh dear. I am starting to think I made this whole thing up about cutting the potatoes… No wait, here is Steve Solomon (Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades): “Larger potatoes are usually cut into sections weighing 2 to 4 ounces each prior to planting. Each cut piece must contain at least two eyes…” Honestly I begin to think this must be one of those American things, maybe because the pioneers were short of potatoes? I believe tiny potatoes are sometimes planted whole, and there is some dissension about whether to chop early or immediately before planting, but otherwise I have never heard of planting large potatoes in one piece. Do they still grow more than one plant from all those eyes?

  9. Cynthia says:

    Well, I don’t know why those snooty things refused to smile. You are lovingly helping them procreate – and isn’t that something all living things long to do?

    • linniew says:

      So how soon can you get to my garden and TALK to the vegetables for me Cynthia? You can see how difficult they are being. And after that problem with the cabbage plants going right to seed without producing any cabbage for salad! I must be some kind of saint to endure it…

  10. Susan says:

    It seems you have unleashed the great potato debate.

    • linniew says:

      Susan I am certain YOU understand my innocence here– I’m just a lowly gardener who aspires to a few spuds (tatties) for supper. Who knew I would create (another) international incident? You can see why I never got that job at the Department of State.

      • kininvie says:

        The potato debate boils down (sorry) to this: Why chop ’em if you don’t have to? Seems like a lot of extra work (even without the powdered limestone) unless we have clear evidence of advantage – I know there’s some theoretical stuff out there about bigger potatoes….but I like mine the size that fits in the pan.
        Yup, this blog fearlessly seeks out and exposes cultural difference from crape to potato chips. I’m sure there’s a book to be had out of it!

        • linniew says:

          Oh but the chopping makes perfect sense if you end up with more plants and so likely more potatoes beneath. And, do you boil them whole? I mean, I cut them up (surprise!) to boil them, or to roast or fry them, so they don’t have to fit in the pot whole. (Perhaps another bit of crape and chips for that book…)

          • kininvie says:

            If you chop your potatoes before boiling, you ruin their essential integrity. You should know that. Roasting is a different matter.

            • linniew says:

              Lose their integrity? What, will they start lying to me, or cheating at cards?

              So long as you don’t peel them they will taste yummy.

              • kininvie says:

                Slicing before cooking is sort of the equivalent of peeling if you think about it.

                • linniew says:

                  I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes now, thinking about it. And it’s not.

                  If you still have the peeling, it imparts a lot of flavor and probably vitamins and also maybe good luck in things involving round things or anything to do with coins and long journeys ending by lakes. (You see I have powers beyond just making o’s with slashes through them.)

  11. Ah, those poor Benghazi potatoes! They should be happy, not that potatoes enjoy company all that much, but those are sort of tiny containers, sort a like a potato party without the grease. Daughter of a potato farmer, resident of the second highest potato producing state in the country: cut the potatoes! I’m really confused about all the discussion and underlying implications of what sounds like gardeners having a hard time growing potatoes. I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Are you planting them in clay? It is all I can think of! Good drainage, cut to 2-3 eyes, lots of water, enough phosphate and potassium, it should be all good. I started cutting potatoes at about age 5, the minute I could answer that you slice toward your body; as logically strange as that would sound to a 5-year-old. (The test for driving a tractor was being tall enough to reach the pedals– I was 6.)

    And, oh, the ones that sprout in the cupboard are good to plant, but not all in the cupboard will sprout. Traditionally, supermarket potatoes were treated with an anti-sprouting chemical. I think skipping that step is probably a cost savings, so there you go– kitchen cupboard sprouters. To avoid that, place the plastic bag in a brown paper sack when you store them in your kitchen, unless your evil plans include forced sprouting of your hapless potatoes, sprouting is in response to light, secondarily moisture, but mostly light. That’s where the whole hilling up thing comes from.

    • linniew says:

      I heartily welcome you to this discussion, oh Rachel of the Potatoes! After reading your remarks and then looking back on a couple of feeble attempts at potato growing in the past, I would say it was clay soil and inadequate water that was their undoing, and mine. So in the (admittedly small) pots I’ve put only loose soil and compost and there is regular watering. So appalling to think of anti-sprouting chemicals. Avoiding that makes the idea of growing potatoes seem much more reasonable. I thought the “hilling up” was to create more roots (potato production) along the stems?

      • kininvie says:

        That, and to stop the frost ravaging the earliest leaves (if you live in Scotland). I did once plant potatoes in clay, and quickly learned not to. Raised beds are the answer. Less fuss than pots, and you get more spuds.

  12. Fay says:

    Oh Linnie (I’m escaped from my hibernation) I’ve had my eyes out on stalks from the word ‘soup’.

    I’m with Mr K – I had never heard of cutting tatties up before planting (no wonder they were’nt smiling) it truly is an ‘over the pond thing’. I’m looking with interest with your efforts, I know you’re excellent at making cuttings of clematis grow, so I’m sure (despite your thoughts of soup) the tatties will be fine.

    We must have synced existences I planted my potatoes (whole and I have to say smiling) yesterday when the sun shone to encourage them. No more shootlings on them than yours yet.

    I’ll whisper to them how lucky they are, they weren’t quartered before planting. And, if they misbehave, I’ll send them right to you.

    Haggis supervised the tattie planting whilst STANDING on the raised beds, Peedie gave him the heads up by then walking over them, I think these mutts are anti gardening. These dogs have also not read the ‘raised beds are good for keeping your pets off your patch’ booklet. I hope Max is more disciplined.

    • linniew says:

      Fay! Mean WordPress filtered out your comment in the spam! (I hate it when the Information Superhighway becomes a gravel road.) I will put your vote in the ‘don’t cut the seed potatoes’ column, although I laughed to think of you threatening your potatoes with MY knife. Max tends to stay out of the raised vegetable beds, but his friend Argyle Braveheart, a Cairn, likes to graze on for example the cabbage leaves. Some ancient terrier leaning toward vegetarianism perhaps. And Max does like raw carrots…

  13. b-a-g says:

    I grew eating-potatoes which had gone bad last year, but I was informed that it’s illegal (or just wrong) to do that in some US states. Luckily I live in the UK, but I decided not to do it again just in case. The clematis is lovely, but I can’t help thinking about raspberry ripple ice-cream when I look at it.

    • linniew says:

      Oh b-a-g, you made me laugh! Potato police? I expect the reason to not plant commercially grown potatoes has to do with growth inhibitors used like preservatives, or application of insecticides etc. all important to shelf-life and marketing rather than to eating. But we do eat them. So maybe that’s the reason to buy organic or grow your own. And follow up with some raspberry ice-cream I think.

  14. Hi Linnie girl, I’m sorry but I don’t grow potatoes. Yours look very promising though. I believe your little native is Disporum. The only reason I know this is because I went to the Corvallis Spring Garden Festival last Sunday and a vendor had a one-gallon plant that she dug up from her garden for a whopping $3.00. I am going to give it to my friend Cate who has a woodland garden next to her house.

    Your clemmy looks wonderful and that paint color your mom used when you were 5, well it is one of my favorite colors, I’ll have you know. 🙂 Yes, I’m still 5.

    Lovely Orach too.

    This spring weather is very uncanny, isn’t it? I think a little rain is in the forecast for this weekend and I know my garden can use it.

    Have fun!

    • linniew says:

      Hi ya Gracie!
      You are correct that the fairybells plants are also sometimes classified as Disporum. (My source is Encyclopedia of Native Plants by Kathleen Robson, a well-worn book that I love, and she indicates both names.)

      Yes the rain is coming just in time, getting dry out there. I have even been watering some of the beds, amazing.

  15. bridget says:

    Well I’m from Ireland and people always used to cut the seed potatoes, making sure of course there was an eye on each. People don’t seem to do it now. I remember my Grandfather, with well worn penknife in hand, cutting heaps of seed potatoes. He would be planting enough for the year. They were then left to cure before planting.

    • linniew says:

      YES! YIPPEE! Thanks Bridget! I have ancestors from Ireland, and more recently from England, and now I can pretend this potato cutting process was passed down in the DNA.

  16. Hi Linnie, your commenters and replies are almost as entertaining as your posts, well maybe not quite. I wonder if it was a fellow Aberdonian who introduced the tattie chopping thing to the US. Kind of makes sense, maybe they result in developing ready mashed spuds, no thats just daft. I am not surprised to see that you have replaced the ugly Rasp bushes for Clematis, although rasps are delicious.

    • linniew says:

      Alistair! So sorry mean WordPress filters were not recognizing your comments of late! Thanks for not giving up on me… Yes the chopping=mashed is silly and I appreciate that too. I like raspberries but I never got any from our bushes for some reason I could never quite fathom. I’m treating the clematis vines like royalty and they seem quite happy.

  17. sheila2read says:

    I am having the same trouble getting my camera to photograph flowers in their real color. Particularly a certain rose bush… I responded to the profusion of flowers this year with large amounts of photographs and almost no posting. I am becoming a digital photo hoarder.

    • linniew says:

      Digital photos don’t take up much room–not like old books or a collection of reclining chairs. So it’s okay. But that color thing is so annoying.

  18. I had to come over here to see who in their right mind would sink an entire potato in the ground instead of cutting it up into pieces. No surprise that it was kininvie, rogue among rogues. Granted, my potato harvest has been dismal but the greenery coming off the potato cuttings is impressive! It seems such a waste to plant an entire spud when a quarter would do – provided there are eyes left on the cuttings to sprout.

    As far as juleps go, you want to use chilled glass ware and decent bourbon. I use simple syrup but I think plain sugar might be more traditional. Use crushed ice vs cubes. I make mine to taste but the ratio is approx. 3 oz bourbon to 1 tsp sugar. You want to put a half dozen mint leaves into the bottom of your glass before the ice and bourbon go in and then use a muddler on them which I do not own but I do own and use a pestle. If things are dire and you have no muddler or pestle you might set the mint leaves on a counter top and mash the leaves with a potato – whole, not cut up. That way you can wrap your fist around it and go to town. So you see, I’ve nothing against whole potatoes as long as they are used wisely.

    • linniew says:

      Oh thank heaven, I knew I could count on you Roberta! [Note to world: I had made inquiries at Mulish & Company, Roberta’s extraordinary blog, re both potato planting and mint julep recipes.] Potato as a mint pestle makes such sense to me. The mint is up. I must go in search of decent bourbon. Don’t worry, I shall endlessly report the outcome. Gosh I just feel so much better about it all now…

      And yes Kininvie is an outstanding rogue.

      • kininvie says:

        Honestly, I come here with some innocent comments, and get told I am a rogue among rogues! Just because I point out that cutting up seed potatoes is a complete waste of effort unless you are growing some ultra-rare variety. For our benighted ancestors from Ireland or elsewhere, it may have made good sense, but seed potatoes are not exactly a luxury item in this day and age. If you ask me, just because your great grannie spent hours chopping her seed potatoes is not a good enough reason to continue with the habit.

  19. Alberto says:

    I totally agree with you about the inspired clematis montana decision, much better than not growing whateverberries. I nearly can’t believe you grow that clematis from an actual cutting but I will (believe you), as I’m going to give you more confidence. I’m very pround of you chopping potatoes. I don’t recall anymore what kind of agreement we did about growing potatoes but I’m sure I didn’t even try to accomplish my part since I totally forget about the existence of potatoes: both because I can’t eat them anymore and they won’t grow in my hard and heavy clay, I guess (and I don’t have all that amount of compost you always seem to have available, where the hell…?).
    Anyway I LOVE your purple orach, I’d grow it in my garden amongst roses instead of eating it (and then you bother about hilling potatoes… insensitive!). A friend of mine just gave me this plant called perilla frutescens (aka indian basil, in Italy) a purple basil/nettle-like plant used as a kind of spice in oriental dishes… I’ll let you know.

    • linniew says:

      Well I dang sure would not bother growing a vegetable I couldn’t eat so you are off the hook with potatoes Alberto. One summer when a friend and I were selling plants at a Saturday market a customer gave us a plant called ‘Shiso’ which I think might be like your perilla. It would come up every year in his garden he said, but I can’t remember what happened to it in mine. I can totally imagine growing the orach ornamentally– it is an unearthly color.

      • Alberto says:

        Yes my perilla is called Shiso in japan and eventually in the East. I’ve been told that you plant once and you’ll never loose it but eventually this is one of those rules that don’t apply to us… freestylers… ahem… cough cough…

  20. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I used to grow potatoes and some other veggies but someone kept planting trees and ornamental things so now his garden is fairly shady. I could make terraced beds on the slope that goes from the house to the sidewalk on the south side of the house. Maybe that’s a project for next year or when I win the lottery, whichever comes first. Anyway, I tell myself that going to farmers markets and supporting local organic growers is the next best thing to doing it myself. Your purple orach is gorgeous and I don’t just say that to every pretty gardener in the blogosphere!

    • linniew says:

      Oh Peter, I completely understand the Creeping Shade issue. I have planted so many trees. Really I’m thinking now about getting some monkeys. If I didn’t live in the middle of nowhere I would go to the local food growers more too. I do buy peppers and peaches. Still blushing about my purple orach…

  21. 77 responses wow, do you pay these people. Just kidding, your blog brings out the worst in me….oh sorry again. I have done the potato thing in many differnet containers with no success whatsoever, not even soup. The plants grow beautifully and then die.

    • Yeah, they’re suppose to, and then you dig them up and supposedly potatoes!!! They need a LOT of water (and good drainage).

    • linniew says:

      Yeah my blog brings out the worst in me too. But thank heaven I have readers like you Carolyn who encourage my gardening efforts with prognostications of doom. (You aren’t getting payments from Scotland are you?)

  22. Lyn says:

    Hey, Linnie, you just reminded me that in the Amaranth Jungle there were some potato plants (I know I saw them sometime last summer). I wonder if I can still go and dig them up, or if it’s too late and they will be all rotted and disgusting, like teenagers’ socks. How could I have forgotten them? I am such a bad vegie gardener! I always plant whole potatoes, but I never bother to buy special ones, I just shove in the ones that have grown whiskers in the bottom of the pantry.

    • linniew says:

      You must be brave! Time and tide and potatoes wait for no woman. Then too positive thinking helps, like images of new potatoes and fresh peas (it’s okay to BUY the peas). Get the shovel and let me know.

      I hugely appreciate your gardening irreverence Lyn, planting those kitchen potatoes like that. And clearly you have raised teenagers. I would guess boys.

      • Lyn says:

        Yes, I probably should have specified teenage BOYS’ socks, as my daughter was always fragrant as a flower. I have one son, and would have thought there was something very wrong with him except that luckily I had friends with teenage sons too and they all wanted to wear gas masks when entering the male bedrooms. Back to the potatoes, though. yes, I found them and there were some salvageable ones, but not many, as they had been so shamefully neglected. Just so you know that I am not completely haphazzard in my vegie growing, I once did a comparison test, planting seed potatoes (bought) and tentacled monsters from the pantry in adjoining beds, and the pantry ones did much better, so I never bought any for planting again.

        • linniew says:

          I KNEW IT. Not the socks, the kitchen drawer potatoes… It stands to reason that they would be hearty and resourceful and tough, living as they do IN A DRAWER. Thanks for your honesty on this delicate issue Lyn, you have contributed much to the Great Potato Discussion.

  23. Hi Linnie, I have been in touch with akismet and they have just told me they have fixed the problem. Just doing a test run to see if this comes through without having to retrieve it from your spam. Please just delete this. Thanks for your patience. Alistair. I will be back with more conventional stuff later.

  24. Pingback: Four summer rock garden plants | Gardening At The Edge

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