Friday, May 28, 2010
Chitting in the front window
Potatoes should generally go into the ground around May 1st in this region, but I'm still going to plant a late crop of three different types of fingerling potatoes. They should be ready for the farmers' market by mid-August. Harder to find than regular potatoes (still available @ the Holiday Nursery), I ordered 15 lbs. of the Russian Banana, La Ratte, and Rose Finn fingerling potatoes from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply.
First glimpse of light
They cost the steep price of $4.99/lb, but should return quite a bit of that at the market. After receiving a tightly packed box from the growers in Colorado, I began chitting (pre-sprouting) the potatoes by placing them upright in empty planting trays and exposing them to medium light. Normally you would avoid allowing potatoes to green (the color denotes the bitter alkaloids found in the greenery of all members of the nightshade family), but in seed potatoes it helps them get a quicker start once they get in the ground. Something I need, planting at the beginning of June. I'll plant these in a 25x4' row with 3 sandy soil filled trenches in the natural clay soil of the row. Then I'll try not to overwater them, and fend off the grasshoppers with Nolo bait. Fingers crossed.