|Pepper seedlings need to be bumped up to separate pots.|
|Tomato seedlings that moved into these "6-packs" two weeks ago are almost ready for new, larger pots.|
The crop rotation schedule that I designed has a flaw in that, some years, the tomato-family plants end up with less space than I would prefer, because not all of my garden beds are the same size. This year, the tomato/potato/pepper/eggplant space is alarmingly tight.
To make sure there would be enough room for everything, I hacked up some more lawn out at the ends of two beds for potato-space. After peeling off the turf part, I dumped on an inch or so of compost and dug that a couple of inches down into the awful red clay. Then I layered on more compost, laid out the seed potatoes on top, then spread another couple of inches of compost over the seed potatoes.
After the seed potatoes have sent greenery up above the surface, I'll pile on some more compost, then finish the top off with some old hay. As the plants grow, I'll water them a few times with a little fish emulsion solution for an extra phosphorus kick. At least, that's the current plan.
While poking around online to decide whether my plan could work, I found a really great article in Mother Earth News about growing potatoes organically. The article "How to Grow Organic Potatoes" is an interview with Jim Gerritsen, a professional grower in Maine, that hits all aspects of growing, and it even includes information for gardeners here in the South. The article goes on for quite a few pages, but, for anyone planning to grow organic potatoes, it's worth taking the time to read.