Do you chit?
April 22, 2015 § 1 Comment
I did not chit my potatoes. At first, I didn’t even know what that meant, but the lady that Karley and I bought our ‘Warba’ potatoes from enthusiastically told us to chit our potatoes on a bright window ledge and then plant them out in mid-March. It turns out that “chit” means “sprout”. I was all for it until I read that chitting isn’t necessary for successful potato growth. Since window sill space, and space in general, are not in excess here, I promptly removed the potatoes from the sill and stored them in a cool, dark place till planting time. When mid-March rolled around, I pulled those unchitted tubers out of their hiding place and planted half of them at 3 – 4 inches deep, and the other half at 8 inches deep. I haven’t grown potatoes before, so I was interested to see not only if chitting mattered, but also if planting depth made a difference. Meanwhile, Karley chitted hers so the “to chit vs. not to chit” experiment is on 🙂
The day the Warbas went into the ground, the sun was bright and warm. The next day, and the following week, it rained and rained and rained. I envisioned rotting tubers underground but I still hopefully checked the potato plot every single day. Last week, after a month of anticipation, they finally sprouted (did it take 4 weeks to surface because of their unchitted state at planting time?)! Dirt was pushed aside as the ruffled tops appeared, and this week all of them are showing their deep green leaves….I am so excited! At this stage, some of the plants are bigger than others, particularly those in the middle of the rows, but that is the case in all the rows so I don’t think planting depth has made a difference in that regard. Overall, this potato experiment is well on its way.
On another experimental front, Amy, Karley and I purchased some ‘Pomegranate Crunch’ lettuce seeds from Salt Spring Seeds and thought it would be interesting to compare its growth in our three gardens (given that each of our soil plots represent their own microclimates….which is an observational, not scientific, fact 🙂 ). So far so good on the lettuce growing here, which is a first for me. I know – lettuce is supposed to be one of the easiest things to grow, right?! But every year I have failed with straggly, unappealing leaves that wilt and fizzle out along with my enthusiasm. Somehow, this season is different which also excites me to no end. That feeling extends to the other lettuce variety I am growing – ‘Drunken Woman’ from Salt Spring Seeds – and to the ‘Osaka Purple’ mustard greens from Omega Blue Farms. The bigger these mustard greens grow, the more Dijon mustard-y they taste…oh, so good!
Rounding out all this springtime excitement is the buzzing and bumbling about of the mason bees as they go from blueberry flowers to dandelions to finding a place to call home. They’ve been burrowing into the soil or trying to make they’re dwelling in the cedar fence, so perhaps this year I’ll put up a house for them.
But for now, I’m going to go admire the potato sprouts….again…. 🙂