Grow, Baby, Grow

I planted potatoes for the first time this spring. This is what they looked like last weekend, six days ago:

Potatoes, May 30

I was pretty excited that they were growing at all. I mean, I’ve never grown these tubers before. Here is what they looked like today:

Potatoes, June 5

The popcorn appeared today. This morning the green shoots were popping out of the dirt.

Popcorn Reaching for the Sky

I knew I had to get something to scare the birds or they would pull it all as it sprouts. When I first planted popcorn, the birds ate every kernal. So I replanted and hung some reflectors. That did the trick. I wanted to wait this time until the shoots were just coming up so the birds would not get accustomed to my little scare tactic. So late in the morning I rigged my reflectors. Between the time I discovered the seeds sprouting and the time I carried stakes and string out to the garden beds, one of those flying bastards had pulled half a dozen seeds. I hope that is all they manage to get.

I save CD’s over the year so I have a few to hang to keep the birds away. That they are reflective, and that they spin in even a slight breeze, seems to be enough of a deterrent. I add some flagging tape in there just to make things really wiggy. I need the birds to stay away long enough so they no longer want the just-bursting seeds. In past years, once the plants have become established they have done fine, and I am looking to repeat that pattern this year.

Better Than a Scarecrow

And that’s how things are growing these days. Most everything is coming up, although lettuce seems to be slow. I’m thinking it has been too hot. That is what you get for waiting. We have had some hot days and some rain so growing conditions are right on for most things. Although the basil isn’t doing well, which surprises me. But you can’t have everything. If the cucumber beetles are less of a nuisance this year then I will be happy. Cucumbers and melons instead of basil. Not ideal, but not a bad trade.

And speaking of nuisances, I haven’t seen the damn bunnies in a few days now. Maybe my chasing them around in old clogs was enough to scare them? Or maybe my wife watching me chase them, through the upstairs window, and laughing through the screen, was what really made them flee. Either way, I am glad they have decided to snack on more wild fare for the time being.

Too many critters to deal with, I tell you. Too many critters.

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2 thoughts on “Grow, Baby, Grow

  1. your potatoes are looking good, a tip for you… potatoes grow on the underground stem so the longer it is the more potatoes you will get. This would normally be done when the plant sends it first green shoot up the addition of straw or soil extends the length of the stem hence more spuds…as for birds, netting staked above the plants is about the only way to keep them of, try applying blood n bone to keep rabbits away, they are after all herbivores so dont like meat meal. Here in australia we have problems with kangaroos eating our gardens as well as rabbits and birds.

  2. Thanks for the tips. I am glad I don’t have kangaroos to deal with as well. I have been planning to get some mulch hay to apply to my potatoes. I’ll get to it before too long. I hope.

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