Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wide Rows and Blue Potatoes

The very first year I began my garden, I had a very small garden patch. My garden consisted of 5 narrow rows; and 2 of these rows were occupied by potatoes. The very next year, my garden plot was much larger and I had initially planted 2 narrow rows of potatoes. A week had gone but and it occurred to me that if I widened my rows and made the walking paths narrower, I could nearly double the amount of potato plants I could grow in the same space.

While widening your rows does decrease the yield per plant by about 25 percent, twice the number of plants still equals more potatoes. Another benefit to planting in wide rows is that as the plants grow, they shade the soil so it doesn't have to be watered as much. Since our well often goes dry late summer/early fall, it makes practical sense for me to widen my rows. This year, most of my rows are wide. I have two rows of peas in a wide row... I even have the odd potato plant in between the pea plants. I have a very wide row that takes up almost half of the garden's width, filled with potatoes. I have another wide row with lettuce and broccoli. The widest row is for my potatoes. I can fit approximately 3 narrow rows worth of potatoes in the space that 2 rows would normally consume. I have 3 different varieties of potatoes growing, with the first planting showing now. The last potatoes planted were blue potatoes. I'm really excited to see the leaves of the blue potato plants.

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