Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: root crops

Planting potatoes for 2014 garden

Growing potatoes

If you plan on gardening during a long term SHTF event, the potato is one of your best friends. Not only are potatoes easy to grow, but they also store well, are easy to cook with, and any remaining potatoes at the end of the year can be replanted for next years crop.

Unlike a lot of crops that require special storage, such as canning and/or drying, just keep potatoes dry and in a cool dark place and they will store for close to a year.

Small potatoes can be eaten straight out of the ground. Larger ones can be baked, boiled, mashed, or made into a soup.

Potatoes grow well in loose soil free from rocks, sticks, tree roots and other obstructions. Work the soil with a tiller, plow, disk,,, something that will break the soil up. Make the rows, add fertilizer, I like to mix the fertilizer into the soil using a tiller, then plant the seed potatoes. Plant the seed potatoes about 3 inches deep and about 12 – 18 inches apart.

Growing Onions

The onion is a national crop; as widely though not quite as extensively grown as the potato. It is available as a money crop for the farm gardener.

Choice of Soil — Heavy, stiff clay land is to be avoided. Sand and gravel dry out too quickly. Stony land renders good culture difficult. The best soil for onions is a deep, rich, mellow loam. Soils which afford natural advantages for irrigation should not be overlooked, as the rainfall is often lacking when greatly needed.

Fertilizers — Onion culture demands high manuring. No amount of rotted stable manure is likely to be excessive. A ton per acre of high-grade, complete fertilizer is not too much, if moisture can be supplied. Hen manure is a good top dressing for onion-beds, furnishing the needed nitrogen. Nitrate of soda is a good source of nitrogen, if nitrogen must be purchased. The clovers and other leguminous crops yield the cheapest nitrogen. Wood ashes, kainit, etc., furnish potash. Either ground bone or acid phosphate will give the needed phosphoric acid. An analysis of the onion shows that it carries away fertility in just about the proportions furnished by stable manure.

Old Style Carrot Farming

A sandy soil or light loam is best for carrots, but they will grow anywhere under good culture. Enormous quantities are grown by the market gardeners, both under glass and in the open ground, for use in soups and for seasoning purposes. The short or half-long varieties are demanded by this trade.

Farm gardeners will do best with half-long and long kinds, unless a special demand calls for the smaller carrots. The large half-long and long ones are suited to both culinary and stock-feeding purposes.

It requires from three to four pounds of seed to the acre, depending on the distance between the rows. The plants should be from 3 to 5 inches apart in the rows, and the rows as near together as is feasible for horse work. Clean culture is demanded. The seed must be planted shallow, and may go into the ground as early as it can be worked in the spring, and from that time until the middle of June. The only danger about late planting is the possibility of dry weather.

ROOTS TURNIPS BEETS and CARROTS

If there be any who still hold that this country must ultimately rival that magnificent Turnip-culture which has so largely transformed the agricultural industry of England and Scotland, while signally and beneficently increasing its annual product, I judge that time will prove them mistaken.

The striking diversity of climate between the opposite coasts of the Atlantic forbids the realization of their hopes. The British Isles, with a considerable portion of the adjacent coast of Continental Europe, have a climate so modified by the Gulf Stream and the ocean that their Summers are usually moist and cool, their Autumns still more so, and their Winters rarely so cold as to freeze the earth considerably; while our Summers and Autumns, are comparatively hot and dry; our Winters in part intensely cold, so as to freeze the earth solid for a foot or more.

Hence, every variety of turnip is exposed here in its tenderer stages to the ravages of every devouring insect; while the 1st of December often finds the soil of all but our Southern and Pacific States so frozen that cannon-wheels would hardly track it, and roots not previously dug up must remain fast in the earth for weeks and often for months.

Old style potato farming

In no other form can so large an amount and value of human food be obtained from an acre of ground as in that of edible roots or tubers; and of these the Potato is by far the most acceptable, and in most general use. Our ancestors, it is settled, were destitute and ignorant of the Potato prior to the discovery of America, though Europe would now find it difficult to subsist her teeming millions without it. In travelling pretty widely over that continent, I cannot remember that I found, any considerable district in which the Potato was not cultivated, though Ireland, western England, and northern Switzerland, with a small portion of northern Italy, are impressed on my mind as the most addicted to the growth of this esculent.

Other roots are eaten occasionally, by way of variety, or as giving a relish to ordinary food; but the Potato alone forms part of the every day diet alike of prince and peasant. It is an almost indispensable ingredient of the feasts of Dives, while it is the cheapest and commonest resort for satiating or moderating the hunger of Lazarus. I recollect hearing my parents, fifty years ago, relate how, in their childhood and youth, the poor of New-England, when the grain-crop of that region was cut short, as it often was, were obliged to subsist through the following Winter mainly on Potatoes and Milk; and I then accorded to those unfortunates of the preceding generation a sympathy which I should now considerably abate, provided the Potatoes were of good quality.

Page 1 of 11


Kevin Felts © 2017 Frontier Theme