The potatoes arrived!

I have potatoes!  They came in an adorable little box filled with colorful crinkly paper “straw”, all arranged nicely with a guide like the one that comes in the top of chocolates boxes to tell you which potato is which.  I have Red Cloud, Onaway, All Blue, Butte, Cranberry Red, and Carola (between one and three of each; 12 total).  I also have postcards with descriptions of the potato varieties, plus growing instructions and a little booklet of potato recipes!  Yay!  (This was the “Organic Potato Blossom Festival”, and is intended as a gift-packaged sort of thing, which explains all the extras.  Normally Wood Prairie stuff has pretty minimal packaging)  The potatoes are covered in delicate velvety dirt…is it weird that I’m happy to get to have their dirt along with the potatoes?

I also did the little soil test I got from the hardware store.  Digging up a soil sample gave me a preview of what digging the garden will be like: i.e., kind of hellish.  The soil is extraordinarily compacted.  I have no idea how anything manages to grow in there.  I guess that’s the point of the scary garden fork.  And planting things will help.  Anyway, our soil apparently has quite a lot of potassium, a fair amount of phosphorus, and almost no nitrogen.  And probably neutral-to-acidic pH, but I’m not convinced that I did that one right.  Ok, note to self: pee on garden.  And speaking of fertilizer, I also ordered a big bottle of Earth Juice.  Does anyone else use this stuff?  If so, how did you get the cap off?  I finally gave up and hacked the top off with a bread knife, then decanted it into a clean empty juice bottle.  It is an impressive shade of brown and has a faint yet very…organic…smell, probably from the blood meal.  It’s mildly disturbing, actually.  I’m going to dig all of the leaves and kitchen scraps into the garden and use the Earth Juice regularly, and hopefully that will give the plants a fighting chance.

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