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A Day in the Garden

April 2nd, 2010

My mom has nice soil and a nice open sunny area in her back yard with a traditional rowed garden (here’s her garden last summer). She’s been generous enough to increase the garden each year to let me grow sun loving crops in exchange for some seeds, plants and work. On Wednesday I went to my mom’s house and we spent a day getting the garden ready for the season. She covers her garden with a tarp over the winter to protect the soil and to keep the weed seeds out. We uncovered the garden and went to work amending the soil a bit and planting a few early crops.

Traditionally here in Ohio you plant peas and potatoes on St Patrick’s day. It was too cold on that holiday and it’s been pretty wet this spring, so we’ve been waiting for the weather to break to start planting. We spent the entire day getting the garden ready and then planting 8 rows of peas and 4 rows of potatoes and some onions. We follow a more intensive planting system so we plant wider rows of plants instead of single rows with walkways in between. In the walkways we’re planning on adding stepping stones and lower growing plants to make even better use of the space, perhaps beets, chamomile, and other low growing herbs.

We planted peas and potatoes for the freezer and the pantry. I’m hoping for a good pea harvest so I can enjoy lots of peas in our winter stews and a pantry full of potatoes to eat on all winter. What varieties did we plant?

Wando peas: 68 days, produces good yields of 3 ½” long sweet peas. Pods have 6 to 8 dark green peas. A remarkable high quality variety that is resistant to warm weather and drought conditions. The Wando Pea will grow a crop during the driest, hottest summer months, at a time other varieties fail. High in Vitamin A, B, and C. Excellent freezing and canning variety. Vines are 26″ tall.

Kennebec Potatoes: a late maturing white potato variety. An excellent one for fries; chips; baking or hashbrowns.

Yukon Gold Potatoes: A favorite among gardeners, consumers and chefs. Delicious flesh is drier than most other yellow varieties, perfect for baking and mashing. Yellow flesh appears to be buttered. Bred and selected by AgCanada and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food in 1966. Excellent yields and a great keeper. 80-90 days.

What are you planting right now?

20 Comments to “A Day in the Garden”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: A Day in the Garden #edible #othersgardens #momsgarden #planting […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Planting Peas & Potatoes | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  2. kristin @ going country on April 2, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Tomato seeds. If I’m lucky and the child decides to sleep long enough today.
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..Fashion for the Under One Set =-.

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  3. marcyincny on April 2, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Fava e cime di rapa!
    .-= marcyincny´s last blog ..Too Warm Too Soon =-.

    Reply to marcyincny's comment

  4. tj on April 2, 2010 at 9:48 am

    …Hello you two! I was just looking at the photos of your mom’s garden from last year and I have to ask this; what does your mom do to her lawn to have it so lush and green? And what do you and Mr. Chiots use for your lawn?

    …We have approx. 3 acres of open lawn around our home and we have done nothing to enhance it over the years. It has steadily become a mix of grass and weeds and I want to do something to it but I don’t know what to use or where to start? Should I just spread grass seed? Should I buy Zoysia plugs? I’ve read where spreading corn gluten works wonderfully, have you heard of that and what is your opinion?

    …Seeing your mom’s lawn around her garden makes me want our yard to look like that – any advice or tips you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    …Happy Easter to the Chiot’s Homestead! :o)

    …Blessings too…

    Reply to tj's comment

    • Susy on April 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

      We actually use corn gluten meal on our lawns (both my mom and I do). You can buy it at your local farm feed supply store, like the grange drive-thru type stores (not TSC or chain stores). Don’t tell them it’s for your lawn, they’re technically not allowed to sell it for lawn use, they want you to buy the expensive versions from Scott’s or Gardens Alive. Here’s an article on my blog about it: /2008/07/18/organic-weed-feed/

      It’s actually fairly inexpensive as well. You can also use things like borax on your lawn if you have big issues with creeping charlie or ground ivy. I don’t worry too much about weeds unless they’re killing the grass. As long as I have some grass and some clover & wild violets I don’t really worry too much about the lawn. The corn gluten greens up the lawn nicely because it provides a nice dose of nitrogen and it prevents germination so it keeps the weed seeds from germinating (along with grass seed so you can’t use if you’re trying to reseed). It takes a few years of application for the benefits to really start to be noticeable. I’ve been using it for 3 years now and I really noticed last year how great it was making the lawn, I think this year will be even better.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Amy on April 2, 2010 at 11:02 am

    My Dad has planted peas.

    Reply to Amy's comment

  6. deb on April 2, 2010 at 11:10 am

    We are just finishing up with our sap season here and hopefully the next couple of weeks will bring us more warm weather and rain. After that, we will be able to start planting. It’s so great to see your progress!

    Enjoy your weekend… Happy Easter!
    .-= deb´s last blog fooling! =-.

    Reply to deb's comment

  7. Sarah on April 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Looks like everyone is off to a great start. I finished my raised garden today… thanks to my husband for making it. It is awesome. Planted lettuce, spinach and pea too. I’m so excited!

    Reply to Sarah's comment

  8. MAYBELLINE on April 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I’m in the middle of taking out the winter crops – cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, lettuce, etc. Preparing everything for tomatoes, peppers, melons, squash, and beans.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Road Trip Sonoma – Part II =-.

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  9. Dan on April 2, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I ought to plant potatoes sooner. I usually wait until May and then by late June it gets to hot for them. So far I have planted peas, radishes & fennel outdoors. Most of the other cool season crops have overwintered in the tunnels so I didn’t have to resow.
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Indoor seedlings =-.

    Reply to Dan's comment

  10. Rose on April 3, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Envy! The one splurge on flyer miles I was prepared to make by getting Yukon Golds was scuppered this year. They never arrived to my supplier and so I went with a local variety instead. I tend to get Yukon for sentimental value as they are a Washington State spud, but this year I’ll do without.

    Peas go in today with sprog’s help as it’s finally stopped raining. Temps are still low and I don’t dare put much else out but I may be able to plant the last of my spuds today as well.

    Reply to Rose's comment

    • Susy on April 3, 2010 at 9:05 am

      My favorite potatoes are probably Kennebec, they make the most wonderful hashbrowns. My mom likes Yukon Golds. This year we also got a collection from Seed Savers of 8 different varieties (one happened to be Yukon Gold that my sister will get for her garden). I’m excited to try the two red varieties and the fingerlings.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Renee on April 4, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Do you plant the potatoes right in the ground or use one of the raised/container methods?

    I’ve never grown potatoes and I’m considering it now!

    Found you on Flickr, by the way :)

    Reply to Renee's comment

    • Susy on April 4, 2010 at 9:51 am

      I’ve used both. Last year I grew them in raised beds and this year I’m doing most of them in the ground because I don’t have space in my raised beds. They’re definitely really easy to harvest when planted in raised beds/containers.
      Here are some photos in posts about my raised bed method:

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Renee on April 9, 2010 at 11:46 am

        Cool, thanks! I just got some Kennebec seed potatoes so I can try it out :)

        to Renee's comment

  12. Sarah on April 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Ok so today I received some chard seed and didn’t know if I should plant now or wait until later? Maybe the sow them the same time as carrots? I’ve been looking online to see but to see if any of you knew. They came from Local harvest.

    Reply to Sarah's comment

    • Susy on April 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm

      Swiss chard is of the beet family so it can tolerate some cold. From what I’ve read you can sow the seeds as soon as the soil can be worked, so you can sow them anytime now.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Working in the Garden | Super Gardening Tips on June 17, 2010 at 10:40 am

    […] […]

    Reply to Working in the Garden | Super Gardening Tips's comment

  14. My Mom’s Garden | Super Gardening Tips on June 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

    […] […]

    Reply to My Mom’s Garden | Super Gardening Tips's comment

  15. Enjoying the Harvest | Chiot's Run on July 22, 2010 at 4:47 am

    […] and found them sprouting in her root cellar this spring. We figured we may as well use them, so we planted them earlier this spring when we planted my sampler pack. They produced over 50lbs of potatoes! Of […]

    Reply to Enjoying the Harvest | Chiot’s Run's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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