On a truly beautiful Easter Sunday, I found a little bit of time to clear out some grass, dig a few holes and get my potato box to work. First, I sealed the potato box inside and out with linseed oil. Linseed oil is non toxic and organic, and protects the wood from sun exposure and helps prevent rot. A wood stain would last longer and protect better, but it would also be pretty toxic in the soil of a food garden.

Then, I dug up about 8 square feet of grass, next to the small herb bed, and dug four small holes. I loosened the dirt with a shovel, but a bulb planter ended up working best for digging these small diameter holes deep enough to anchor the box. After that, I removed the top four courses of slats, and stored them in the basement. I’ll pull them back out, one course at a time, as the potato plants grow taller. Then I firmed up the soil around the posts.

Finally, I added a mixture of peat moss and manure, then dug nine seed potatoes deep into the new soil and watered thoroughly. Scout was pretty sure I was burying some toy balls, so I may have some digging to contend with down the road.

Potato bed, locked and loaded

On the other side of the yard, almost all of my seeds are sprouting up, despite the snow we had a few weeks ago. The transplanted celery is doing really well, and most of the transplanted chard survived a dig-attack from both dogs, and is even sending up new leaves already. When I caught them in the bed, they both obviously knew they were being bad… Most of the chard from seed was disturbed, and I’m going to replant once I see where the sprouts come up. I lost one red cabbage seedling (looks like a squirrel or bird pulled it up.) But with eight more in the row, I was going to have to thin them at some point.

Sprouts in the shady bed


Fava sprouts!