How-To Scratch Potatoes Without Harming the Vines
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How-To Scratch Potatoes Without Harming the Vines

How-To Scratch Potatoes

Scratching is a southern term used in gardening, meaning digging up a few of your potatoes early. This blog is going to explain how-to scratch potatoes and help you enjoy your garden before that ten weeks maturity period is up. Potatoes have a long maturity period, and at times we can get a little impatient, and that's what leads us to scratch our potatoes. You want to make sure not to scratch too early, or the potatoes you dig up will be duds. We all want to enjoy our garden grown groceries, but sometimes it is just too hard to wait!! If it is almost harvest time, though, and you are craving some of those homemade mashed potatoes, then this should do the trick. If your potatoes are dry, wherever you see a crack, you want to follow it down, easing your fingers until you feel a potato. Then you are going to ease it up, out of the ground. You want to make sure you are careful not to damage the plant and that you feel around to grab one of the bigger potatoes. If you scratch the right way, your potato plant will never even know! 

Walk Around the Garden

As our spring garden is starting to be in full bloom, we take a walk around to see what is producing the best this year—highlighting some of our best varieties around our spring garden.  The first thing that we notice is the Rattlesnake Pole Beans, growing to be one of the tallest in our garden and also one of the prettiest because of their pretty purple bloom. These Rattlesnake Pole Beans are an heirloom variety and can grow to be around ten feet tall. Though we often say our hybrid varieties produce more crop, that isn't necessarily the case with this bean. The Rattlesnake Pole bean gets harvested very often, producing pods that are six to seven inches long. This bean does well in our climate because of our hot and humid temperatures.  Blue Bayou Winter Squash is something new in the garden that we were very excited to grow. This pumpkin is a hybrid variety with an heirloom look that also offers downy and powdery mildew resistance. Though it grows like our summer squash varieties, it is a winter squash that has about a 90-day maturity rate. After 90 days, the crop should be around 15-20 pounds. Only standing about six inches tall, our Jambalaya Okra is starting to bloom and already becoming very productive; it won't be much longer until they are ready to harvest. The Jambalaya Okra plant will produce heavy yields of green pods that are great for pickling, frying, and stewing.  Now, in an area that we didn't have many plans for, we decided to use an attractive option for a cover crop, The ProCut Plum Sunflower. This flower is a single stalk sunflower that is pollen-less yet still gives off a massive bloom. The ProCut sunflower is incredible for drawing in your pollinators to help your other plants with production. The last thing in our garden is one of Greg's favorite crops, watermelon. He decided to grow an old heirloom variety called Moon and Stars that his granddaddy grew to see how it compares to the new hybrids. Greg noticed something weird with the foliage once they started to come up out of the ground; it had yellow spots on it. He hasn't quite figured out the spacing on what works best, but their yellow flower bloom is starting to come up nicely.  Click on the Video Below to see this garden in action or to learn more on Gardening with Greg!!