We have rich soil but it's difficult to grow in because it's clay as well as very rocky. Like many urban community gardens, it is on a spot that once held several homes many moons ago. So in addition to rocks, rocks, and more rocks, we also have bricks and pieces of foundation and other random formerly house bits. And then add in the fact that it's a small community garden so we manage to get every pest problem known to man. There is no such thing as a blight free anything, no matter how hard you try, in a community garden this small.
To attempt to remedy some of these issues, I came up with a new layout for the entire garden (that I already want to change by the way...so badly that it's killing me to leave it this summer...live and learn). Then I tilled all of the new grow bed spaces really deeply. As deep as I could go. On top of the freshly tilled loose grow beds, I added all sorts of compostables (this is the important part of the story...so stick with me) like food scraps and whatnot. Then I tilled the walkways. Once that soil was really fluffy, I added it on top of the grow beds (so at this point from the bottom up it went: tilled soil, compostables, tilled walkway soil on top). Then I added a really thick layer of fall leaves, a thick layer of newspaper, and finally a thick layer of straw. So from the top down it went straw, newspaper, leaves, walkway soil, compostables, grow bed soil.
With me so far? Geeze you get 100 bonus points if you are!
Fast forward to this year. To plant, I simply dig into all of that and plant my seedlings as normal. I've been using this sort of modified lasagna method for years and really love it. However, there's a glitch this year.
I must have eaten a lot of potatoes and there or had potato scraps in the fall to compost in. You know, the compostables layer I mentioned.
Guess what I have popping up EVERYWHERE in my garden?
That's right friends...we've got potatoes for days! Most of them I am just letting grow where they come up. A few I have had to clip off at the base because they are a competing for space with something I want more like cauliflower or tomatoes. But for the most part, I have decided to just run with it and see where it takes me. Hopefully to a giant, yummy potato harvest! Because there truly is nothing more delicious than a new potato that came out of the soil an hour earlier.