Potato Gardening Fun and Games

alys_esmond(9b Orlando)December 17, 2011

Built a new raised bed for cold weather veggies this year. Allocated about half of the bed (maybe 6' x 10') to potatoes and the rest to onions, garlic, radish, beets (somebody's eating the beet tops though) carrots (somebody dug up the carrots) and asparagus (somebody dug up one asparagus fern... sensing a trend????)

The squirrels seem hell-bent on searching for something in the beds. Every morning there's a new crop of holes, even in the planters. They don't seem to have designs on my plants, I think the plants just get in their way, but, dammit, they keep digging stuff UP! The potato bed looks like a lunarscape... pitted with craters. My first few are poking their heads up, so hopefully the mining hasn't done too much damage.

Something else is poking its head up too:

this weird fungus. Any ideas on what it is? For now I'm calling it ear mushroom. And have the burning question in my mind: If pulling unwanted plants is "weeding" is pulling unwanted mushrooms "mushrooming?"

My azaleas are making me happy right now, though. The Autumn Rouge didn't do much growing this year, but they are putting on quite a show:

Hopefully the rest of the leaves will fall off the maple soon so the maters can get some more sun, poor things have screeched to a halt as the sun is struggling to rise above our roof. Come onnnnn winter solstice!

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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

Hi Alys,

Great fungi specimen you have there. Never seen that particular type, however, take it as a good sign that you've created an environment with a lot of good organic matter. Look at that bit of soil on your glove!

About the squirrels- we've been having a bumper crop of acorns this year and the squirrels are busy burying them for the winter. They, of course prefer an area where the soil is soft and easy to dig! They used to dig up my garden doing this until Christine suggested holographic tape. I've put this about two feet off the ground in different areas of the garden and I've not had a squirrel digging there since. It will blow in the wind and send funky light streaks and the squirrels seem wary of it. Maybe even the noise it makes in the wind. Definitely organic! I was waiting for it to happen this year since there are acorns all around the garden now, but they go elsewhere. Thanks again, Christine!


    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 8:27AM
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That looks like a Jew's ear fungus, Auricularia auricula-judae. I have eaten them before but they don't taste like much and don't have a pleasing texture. I have had lots of them growning on a dead ficus this year. The ficus was killed by last year's freezes.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 8:56AM
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Hi Alys,

That is a beautiful Azalea and some fabulous looking dirt!


    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:56AM
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alys_esmond(9b Orlando)

It IS nice dirt, thank you very much :-)

It's something we get from a guy we found on craigslist, a lovely mix of compost and native soil. $15 a cubic yard plus delivery. He charged me $50 to bring 3 yards from Geneva to West Orlando. The local landscape nurseries nearby wanted $35/yd for "topsoil" plus $50 delivery.

This year we added a bag of black chicken (pee-yew) and the plants are EXTRA happy.

Tried putting up strips of aluminum foil vs. squirrels, new holes this morning. Where do you get this holographic tape? Do you think an old CD would work?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 2:48PM
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nice fungi pic......we get all kinds of weird stuff coming up,usually it's good.....nice azalea...camellia's here are popping and blooming....enjoy

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 7:05PM
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