This morning, I decided to plant the small potatoes Isabel gave me. She had given them to Roberto and Roberto gave them to me yesterday, when I was practicing Spanish with Adriana. Isabel hadn't mentioned any special way to plant them, so I thought I'd simply do what we did with the carrots. I prepared the bed, got rid of the weeds and rocks, added compost and lime and placed the small potatoes with the eyes down, because I figured the roots would need to go down. After two hours of working my fingers to the bone... Kevin came by and mentioned that my bed was way too wide and too high. It should be flat and narrow. What? Are you kidding me? For a split second I thought 'what does it matter?... maybe my way will be better... maybe it will be heralded as the new way of planting potatoes!' Then, I came to my senses, and realized that the last thing I want is to lose a whole crop of perfectly delicious potatoes and have to start over anyway. So, I dug deep (literally and figuratively). I found the small potatoes and put them back in the bag. Feeling completely and utterly gutted, with the sun beating down on me, I went inside to hydrate and to get on the internet to find out how I should proceed.
Did you know that it is recommended that I place my little potatoes in a tray in a bright, dry place (this process is called 'chitting'... yes with a 'c') to allow them to sprout. First mistake! Once they sprout, I should place the potatoes in a shallow, narrow trench. Second mistake! And then when leaves start to grow, I start covering them with dirt and repeat this stage as the plant grows. Oh, and never use lime in the soil. Hmm, third mistake! I'm batting a thousand... good thing I listened to Kevin (oh how I hate to admit that he was right!). Once I was armed with the information I looked up on the website and youtube, I put the small potatoes in a tray, eyes upward. I will wait until they are ready. I will use the bed I prepared for some other goodies, so nothing will be lost. I have another spot where my potato crop can grow. I will chalk this day to another day of learning.