The Many Potatoes of ProjectMartian

This is the second anniversary of the #ProjectMartian beds at Mezzacello. It’s hard to believe, but yes, two growing seasons passed while we dealt with COVID19. This will be a report both on the soil matrix and the viability of the compost and mineral amendments. Of course there were some hiccups (The neighbor with 1000 legs) but also some real successes. To that end, I’d like to also take the time to thank The Columbus Foundation and the Ohio Farm Bureau for their help with project.

The potatoes, the turnips, peppers, and kale and arugula really loved this soil matrix during the second season. Upon reflection, I will have to amend my soil with some dirt for the next growing season. The soil was simply too rich in nitrogen and unexpected parasites for some of the plants. in particular, the sweet roots like beets and carrots and the delicate roots of peas and beans as well as the brassicas for some reason.

Lessons Learned

This is a lesson I learned the hard way: through trial and error. I have an idea for how I can work around this in the coming year. This is a report of the success story: the potatoes and the sweet potatoes.

All told I harvested a full bushel of potatoes from four of the 24 beds at Mezzacello. Additionally, I harvested a half bushel of sweet potatoes from one bed alone. I need to figure out the best way to get the sweet potato vine to grow straighter, and how I can keep morning glory from sneaking in (if it was actually morning Glory).

Morning glory looks a lot like sweet potato but it is way more invasive. I am still not sure if it wasn’t all sweet potato. Just for good measure I posted a sweet potato photo below. What do you think? The wild clover, burdock root, and belladonna were crazy this year. Although not as crazy as they have been in the past. I guess it was all that sweet soil!

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello This isn’t morning glory, but actually the flower of the sweet potato plant. one of these vines was six meters long.
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