Everything aligned to plant potatoes on Good Friday as is a Midwestern garden tradition. It began with cutting seed potatoes and curing them in the garage for about ten days.
I removed all but the lower four inches of soil in four containers. Adding two scoops of fertilizer to each (composted chicken manure), I stirred it around until the soil was broken up and the fertilizer thoroughly mixed in.
Next I arranged seven or eight seed potatoes in the soil at the bottom of the tubs. I got a yard stick and made marks eight inches above the soil. I filled them in two layers to the marks, putting a scoop of fertilizer in between layers.
After smoothing the surface, I applied ground red pepper flakes to deter digging rodents and defecating cats from getting into the soil. Next step is to get the garden hose from winter storage and give each tub a thorough soaking.
Once the potato vines begin to sprout from the soil, I’ll fill each tub to the top with additional soil. After that, the plants are monitored and watered. If Colorado potato bugs show up, I’ll pick them off and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.
This process doesn’t grow many potatoes, but the harvest is delicious and abundant enough. Importantly, it reenacts a gardening tradition inherited from my maternal grandmother.