Chop Wood Carry Water Plant Seeds is a blog about Self-Sufficient Homesteading. How can we live by creating a sustainable bio-diverse world, instead of by consuming and destroying the only one we have? What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Growing Potatoes in a Clover field

I bet you have never heard of this before :) growing potatoes in the White Clover field. What you see in this photo is our potato garden and its time to harvest them. I now it looks covered in "weeds" and one can only wonder how come potatoes can still grow so well in such condition, covered in weeds :) As you can see we have got a nice harvest from these 3 rows of potatoes and Im yet to harvest the rest today.
Most gardeners try to take the weeds away and just have bare naked soil so nothing can compete with the potatoes, right :) and of course I too remove all Thistles and other tall weeds as soon they get tall enough for me to pull them up. But White Clover is different and should not be looked at as a "weed" but as a Cover Material, a living cover material which not only suppresses other weeds but also binds extra Nitrogen via the bacteria living in their root system. Clover can bind atmospheric Nitrogen so once the Potatoes have taken nutrients the clover can be  plowed under which will replenish the nutrients for the next year and introduce much organic matter.

Here you can see how many potatoes we got from only one plant :) and they are not that small either :) When growing potatoes this way it is important to keep them in line because after cutting down the clover with scythe its not easy to see where the potato plants are so keeping them in perfect line help a lot.

Some might say "but how do you cover the potatoes with extra soil so they dont get green when exposed to light?" Well :) I don't do that :) With this method there is no much work. Clover does the work for you. As you can see in this last photo the clover has a root system growing on top of the soil creating a mat of roots which keep the potatoes under the soil not allowing them push them selves upwards :)
Another thing Clover does is shade the soil and by doing this it keeps the soil moist. It also aerate the top soil which introduces Oxygen for the beneficial bacteria creating nice soil structure :) Not to mention all the sugars released by the Clover roots feeding all sorts of micro-life. Such soil is a LIVING SOIL which you don't get is the soil is naked :)

Cover your soil people, with wood chips, straw, hey, grass clippings, living white clover (red clover gets too high so stay with white clover) Happy soil covering :)

1 comment:

  1. Just wondering if you recommend this for any vegetables besides potatoes. I use a cover crop for over the winter, but have never tried during the growing season.

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