Seed Potatoes With Joe

April 30th, 2009

My father-in-law Joe grows a large, beautiful garden every year.  His children grew up selling cantaloupes from a roadside stand beside their farm.  He is always experimenting with a new crop, or building a trellis, or trying out a new way to plant tomatoes.  No matter how he plants his garden, the food he raises is always delicious.  I have literally almost fainted from pure bliss, right at his kitchen table, after eating his home grown asparagus beans, baby potatoes, fresh sliced tomatoes, and sweet, crisp cucumbers.  

On a recent visit to our house, I sat my father-in-law down and pummeled him with as many gardening questions as I could muster during his short visit.

“How do you plant potatoes, onions, lettues, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant…?”

“How far apart do you space everything?”

“Have you ever tried companion planting?”

“What do you do about cutworms?”

“Do marigolds really keep bugs away?”

“When can I plant my seeds?”

“What do I do if it never stops raining?”

“How do I build a trellis?”

“How do I get over my fear of planting zuchinni?”

“I can’t seem to thin any of my seedlings.  How do I choose which baby plant gets to live and which one must die?”

“What do I do with all these milkjugs I have been saving?”

“Am I going to fail?”

“Can you promise me that I will at least produce one beautiful tomato?”


My father-in-law patiently answered all my questions and I wrote everything down.


So that when my garden fails…


I will not be the one to blame.


  • UM.. we have a problem…you forgot the answers to the questions…especially the potato planting one…waiting here with potatoes in hand for Joe’s ancient wisdom….

  • emmmm…didn’t mean to imply Joe himself was ancient… :-)..just his wisdom..OK..crawling back under my box now…

  • Nancy:

    You either have a green thumb or you don’t that is all there is to it!!! But, it seems like ones with wisdom have the green thumbs!

  • Joe you rock. I planted potatoes for the 1st time this year. So far…so good. Wish you could come by and have a visit.

  • I agree with Sue, we want answers! I only plant tomatoes and peppers, that’s all I can stand to fool with. My son and DIL just planted a huge garden with all kinds of vegetables. I wish them well!!!

  • Joe: I need your advise. My recent comment must have angered the potato gods; because when I went out to look at my lovely garden this afternoon I discovered that my potatoes have brown spots.

    Can I assume this is the same fungus I sometimes find on my rose leaves? I treat that mess with a 2:1 mix of water and vinegar. Just wanted to check with you to see if you think it will work or will it turn my lovely crop to potato salad.

    I’ll try to remember to post pictures tomorrow.

  • Nancy:

    This has nothing to do with the potatoes. But, I just watched an info commercial on tv about that topsytomato planter, and I want one!!!