Potatoes, Raspberries, Trees to graft…


potato bounty
[a potato harvest from early 2010, Petersham backyard garden…]

Following on from Diego’s list of what he’d like to plant at the Sydney College of the Arts site…

I have a native raspberry plant in a small pot, which Kat and Kurt gave me. Not sure where they got it from, somewhere down in Wollongong. I brought that over to Tending already, hope to plant it somewhere… It’s already starting to fruit! [Here’s a forum where folks discuss the growing of this plant…]

And yes, as Diego suggests, I do want to plant potatoes!

For some reason, I have accumulated a lot of seed potatoes these past months, which I’m really keen to put in. Some of them are real gourmet Diggers Club taters, which I got from the lovely Jennie from Ashfield, via Freecycle.

Since Tending is an ‘experimental garden’, we were talking about trying 2 or 3 different ways of growing potatoes, to compare and contrast. [Here’s a nice little essay about growing potatoes, the author says they’re a ‘vanity’ crop… but still loves doing it!]

[Potatoes grown in old car tyres, image pinched from the internet…]

I have 4 old car tyres, which I pinched from the mechanic next door to Locksmith gallery last year (when we did the spontaneous recreation of Allan Kaprow’s tyre work “YARD” within our recreation of his “push and pull”. )

There’s another way of growing potatoes in a vertical ring of chicken wire, similar to the tyres method but a bit bigger. We’re gonna try that way too…

potatoes in chicken wire
[image lifted from ABC Gardening Australia...]

Thirdly there’s the method of just growing them in the horizontal garden bed, which takes more space. I had some good success with this method last year – I thought I’d pulled out all the tubers, but they keep on coming! And it’s so much fun to ferret around for ’em!

What else would I like to plant? What’s on my list?

Well, I also have a couple of small rootstock citrus trees in my backyard in Petersham. Since we’re getting evicted, and the landlady hates my treeplanting ways anyway, maybe I’ll bring ’em along! A few years ago, I was about to rip out one of these little trees (a lemon I believe) because they don’t fruit. Louise, my flatmate at the time, chided me for my shortsightedness. All I have to do is learn how to graft! I haven’t had time to learn this skill yet, but perhaps Tending is the kind of place where citrus grafting can be tried out, without fear of failure!

I also have a gorgeous olive tree which I’ve grown from about a foot high, to its current 2 metres tall. Pending transplantation, perhaps the olive would like to join us too. I’m quite attached to it, and an olive tree certainly represents long-term thinking.

This list will continue to grow…

4 thoughts on “Potatoes, Raspberries, Trees to graft…

  1. cool, we need to get some cuttings for the grafting then!
    i did some grafting in the past, but that was ions ago, so a bit of ‘experimental’ refreshing might be rather due.
    I’d like to try whip grafting

    … how many lemon root stock you got?
    i think we should run a grafting competition.. any takers?

  2. Hi Lucas
    I know lots of people grow potatoes in car tyres but I read somewhere that it is not adviseable as they can leach heavy metals including cadmium.

    As potatoes are tubers they are very good at absorbing minerals from the soil around them and if grown in tyres will contain lots of cadmium. Not sure if its true but I avoid car tyres.

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