Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive Amen receives Distinguished Service Award ‘Tis the season for family-past, present, and future MHS Computer Class aces MOS Exam WUES recognizes November Bus Riders of the Month NAHS Beta Club sponsors canned food drive Peebles Elementary announces November Students of the Month Crisis text line reaches out during the holidays Paul Wesley Ailshire

Easy potatoes are better potatoes

You should be planting your early potatoes this week, so here’s a tip to make it easier for you: plant extra-small seed potatoes, and plant whole potatoes rather than cut-up pieces. There are several reasons why.

First, it’s a fact that the more stems your potato plants have, and the lower they start on the plant, the better your crop is likely to be. That means you should have more “eyes” (meaning sprout buds) on each seed potato. Extra-small seed potatoes have more eyes than cut-up small pieces.

Second, cut-up pieces are more likely to rot in your garden than whole seed potatoes. Protecting cut pieces from rot requires dusting the pieces with powdered sulfur, and letting them dry out for a day or two before planting. This is an extra step and more work for you than planting small whole potatoes. For these two reasons we’ve switched to carrying only extra-small seed potatoes at our nursery. The labor savings alone are well worth the small difference in cost.

Plant your potatoes where you haven’t added lime or manure for at least a year. Manure and lime invite scab by reducing the acidity of soil, and potatoes like acid soil.

Till deeply to make trenching easier, and then dig a trench 6-8 inches deep. Sprinkle 5-10-5 fertilizer along the bottom, and then cover the fertilizer with 2-3 inches of soil before placing the potato in the trench. If fertilizer touches the potato it can burn it and cause it to rot. Plant your potatoes one foot apart, cover them with four more inches of soil and tamp it gently.

Once the plants have sprouted three to five inches tall, it’s time to “hill” around them with loose soil. Repeated hilling discourages weeds. If you cover the plants a little bit they’ll pop right through in a day or two. To get a good crop you must continue to add soil, making sure potatoes aren’t exposed to the sun. Hilling is also the way to protect the young plants from frost, so hill your plants if you have a late frost warning. Each time, cover most of the potato vine to encourage additional roots to form.

Here are a few hints to improve your potato crop this year:

(1) Water generously during the third and fourth week after plants emerge increases yield. This is when they set their new tubers.

(2) The more stems that come direct from the ground and form a leaf canopy, the higher the yield.

(3) The longer the leaves remain, the higher the potato yield.

(4) If you wait to harvest for three to four weeks after the tops die back, your potatoes will keep longer. For potatoes you eat fresh, harvest sooner.

Here’s a shopping list for successful potato gardening: For each 100 feet of row you’ll need about five pounds of seed potatoes, three pounds of 5-10-5 fertilizer, “Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew” (for killing potato beetles, and you will have potato beetles), and an ounce of garden sulfur.

We recommend dusting with sulfur, because sulfur protects from rot, and because it gives new sprouts a quick acid charge. It’s not a good idea to give potatoes nitrogen, except to stimulate the sprouts in the very beginning. Sulfur does this perfectly. We sell small bags of sulfur at our nursery.

Steve Boehme and his wife Marjorie own GoodSeed Nursery & Landscape, located at 9736 Tri-County Highway, near Winchester, Ohio. More information is available at www.goodseedfarm.com or call (937) 587-7021.

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Extra-small seed potatoes help you skip several steps when planting.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_Seed-Potatoes.jpgExtra-small seed potatoes help you skip several steps when planting.

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