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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Planting Potatoes

Potatoes are one easy vegetable that everyone should try.  There are a quite a few kind of potatoes that are delicious on the dinner plant that have developed over the years.  In our garden this year we're growing Yukon Gold, red potatoes, and Adirondack Blue potatoes.  The blue potatoes are new to our garden this year.  Yukon Gold is one of our favorites and has a nice buttery flavor good for baking or general cooking needs.  The red potatoes are great for potato salads or roasting.  I'm not sure yet what the blue potatoes are going to be good for yet, but any potato is a good potato!

There are a few ways to grow potatoes.  They do well in large pots, potato bags, raised beds, and in the ground.  The method you choose all depends on how you want your garden to grow.

Here's how I usually plant our potatoes:

  • First I dig holes for each seed potato about 6-8 inches deep.  If the ground is well drained this works well, if not dig a more shallow hole and mound up (more on mounding in a minute).
  • Then I added a little bone meal to each hole.  I didn't measure exactly but was probably less than an ounce per hole.  Bone meal has high levels of phosphorus which aids in root growth and general plant health.
  • Then my daughter dropped one potato into each hole.
    Planting Tip
    Cut the potatoes into two or more pieces each with an eye to make more potato plants.
      
  • I filled up the holes and mounded them up.  
  • Now I'm waiting until the potato sprouts through the soil.  Once the plant emerges form the mound I'll begin mulch all around it with grass clippings.  I use grass clippings since they are readily available but you can use straw too.  As the plant grows higher continue to mulch around it.  Potatoes will form underneath the mulch and soil.  Adding the mulch will hold water in the soil, keep it cooler, and make the soil easier to dig when the potatoes are ready to harvest.
  • Potatoes can be harvested after the plant has died back.  You can get some new potatoes (the small tasty ones) if you harvest from the outside of the potato mound around flowering time.

Potatoes can also be grown in pots or in potato bags.  The advantage to these methods is you simply dump the pot over when the potato plant is ready for harvest!

Our favorite use for potatoes is probably the skillet roasted potatoes with herbs.  We saute some onions and garlic in olive oil with the cubed potatoes and add chopped sage, rosemary, and time.  Delicious!

Have you planted your potatoes yet?

4 comments :

  1. I love fingerlings. My order has not yet arrived so I have a little time. Thank you for the advise.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We planted blue potatoes for the first time two years ago. They're smaller and sweeter than other varieties we've tried. Wonderful taste alone or in stews.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is it too early to plant sweet potatoes, or the same deal? (Atlanta) I found out that the sweet potato vine at the big box store is the same as the veggie, so I'm still going to use them decoratively, but also put one in a pot or bag to make it easier to harvest later. (I can't dig up the whole flower plot when the potatoes are ready)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your plan looks good. I tried the pot trick one year but they stayed too wet in there.

    ReplyDelete

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