Now, I know potatoes are more of a cold season crop but being a newbie I started too late and decided, ‘oh well I’m going to try’. So I planted my potatoes on March 11th and crossed my fingers. I was starring to get impatient and was about to dig one up to check on it when a fellow gardener told me to just leave them alone. Best advice ever, the next day I saw sprouts emerging through the soil! Being the first plant I ever sowed in the ground from seed I was like a kid full of excitement! As more days go by I continue to spot more sprouts and become a little less nervous about my future harvest each time.
So it’s not too late, let’s grow potatoes!
I decided to plant mine in a raised bed. There are several different techniques for potatoes so I recommend researching and deciding which will be the best for you. Here’s a quick run down of how I planted mine:
- First start by loosening the soil. Two days prior to planting, cut seed potatoes into pieces with at least 2 eyes each and allow to callous. Then plant your seed potatoes 4-5 inches deep and 8 inches apart in rows. Cover the entire bed with 1-2 inches of straw.
- Once the sprouts emerge from the soil and develop a cluster of leaves about 6 inches high, mulch around them with an additional 2 inches of straw. As the plants continue to grow you can add more straw as needed; this helps retain moisture, contain weeds, and deter pest. Make sure to keep your plants well watered, allow approximately an inch of water per week.
- Two weeks prior to harvest, when plants begin to die back, stop watering completely. On harvest day simply dig up your wonderful potatoes!
I decided to plant three types of potatoes; Yukon Gold, Red Norland, and Russet Burbank. Seed potatoes for all of these were bought from my local Lowes store.