Potatoes

Potatoes:

 

  • Why you should grow it
    • Variety of uses
      • Boil
      • Mash
      • Stick in a stew
    • Store well
    • Should get about 10X what you plant

 

  • How to start seeds
    • Use ‘seed’ potatoes
      • Potatoes that are able to sprout
      • Each spot where there is a sprout is an eye
    • Chop up the seed potatoes with an eye in each piece
    • Let them cure for a few days, this dries them out and helps prevent root rot
    • Plant 3-4″ deep and 12″ apart
    • Plant in full sun, loose soil, and water well
    • Raised beds work best, but you can also use potato bags or old garbage bins – just water more frequently as they dry out quickly
    • Water well when planting, don’t water again until you see a green plant come up – prevent disease

 

  • Tips for growth
    • Hill up the plants once you see green growth, using dirt, chopped leaves or best straw
    • Straw keeps moisture in and at the end of the season it can be taken off and used as mulch – it has already begun to break down as well
    • Plant near bush beans, brassicas, carrots, celery, corn, garlic, onions, peas, and marigolds.
    • Avoid planting near kohlrabi, melons, parsnips, squash or sunflowers
    • If you don’t get a plant shoot, check for wireworms

 

  • Harvesting
    • Once the flowers and plant die down, the potatoes should be ready
    • Leave in the soil for two weeks to firm up – this makes them store better
    • You can harvest new potatoes as soon as you see the flowers – they don’t store well and should be used immediately
    • Check the skin when you harvest, if you can rub it off, it is a new potato and needs more time if you want to store them

 

  • Saving Seeds
    • Save a few potatoes at the end of the season to plant again
    • Store in a cool, dry, dark place to prevent sprouting too early
    • Don’t use grocery store potatoes, they may be treated to prevent sprouting
    • Make note of where you plant potatoes so you can rotate your crops next year