It’s time to plant potatoes! Last year was the first year potatoes “worked” for me and I got real super market sized spuds. I have attempted to grow potatoes every year I have grown a food garden but somehow I only ever ended up with potatolings about the size of a golf ball. I am no potato officinado but I did manage to learn from a bunch of my mistakes.
1.Don’t plant too early, seed potatoes just go moldy if it’s not warm enough for them out there. In my garden I aim for the end of April or beginning of May to plant.
2.Start seed potatoes indoors by “chitting” or presprouting a couple weeks before planting outside.
3.Give them some room. I know this sounds crazy in a small garden, but I found each potato plant needs about one square foot of space, tighter spacing equals tiny potatoes.
4.keep potato plants well hydrated while they are growing. In my dry garden this means watering morning and night, never let potato plants get dry enough that they droop or wilt. Once they flower and start to die back you can cut back on the water.
5.fertalize potatoes really well at planting. I mix in about ½ cup of organic fertilizer into each square foot of potato growing soil plus another ½ cup under each seed potato.
6.Earth up potatoes when the plants get to be about 6” to 10” tall, the earthing up process is basically just adding four to six inches of soil on to the potato patch, the extra soil will shield any potatoes forming near the surface from being exposed to light and turning inedibley green.
7. Allow ALL of the potato plants to turn brown and completely die back, before harvesting. In my garden this takes around 10 weeks from the time I place the seed potatoes in the ground(not including the 2 weeks that I chit them).