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Taters are in! How we plant potatoes

One of my favorite vegetables are potatoes. They are very versatile and the kids don’t complain as much at meal time(how many more bites?)This is how we plant our potatoes. Step one: till.The garden gets a good tilling, the thing to watch out for is the soil moisture, if it is too wet it gets all clumpy and we want a nice fluffy till. Step two: trenches. We use a potato digger attachment on the tractor, but for smaller areas a hoe would do just fine. We dig nice straight trenches about 6″ deep, making sure we are not all the way down to the pan (the hard dirt that hasn’t been tilled) that way the potatoes can grow without resistance. Step three: potato cutting. The potatoes that we are planting come from our root cellar, also known as the hobbit house. Crops that we can winter  over such as potatoes and winter squash, make their home there. Because the hobbit house is buried in the back of a hill, the earth temperature keeps it from ever freezing and in the summer months going in there is like air conditioning. After gathering the potatoes, they get sliced up according to their eye placement. What are eyes? Those are the weird sprouty things coming out of the potato. Sometimes the sprouts are very large, other times you can just see a little green mark starting on the skin, in either case you want about three eyes per slice of potato. Some potatoes may make 4 planting while others only 1 or 2. A 5 gallon bucket full of sliced potatoes is 25 pounds. We have white, idaho, and red potatoes equaling 47 pounds. If we are lucky, each pound planted will equal 10 pounds of harvest. Step four: place potatoes. Potatoes get placed snuggly cut-side down in the trenches about 18″ apart. We try to plant rows in same type of potato, but at the end we usually end up with one row of mix and match leftovers. Step five: bury potatoes. Potatoes get buried in about 3″ of nice fluffy dirt. Potatoes are a root crop after all so the easier it is for them to grow the better, also the more root the more potatoes. So as the potatoes grow they will get reburied in more loose dirt as they emerge. This happens about 4 times until the original cutting is mounded under at least a foot of dirt. Then we wait until they bloom and die, then we harvest, but more on that later. So for now we admire our freshly tilled dirt, without any weeds, and anticipate our harvest to come!

One thought on “Taters are in! How we plant potatoes

  1. Awesome post myshire! Keep them coming!

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