Potatoes

Make sure to plant your potatoes in well drained soil. 

PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS
(See how we grew our potatoes in buckets below. With infographic)

Plant in full sun 

Grow from sprouting potatoes or seed potatoes. Cut them into chunks and try to make sure each chunk has 2 growing eyes. Once cut let the pieces dry for about a day before planting 3 inches deep.

Mulch deeply with straw or grass clippings/rotted leaves. 

Potatoes are not frost tolerant. 

HARVESTING

Harvest young leaves as you need them. 

Bucket Potatoes

I have been wanting to try growing potatoes in a Garbage can for quite so time now, but in the past I have always missed getting them in on time. This year I made sure I was prepared and marked a date on my calendar to make sure I got them in. I have seen this done a ton of different ways, garbage cans, garbage bags, wood boxes, Chicken wire, any kind of container that will drain water well.

 

Here are some key things to know before starting to plat your potatoes

When to Plant

You can start to plant your potatoes in early spring. Soil temperature is important, potato plants will not begin to grow until the soil temperature has reached 45 degrees F. Potatoes are light frost tolerant , but you should provide some frost protection for the plants  if you think late season freeze is coming.

Think you missed your window of opportunity …. Fear not, you can plant as late as June 15 and harvest the potatoes later in the season. This year my plants have grown really well so I think I will be putting in a second crop to harvest again later in the season.

Make sure your soil is moist but do not over water.

If you want to extend storage times, and have a long growing season, you can plant a second crop as late as June 15 and harvest the potatoes as late as possible.

Preparing your Seed Potatoes

A week or two before you are ready to plant, set your seed potatoes in an area where they will be exposed to light and temperatures between 60-70 degrees F – this will help to start the sprouting process.  Before you are ready to plant cut your potatoes into pieces. Each piece must contain at least 1 or 2 eyes or buds and be no smaller than 1 inch in diameter.  It is ideal if you can let the exposed pieces dry before putting them in the ground, this will help prevent rotting.

Planting

See Infographic on right

Watering

Keep your potato vines well watered throughout the summer, especially during the period when the plants are flowering and immediately following the flowering stage. We usually try to give them a good soak every other day, depending on how much rain we have had. When you see flowers this is the stage the plants  are creating their tubers and a steady water supply is crucial to good crop outcome. When the foliage turns yellow and begins to die back, discontinue watering. This will help start curing the potatoes for harvest time.

Harvesting

Potatoes that are going to be kept for storage should not be dug until 2-3 weeks after the foliage dies back. Carefully dig potatoes with a sturdy fork and if the weather is dry, allow the potatoes to lay in the field, unwashed, for 2-3 days. This curing step allows the skins to mature and is essential for good storage. Try to harvest the potatoes on a dry day, but if you have no choice and have to harvest them wet, or if it is going to rainy allow the potatoes to cure in a dry protected area like a garage or covered porch.