Planting Seed Potatoes
Hey, we live in Idaho, right? So we all grow potatoes? Despite this silly stereotype we all live through when speaking to people outside the state, growing potatoes is one of my favorite crops.
More Than One Way
There are many great and fun ways to grow potatoes and some of them will save a lot of space in the garden. The basic premise of growing potatoes effectively is the same regardless of how and where you chose to grow them. I choose potatoes that are good medium size, what’s medium you ask? When I close my hand around one I barely want to get my fingers over the top. This doesn’t’ mean other sizes won’t work, if they are smaller than this I won’t cut them before planting. If they are bigger I will quarter them. With a medium size, I only cut them in half, I feel this is ideal and reduces the chances of rotting.
When to Plant
You should plant your potatoes in early spring, three to four weeks before the last frost. Ideally, soil temperatures should be around 45 degrees at the time of planting. Potatoes prefer well-drained soil, if you are planting in native soil you should be amending with compost or planting soil. Sulfur can be mixed into the soil as potatoes prefer acidic soil. This also helps reduce rotting and the skin developing scab.
When going into the ground keep these things in mind. If you cut your potatoes, be sure there are at least two eyes per slice. Leaving them out for a night after cutting will help the cut heal just a little. Plant your potato cut down and lightly cover it with soil. The first cover of soil should only be an inch at most. Now you will just want to wait. After a week to ten days, you will see leaves pushing through the soil. Let them rise for a few days, then cover them with more soil. “Gasp” yes, indeed, cover them back up. The plant stems that get covered up with soil will grow roots, and from those roots will grow more potatoes! Keep doing this until you have a mound our the container you are using is filled up.