How to Grow Potatoes

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If your family eats a lot of potatoes over the course of a year, then why not plant some? They are easy to grow and they are a great first crop for a new garden bed. They will help break up the soil, so give potatoes a try. As long as the soil is not too wet, you can plant your potatoes.

Potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables you can grow. Find some great potato recipes and discover delicious new ways to serve them.

 

 

There’s lots of way to grow potatoes – here’s how we plant ours. Dig your holes as deep as you can and keep your plants 1 1/2 feet apart.

 

 

You want your potato to have at least 3 eyes on it….they don’t have to be in full sprout like in this picture, but they should have 3 sprouts started at least. Some people cut their potatoes, or put two in the same hole. As long as I have 3 eyes or more, I toss that baby in the hole. Plant them sprout (or eye) pointing UP.

Many growers chit their potatoes for several days prior to planting, but I don’t bother to do that. It seems to make no difference in my garden.

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ALL the potatoes you will get off of one plant will grow Between the Seed potato and the surface of the soil. This is Important to keep in mind. This is why you want deep holes and lots of soil or mulch to hill over the plants later.

 

Here’a picture of hilled potatoes.

 

The ONLY thing that will need to be done with these plants is to hill them (I try for 3 times) as the green leaves grow.

 

 

To hill them, just use a hoe and bring the dirt up tight around each plant. Remember, the more and higher you can hill, the more yield you should get.

Several months later, once the tops die down and turn yellow and brown, you can harvest them. You can also cheat and steal a couple potatoes while they are growing.

 

 

After they flower, I sometimes just feel around in the soil and nab a couple.  They taste awesome when they are fresh out of the garden. Don’t disturb the plant too much, and it will just keep on growing. Nab a few potatoes for dinner from several plants instead of taking them all from one.

 

 

In late September, when it is harvest time, use a pitchfork or shovel to Carefully dig up the plant. Using your hands instead will ensure you won’t stab any potatoes. Make sure you get all the potatoes, they are great at hiding! Dig deep to ensure they have all been harvested.

Leave them laying in your garden for a few hours, then turn them all over and let the sun dry the other side. Harvesting on a sunny or at least windy day will help. Do not harvest if it is raining  if you can at all help it.

Never leave your potatoes in the field overnight. After you have gone to all the trouble of digging them up, why chance a cool night which will be detrimental to the tubers?

We sort our potatoes right in the field. They go into groups:

Stabbed or cut potatoes go into one bag – We will use these one first for fresh eating.

Beautiful shape and nice size go into large paper bags – We will use these for seed the following year.

Small, misshapen go into boxes – We will cook these up and feed them off to our chickens and pigs.

Once we get all the potatoes up into the house, we like to leave ours upstairs where it is warm and dry. After a couple of days upstairs, it is time to move them down into our Cold Room.

We make sure we label all the bags, and the Seed Potatoes for the following year are put in a separate spot in the Cold Room.

 

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The Veggie Garden and Berry Beds…and More Rhubarb

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vegetable, garden, veggies

Here’s our Garden – it’s been nice and hot the last few days which is sorely needed. On the left going from closest to farthest:

cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Radish, Lettuce, Peas, more Peas, broccoli Spinach, Chard, Beets, Turnip, more Lettuce.

On the right going from closest to farthest:

Onions, Carrots, Green Beans, Potatoes

The cool weather crops are doing great. Lettuce and Spinach has been fantastic and the Radishes are huge and delicious.

berries, greenhouse

Here’s the Berry Beds and the Greenhouse – can you see the new gravel pathway we are putting in? We’re very happy with it and hoping in the next few days to work on the next portion. The pathway will run all the way down to the Barn. It will make it a lot easier and cleaner next year during mud season.

From the left are the onion mentioned above, to the right of them are the Strawberries. We have three separate beds for them. That white cloth is Remay and it is protecting the corn I have growing there. It’s very small and yet it has cobs. This is the corn that I got from the fellow in Oregon and it’s one of our experiments this year. It is very difficult to grow corn here outside and yet we are trying. The wet cool Spring has not helped the corn, we will see how it turns out.

On the right is the Garlic – over 400 plants as we love Garlic. It’s often served roasted nightly here right alongside the vegetables of the night. To the right of the Garlic are 2 Highbush Cranberry bushes. They have lots of flowers on them right now, so we are hoping for many Cranberries this Fall.

On the far right are the Raspberries. Right now we have  three rows, but I do keep expanding it by 1 row a year it seems. You can never have too many Raspberries, can you?

rhubarb, wine

On talking with the neighbours a couple of days ago, we learned they had a lot of Rhubarb they weren’t going to use. So I went over today and harvested it and tonight we worked on Rhubarb Wine again.

Rhubarb

We got a total weight of 40 pounds of Rhubarb today. I diced some into 2 cup measures and put them in Ziplocks. We’ll use them for Rhubarb/Saskatoon pie or muffins. 

The Saskatoon Berry bushes are looking quite healthy with lots of berries. I am hoping for a fantastic Berry year because of all the rain this Spring. We are wanting some Saskatoon Jelly!