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Growing Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the most used vegetables around the world. This vegetable is grown from stem cuttings called seed pieces or seed eyes. They are really a potato that contains a couple of eyes where the new growth sprouts from. This vegetable takes up a lot of space for the amount of harvest you will get, so if you want to have enough to store for the winter you will need a large plot.

// Botanical Family - Solanaceae/Nightshade Family

Location - Sunny, well drained, moist. Thrive in mild, cloudy weather.

Soil - Fertile, garden soils preferably a sandy loam with pH 6.0-6.8. Thrive in slightly  acidic soil, too alkaline soil produce scab.

Soil Preparation - Dig in a few inches of compost or aged manure in the fall. After emergence and before flowering blossom, spray with compost tea; spray in the morning when it is cool and dew is lingering.

Seed Info -

  • Seed Spacing - 12 inches apart; 6-12 inches deep
  • Days to Maturity - 40-60 days

Planting Times - Sow direct mid April

Planting Instruction - Made a trench 8-10 inches deep with the edge of a hoe, add layer of compost, then lay the seed piece (should have 3 eyes to each piece) at the bottom. Fill in the trench with soil, covering the seed piece.

Companion Planting

  • Positive affects: bean, cabbage, corn, lettuce, onion, marigold, radish
  • Negative affects: apple, pumpkin, tomato

Watering - Regular watering from emergence to blossom; after blossom less water is needed; usually rainfall is adequate when using mulch. Keep moist if weather is extremely hot and dry.

Weeding - Keep weeded while plants are small.

Disease & Insects -

  • Colorado beetle - check for small yellow eggs in cluster on underside of leaves, pick them off and smash.
  • Scab will form on the roots it the soil is too alkaline.
  • Wire worm.

Harvest - Early: the flowering blossom is a sign they are ready. Late: vine should be dead for 2 weeks. Harvest in the morning when it is cool and dry. If soil is moist let your harvest air dry.

Storage - Store potatoes unwashed in a cool dark place, not in the refrigerator. Do not store in plastic bags for longer than a few days. If you have a large harvest, properly stored they will keep for several months. Store in a dark area in burlap sacks or slotted crates that are not stacked. If it is too warm they will sprout and shrink; if it is too cold they will taste sweet; exposed to light they will turn green; if they are black in center they cannot breathe.

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