Monday, 1 October 2012

Growing Potatoes

Usually I simply whack my potatoes in the garden bed with some compost and let them go, hoping for the best. We've had some ok crops turn out like this, but this year I want to give our potatoes the best chance possible, so I've devised a new plan.

The garden I have chosen is a slightly depleted bed. It has rotten down over the years since it was started, making it lower than originally intended and the retic has caved in so it looks quite dry. A little love and water and she'll come good.

This works for my potato plan because A) you need to build up the soil and mulch around a potato plant as it grows and B) potatoes like rich soil, so topping up the garden bed with compost, manure and mulch will benefit both garden and spuds.
I'll continue to water with a hose and when hubby whinges about it, I'll whinge back about the retic and hopefully it will be fixed.

Planting usually starts around July, but that was when I bought my seed, so shipping time and chitting time has meant I am planting late. No harm done, just a slightly later harvest.

Get yourself some heirloom certified seed potatoes and chit them. To do this, place them in a light airy place but not in direct sunlight. When the shoots are a good cm long or more, scrape off all but the two strongest. Your potatoes are ready for planting.

We even found some buried treasure when we were preparing the ground for planting... yummy jerusalum artichokes!!

Carefully we planted out our 10 seed potatoes and buried them. Later I will go up and rake up some goat poo to scatter over the soil and provide slow release fertiliser, but for now just a small handful of blood and bone and a good watering will do.
We have 30 more potatoes to plant out these next few days. I hope there's enough goat poo!

As the potatoes grow and expose their green shoots, I'll cover them again and again with mulch and compost, awaiting the day they flower and I can start the month long countdown from the death of those flowers. Potato harvest is so much fun for the whole family!

I plan to plant some beans beside and around the other patches to help feed the potatoes and double my crop production. Beans and plants make great companions, the problem is to decide WHICH beans to plant.... broad, borlotti, red kidney? oh the choices!!

I'll keep you updated along the way as to how well our spud crop goes with the added love this year.

~HH Mumma

No comments:

Post a Comment