Friday, May 13, 2011

Planning the Potatoes

Last year was my first year growing potatoes. Although I had a very successful first year at growing potatoes, I disliked the hilling method I used because of the labor involved in hilling, the unkempt and messy appearance of the plot, and the wasted space in between the rows.

Kennebec Potatoes from 2010 Garden

I am trying another method of growing potatoes after seeing the success Laura had at The Modern Victory Garden using the John Jeavons’ Potato Planting Method last year.

John Jeavons “Grow Biointensive” gardening method involves double-dug beds, feeding the soil with compost, and planting closely to conserve spacing and create a microclimate. Actually, there are eight essential aspects to “Grow Biointensive.”  You can learn more here.

I am planting the potatoes a few weeks later than last year both because the ground was too cold and wet to work the soil until now and I needed extra time to source and chit fresh seed potatoes.

Dark Red Norland Potatoes Chitting

The seed potatoes I saved to plant this year didn’t make it though the winter. They sprouted and shriveled up to hard little nuggets. Luckily for me Pinetree Garden Seeds is having a clearance sale and I was able to purchase my seed for 50% off regular price. I again went with the Dark Red Norland, an early-season variety, and Kennebec, a late season variety since they did so well for me last year.

Kennebec Potatoes Chitting

They have just begun to green sprout and should be ready to plant next weekend. This is one time where procrastination paid off. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we can till the garden and prepare the garden beds for planting.

8 comments:

  1. I have never grown potatoes, but am grwoing sweet potatoes in grow bags this year. The less work the better...hope they grow....

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  2. I planted my potatoes that way too. I hope it works well. There aren't a lot of good ways to plant potatoes in raised beds.

    I think double digging your garden won't save you any labor over hilling, but it will save space. And having the garden double dug is always good to do occasionally.

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  3. Your seed potatoes look like they are optimally ready for planting...chatted but not with excessively long sprouts. I noticed this morning that the first of my potatoes are emerging. I hope you have similarly good results with this method.

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  4. Donna: Grow bags are looking pretty good to me right now, but they don't seem to yield as much as growing in the ground.

    Daphne: I dug trenches last year, so the labor of the initial planting will probably be the same. But no hilling this year and less wasted space.

    Laura: I was happy that the seed potatoes arrived with little sprouts. These greened up pretty quickly over the past week. Now to get them in the ground.

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  5. Just wanted you to know that I didn't remove your comments. I think blogger ate them. Hopefully the problem is fixed.

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  6. World wide blogger monster attacks! Anyway, I'm doing Jeavons method too. Down here in NC, my Red Pontiacs have been in a month and we're blooming already. This is my fisrt time with potatoes. If they do well, I'll be planting more next year.

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  7. I copied the "missing" comments from my email. They are posted below:

    Donna said...
    I have never grown potatoes, but am grwoing sweet potatoes in grow bags this year. The less work the better...hope they grow....

    Daphne said...
    I planted my potatoes that way too. I hope it works well. There aren't a lot of good ways to plant potatoes in raised beds.

    I think double digging your garden won't save you any labor over hilling, but it will save space. And having the garden double dug is always good to do occasionally.

    kitsapFG said...
    Your seed potatoes look like they are optimally ready for planting...chatted but not with excessively long sprouts. I noticed this morning that the first of my potatoes are emerging. I hope you have similarly good results with this method.

    GrafixMuse said...
    Donna: Grow bags are looking pretty good to me right now, but they don't seem to yield as much as growing in the ground.

    Daphne: I dug trenches last year, so the labor of the initial planting will probably be the same. But no hilling this year and less wasted space.

    Laura: I was happy that the seed potatoes arrived with little sprouts. These greened up pretty quickly over the past week. Now to get them in the ground.

    ReplyDelete
  8. tami: It has been a rough 24-hours with blogger. I missed everyone's updates:)

    How exciting that your potatoes are blooming...that means you will be able to rob your plants of some baby potatoes!

    ReplyDelete