Over the last 12 months Darren and I have had great success growing potatoes in our veggie garden. As we find potatoes sprouting in our pantry we plant them straight into our garden.
For successful crops this is what we've done -
* If the sprouting potatoes are large and have many sprouts, cut them in half ensuring you have at least a couple of sprouts on each half. Let the potatoes sit for a couple of days so the cut dries up and heals
* Plant your potatoes wrist deep into a reasonably loose soil / compost combination with the sprouts facing upwards.
* Plant potatoes about 30 cm apart in rows 45 cm apart.
* Cover with soil and water in.
* As the greenery pokes through the soil and grows up, hill the soil around it to encourage more potatoes to grow. You might need to do this a few times. Hilling the soil up also protects any potatoes growing near the surface from turning green.
* Water the plants regularly but only if you think they need it. Over watering can increase the likelihood of rot.
* When the plant produces flowers, pick them off so the plant concentrates all it's energy on growing potatoes.
* Dig up the potatoes when the plants have fallen over and died off. Use a spade or garden fork to dig up the soil starting about 30 cm away from the plant to avoid hitting a potato.
* Spread the potatoes on hardboard or in a shallow container for a few days outside away from direct sunlight. This lets the skins dry out on the potatoes. Once dry, store in a cool dark place. Under the house or in the garden is an ideal location.
* Only brush off excess soil before storing. Do not wash the potatoes if storing for long periods of time.
|Trenches to plant the potatoes|
|Covering them up in colder weather.|
|Digging up the potatoes|
|Drying them out.|