Rainy days and Sundays always get me down when I can not garden!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


First grown in 1621, potatoes are the most popular veggie in the US.  A cool season crop, potatoes can survive a light frost. Plant in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked, 2 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost date.  Depending on the maturation date (time to harvesting), the goal is to harvest your potatoes before soil temperatures reach 60-70 degrees.  

You can purchase certified, disease free "seed potatoes".  (This will reduce the risk of caring over any diseases from the previous year).  However, I could not let this bag of potatoes go to waste, so I will take my chances.  

Pre-sprouted spuds will mature about a month earlier then using potatoes with just "eyes".  

Cut into 1" pieces with 1 to 3 "eyes" per piece.

Ideally, it is best to cut the potatoes about 2 days before planting.  This allows the pieces to dry, creating a "seal",  reducing rotting and disease.  

Potatoes like a slightly acidic soil of 6.0 pH or less.  I added some evergreens cuttings to the soil, and will side dress later on, once the plants are established.  

Dig down to a depth of 10" to loosen the soil.  Create 4" deep furrows, spacing cut pieces 12" apart.  Place pieces sprout side or "eye side" up, and cover with a couple of inches of soil.

I added a layer of leaves to help keep the ground warm.

I also decided to cover with weed cloth (for added warmth)  since we are expecting snow.

This area has been covered since February 9.  The ground has warmed up a bit, and the soil does not clump when squeezed.  However, we are about 20 degrees below normal, and snow is on the way.  I decided to put back the "cold frame" unto weather conditions improve a bit.  Once a week I will check on the progress and also give them about 1 to 2 inches of water.  

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