To continue our outdoor series, I’m going to talk about popular planting methods for potatoes. It’s up to you if you want to use potatoes from the market or order seed potatoes – I’ve found that there’s not much of a difference. If you want different varieties, then you should order seed potatoes.
Potatoes typically are grown in rows anywhere from 8-15 in. from one another, but there are other options that have proven to be successful.
Raised Bed Planting
For those of you that have a raised garden bed (garden box), you know it prevents soil compaction, keeps pathway weeds from your soil, serves as good protection against pests and provides good drainage. If you’re interested in having one, potatoes grow very well in them.
Potato Mound Method
When you grow potatoes in mounds, you’re not only able to produce a large harvest even in the smallest areas, but you can begin planting earlier in the season because the elevated soil warms quicker.
Growing potatoes in straw is quite simple and requires little effort. The key is that the straw keeps the soil moist, shades from sunlight, promotes healthy plant growth and even smothers weeds.
Grow Bag Planting
Certain grow bags such as the Gardener's Best Potato Grow Bags allow you to grow potatoes almost anywhere you want without even having a garden. If you’re interested in this method, then try it yourself by following along with a DIY tutorial--I would suggest using Amy Pennington’s tutorial.
Trash Bag Version
If you would rather not buy a potato bag, then why not use a trash bag? Even in a plastic bag, there’s less chance for pest and insect damage and reduced risk of adding clean soil every so often. Using a trash bag is definitely the route I would choose.
Potatoes in Tires
Growing a simple crop, like a potato, in an old tire is inexpensive, easy to do and is a rather neat project that can actually get children involved. It’s like a raised bed, but constructed in an old tire!
And remember, as those potatoes sprout and send up stems, keep covering up the plant so only a little leaf shows and the plant will produce more potatoes for you to harvest. Check out a southern potato salad recipe you can enjoy once you gather the result of your gardening!
Topics Lawn and Garden