Monday, February 24, 2014

Cutting, Planting and Harvesting Potatoes

I got my potatoes planted today (finally...I should have had them in no later than Valentine's Day here in Texas) before this oncoming flu gets any worse. Here's the steps to giving them a good start:
1. Purchase disease resistant potatoseed stock from your local nursery.
2. Cut into pieces (for more plants from one potato) with at least one eye in each piece.

Let them dry for at least one week (I was forced by weather and family duties to postpone planting right away).
3. Dig a trench in your planting row at least 3 inches, but I try to go 4 inches.

4. Place cut pieces in trench at 18 inches apart. Sometimes I place two small pieces together to make sure I get at least one plant to come up.
5. Cover and water!

Once plantings start coming up, you can protect them with gallon milk jugs with the bottom cut out, or like me, if we get frost I leave them alone as it will burn them back but not likely kill the plants. Mine re-sprouted after a late frost last season and I still ended up with a great harvest.

You'll know when it's time to harvest when the plants have dried up and died to the ground. Once plants die, I wait two weeks before I dig them up. This gives them a chance to toughen up their skins. I also pick them up off of the ground and place them on a drying table for a few days prior to storage.