Sunday, February 21, 2016

Would you grow your potatoes this way?

I just finished planting a "new" way, for me, to plant potatoes! In a bed about 6' X 8,' I dug small depressions in the ground and placed potato cuttings in them. I filled the bed with cuttings spaced about 18" apart.

I then covered them up with about 3" to 4" of wheat straw. Once the plants start to grow through the straw to about 10" tall, I'll add more straw to just under the top two sets of leaves. and then keep doing that until the mulch is about 12" to 18" above the top of the block border. That will equal approximately 20" to 26" of straw mulch covering the potato cuttings.

The reason that I'm trying this method, is because with all of the changes going on in outlining my beds with concrete block, I do not have the soil prepared as I would normally have. I had heard of this method from a Rodale gardening article that measured the effectiveness of planting potatoes several different ways, to determine the potential improvement in yield. 

We shall see, so please follow along as they grow and are harvested at the end of the season. I will post more photos as the plants emerge from under this first application of straw, then throughout the rest of the potato growing season here in North Central Texas.

Author's Note as of April 3rd, 2016: Prior to the beginning of April, we had a lot of rain, so the above test plot all died from being too wet. This is how I usually prepare my seed potatoes. And, this is how I mulch my potatoes once they are growing

Please feel free to share this with your vegetable gardening friends!