Friday, March 22, 2013

Planting No-Dig Potatoes

Because I'm tired of prepping and building garden beds, I decided to remove potatoes from my plan. I know they're a staple of the American diet and all that, but we almost never eat them at my house. I don't eat a lot of grains and starches and the boys don't seem to miss them. I added them to my garden plan to begin with because I want food stored for winter and I had selected (and already purchased) a few varieties that should store well. Root cellaring is something I want to learn and potatoes seem like a good place to start.

So anyway, I removed them from my garden plan but then I saw this video by a nice Australian man with a fabulous accent.

Glory, hallelujah! I already had all the ingredients I needed and I didn't have to do any more digging!

I prepared my seed potatoes by cutting them into pieces making sure each piece has at least 2 eyes. I allowed them to sit out overnight to "scab" over, which creates a protective film to prevent disease.The next day, Lane and I went out to an area where we laid down cardboard and leaves last fall, composted the area, and placed our seed potatoes 18" apart. Then we covered them with thick layers of composted straw and last year's leaves. We topped with another layer of compost and feather meal fertilizer. If you try this, be sure to cover them very thickly with whatever mulch you use. Any potatoes exposed to light will turn green and will be inedible.

Soil prepped with cardboard and leaves
Planted potatoes- so easy!

I just loved this process! It was so easy and we had 2 beds with 12 seed potatoes each for a total of 24 potato plants each. I cannot wait to see how they grow. It took less than an hour to do everything and was very low-labor, great for kids and seniors. If the harvest is good, then we will do this every year.

Have you ever grown potatoes?

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