Growing your own potatoes is a fun family experience. There is nothing like the taste of fresh potatoes. Potatoes are easy to grow and easy to maintain. There are many different types of potatoes to choose from at garden centers, online and in gardening catalogs. Choose the type of potato you want to grow based on the length of time until harvest and the type of potato you like.
Some Popular Choices
Early - mature in 2 to 3 months and are harvested in the early or middle part of the summer season.
Fingerlings - Mature at different times throughout the summer season.
storage - 3 to 4 months until they mature. The very popular baking potato falls into this class. Storage potatoes are usually grown so they can be stored and used during the winter.
Main Crop - 2 1/2 to 3 months until they mature and they produce the most potatoes.
The biggest problems facing potato growers are slugs and blight.
Buy seed-potatoes which are specifically grown to be planted. Make sure the seed-potatoes are certified to be disease free.
Place the seed-potatoes in a shallow wooden box with the pointed end facing upwards in a warm are to allow the eyes to sprout. Grocery store bought potatoes cannot usually be used to grow potatoes because they are treated to disallow sprouting.
Prepare the Garden Soil
Turn the garden soil and add a heavy layer of compost and manure. Turn and mix the compost and manure in.
Dig holes approximately 6 inches deep.
Place one seed-potato into each hole with the shoots facing up.
Cover the seed-potatoes with a mixture of soil, compost and manure.
Water potatoes regularly, do not allow the soil to completely dry out. Do not over water either because the seed-potatoes will rot.
Pull weeds to keep them under control, never spray any chemical herbicides because the chemicals will leech into ites.
On a weekly basis use a hoe and pull the dirt up and on top of the area where ites are growing to create hills. The hills or mounds of dirt will end up being about 12 to 18 inches high. Add more compost to the dirt when you do this.
Harvesting Your Potatoes:
When the flowers on it plants fully open, ites are ready to be harvested.
Use a pitchfork, press the pitchfork into the ground with your foot. the pitchfork should be placed directly under the green stalk of it plant. Grasp it plant at the stem near the ground, pull up on the plant while you are unearthing ites.