Potatoes, an ancient vegetable first cultivated by the Incas, have become a staple in our modern diet. The potato crop made it to America in the early 1600s and has been beloved ever since. Very beloved. In fact, the potato is the most popular vegetable in the United States today. If you love potatoes, but you’ve never grown them yourself, you really owe it to yourself to give it a whirl. A homegrown potato tastes a thousand times richer and better than any store-bought potato, and that’s a fact! Plus they are easy and fun to grow, making it a win-win combo for the home gardener.
Spring Is The Right Time For Potatoes
Potatoes can tolerate light frosts and they enjoy cool weather. They can be planted all over the country, but they do give larger harvests up north where the weather is nearly perfect for them during the growing season. No matter where you live, plant your potatoes as soon as the soil is workable in the early spring
Potatoes like fertile, well-drained soil. Loose soil is also a must for potatoes. Hard and compacted soil will produce oddly shaped tubers and will reduce the amount of the harvest. It’s a good idea to work some organic matter into your beds before planting. Speaking of beds, you can plant potatoes in many different ways. You can use deep containers, boxes, or raised beds to plant potatoes. You can use the traditional hilling method if your soil is loose and drains well. There are even special potato grow bags you can buy! Some folks have used old tires for planting potatoes, but due to potentially toxic chemicals in the tires I’m not sure I’d recommend that method when there are better alternatives out there.
Contrary to popular belief, a potato isn’t exactly a root vegetable, like a carrot or beet. Yes, the potato develops underground, but it’s technically a tuber, or an underground storage stem of the plant. These tubers form about six inches below the soil surface. So you’ll want to smother your seed potatoes with plenty of good soil. Then, as the stems come up, keep adding more soil or straw, or a combination of both. Repeat the process over and over until your hill is high enough, or the bed or box is full. Sunlight will cause your potatoes to turn green and taste bitter, so be sure to fully cover them to keep from exposing to the light.
More Growing Tips:
Tuber formation occurs when the soil temperature is between 60-70 degrees. It slows down and stops when soil temperature hits the 80-degree mark. Mulching your potatoes with a thick layer of straw or other organic mulch can help reduce the soil temperature, by as much as 10 degrees. Some farmers even mulch their potatoes six inches thick for this very reason.
Potatoes need plenty of water and are sensitive to drought. Keep them well hydrated, especially when tubers are forming.
Move your potatoes to a different place in the garden each year to help cut down on disease and insects. For best success, let an area rest for 3 years before you return the potatoes to that same spot.
A Special Offer To Get Your Potato Crop Started
For the next 48 hours only, we’re discounting the price of our entire stock of heirloom seed potatoes by 25%! That’s an excellent savings you won’t find at your local gardening center or big-box retailer. (Since seed potatoes are usually available for only a very short time each year, it’s rare to ever find them on sale.)
Plus, at Heirloom Solutions, we have a wide selection of heirloom seed potatoes to choose from. From American favorites like the Yukon Gold potato and the Kennebec potato, to more exotic offerings like the All Blue potato (yes, it’s really a blue potato!) or the Purple Viking, there’s something for everyone.
To order your heirloom seed potatoes today, simply CLICK HERE and be sure to enter in coupon code POTATO to get 25% off!