We LOVE making homemade mashed potatoes and home fries with fresh potatoes, so this year we decided to grow them. We planted 4 halves of potatoes and here are some things that we learned along the way.
- Potatoes grow underground so they need to be planted deep. Once you plant them, they take about 2 weeks to grow to the surface. At that point you need to google if you planted a determinate or indeterminate variety. That will tell you whether to cover the plant with dirt again or just let it grow.
- The more dirt you mound on the potatoes the more potatoes will grow! If they get subjected to sunlight, they will turn green. Don't eat those.
- Once you've mounded enough cover the dirt under the leaves with straw to protect them from blight in the soil and keep the potatoes watered well up until about 2 weeks before you harvest them.
- We harvested them before the leaves turned brown and died because my uncle, who's been farming all his life, told us that they were ready. He said farmers waited till the leaves were dead back in the day because they actually forgot about the crop.
- If you plant them in a raised bed, plant them alone. It's hard to harvest them when you have green beans right next to them and you're trying to dig deep into the soil. I think we might try grow bags next year.
- There are potato bugs! They are yellow with black stripes and look like lady bugs. I didn't treat for them except for the baking soda solution we used on all the plants.
Overall, we had a great first experience with potatoes and I feel like we will be surely planting many more next time, so we can have a harvest that will fit our family of 8! Course at this point we will probably have to buy a farm LOL.
This is our first harvest:
I hope these tips help you have a very successful potato gardening experience and if you have any tips for us, please feel free to leave them in the comments! We love learning all we can.
@kristenfulton1 We planted 4 half potatoes and I feel like we had a good harvest! There will be more potatoes in our future! #momsoftiktok #momof6kids #homeschoolmoms #gardeningmom #gardening101 #gardeningtipsforbeginners ♬ original sound - Kristen