Potatoes are one of the easiest crops to grow.
Even the most inhospitable soils will gladly incubate a potato or two, so it’s no wonder that the root vegetable actually kept millions of people away from starvation throughout history.
Since it’s versatile and easy to grow, why not dedicate a little piece of your backyard to growing your own? All it takes is a little bit of time and a little bit of straw.
How To Grow Potatoes
Laurie Ashbach, from the blog LiveDan330 came up with this genius way of growing potatoes! She used seed potatoes from the Seed Savers Exchange in the winter, and were delivered to her in the spring, just in time for planting.
It may seem like extra effort, but making sure you use organic potato seeds will really ensure that you will grow top quality potatoes.
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Seed Savers Exchange describes itself as “A non-profit, member-supported organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage, forming a living legacy that can be passed down through generations.”
What You’ll Need For This Project:
- 4 fence posts
- Plastic or wire fencing (similar to what’s used for tomatoes)
- 1 eight-foot section of wire
- wire cutters
- 1 bale of straw
- 1 bag of compost
- bags of dirt
- A bag of sprouted potatoes
1. Start by placing the fence posts in the ground a few feet apart. If you have to, hammer down the posts to make sure they are firmly set in the ground.
2. Wrap the fencing around your posts and secure them into place using wire.
3. Throw the hay into the center of your fence to cover the sides of the fencing. It should look like a big nest that covers half the height of your fence and has a hole in the middle.
4. Fill the hole with compost.
5. Cut the potatoes and bury them in the compost in layers. Each section of potato should have 4 roots (also referred to as eyes) to ensure that it grows.
6. Water the compost thoroughly as the plant grows and water regularly, just enough to keep the soil moist but not enough to rot the plant.
7. It’s best to harvest your potatoes in the early to late fall, once the top of your vines have begun to wither and dry. It’s best to stop watering your plants a few days before harvesting to make them easiest to pick.
The End Result!
Here’s a video recounting this growing method, check it out down below! (The potatoes were planted on the first of June, and were harvested by the Fourth of July).