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Best way of growing potatoes  RSS feed

 
Hans Harker
Posts: 115
Location: Chcago IL
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I like potatoes. i grew some last year by just planting them in the ground and covering most of the plants with compost as they kept growing. The results were decent but not great. I remember reading that potatoes really love hugel beds and i'm in the process of making one but i have hard time imagining ho that works. Can someone please explain to me how it is done?
 
Willy Walker
Posts: 100
Location: Foot of the Mountain, Front Royal VA
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chicken fungi hugelkultur
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"How to grow vegetables and fruits by the organic method" by J.I. Rodale 1971 suggest growing potatoes in a deep hay bed above ground. Less work and better potatoes is the claim.

Examples summarized;

In April turn over a patch of winter rye and allow it to decompose. Then stick a whole potato in a furrow every 6 inches. Place a shovel full of compost over each potato. Finally spread a foot of hay over the patch.

Create a row / wide strip of material; leaves, weeds, etc. in the fall. Lay the seed potatoes on top and cover with 14" of straw. Add more mulch as needed with heavy rains, etc.


The benefit of both of these examples is ease of work, perfect potatoes and excellent soil building. I am working on building hugel beds but I will most likely attempt both and either of these methods in the next few years. How do these suggested methods compare with your experience? One other thing I have read is that the continuous covering method does not allow enough sunlight on the plant. And as different tomatoes respond to different techniques in different ways, I would imagine the variety chosen could have great impact on harvest as well.

 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1275
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I'm trying 3 different potato planting techniques this year.

1) potato tower made out of tires.

2) Potatoes put in raised bed and covered with nothing but straw.

3) potatoes in berms

So, I haven't dug them up yet but going by green growth the potato tire tower is the best right now. I just put a second tire on in fact. The raised bed potatoes are doing fantastically as well but the greens on them aren't quite as tall. The berm potatoes are getting eaten by voles, I can tell. But they're still growing.
 
Hans Harker
Posts: 115
Location: Chcago IL
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Thank you for the responses. The way i did it last year probably resembles the berm approach most. It does make the harvest job harder comparing to how i imagine the methods involving straw. i'm gonna have to try to source some straw and try it.
 
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