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?
"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.
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.
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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.
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posted 3 years ago
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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So... how does it work with hay/straw/mulch covering?
- Do you cover a bit with some soil?
and how deep?
- Does mulch cover enough to not have green potatoes?
- Does the mulch stays well enough over the line without flattening and spreading?
- what's about putting some soil over the mulch?
Another idea: a potato field looks "wavy". Is it possible to use the natural furrow between 2 rows to sow something else while harvesting the potatoes? Or is the harvesting itself making this difficult?
Here wherre I live, it is time to plant them, as they are a winter crop due to being frost-free meditarranean, and people use some motorisation, and I want to find a way to grow some potatoes without having to do that much digging work, either for planting or harvesting.
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Entire books are written about how to grow potatoes, so you aren't going to get a full accounting in a forum post. In general, I find that potatoes grow best in the ground or in raised beds. Towers yield poorly for the work involved. Straw and other alternative coverings invite animals to ruin the crop. Potatoes can be intercropped with other plants, but you need to make sure that they don't shade the potatoes or you are losing yield. An early sowing of quick maturing greens can often be sowed between potato rows if you aren't doing mechanical cultivation.
elle sagenev wrote:I'm trying 3 different potato planting techniques this year.
What were the results Elle?
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