Saturday, July 16, 2016

Gardening with Potato's

Potato's yet another garden challenge. It is coming to my attention that the problem is not the soil or the water or the tools. It is me.
The beauty of that is the mistakes I make I learn so much.

The little potato's you see to the left are my first crop. Small but wonderful and the 2 pds. of butter just made it better!

I have tried a few different trick's to grow them. My first thing was a Potato Tower. I saw this idea in Mother Earth and also in Sunset magazine. Both worked great but not for me. You should try it. I am going to give you my experience . strength and hope ....that you can do it!

The first thing you need are potato's. there is a lot of conversation on pre-ordering or just taking a potato and letting it grow in the pantry. I have done both and they both worked.

 What ever you choose you need to let them grow the little sprouts on them. Like the picture to your left.Put them in a brown paper bag into a cupboard.

Once they grow you cut the potato's so the sprouts are left on each piece. Lay the potato's on a flat surface. I used a cookie sheet.

You want two to three eye's per piece.

Give your potato's a few day to shrivel up.
The sprout will stay fine.

While this whole process is coming about you can prepare your dirt. Either Potato Tower or just plant them.

I did pick a spot where we can do both the tower and the ground.
To make the tower you will need:

Reed Screen - Bamboo
Stakes to secure wire
Wire to make tower's

The first thing you need to make is a tower. You can follow the pictures rather than me explaining each step. Use your own judgement to make the size that best suit's your area.

I put my tower in a garden already tiled it is lined with old wine bottles from when my mama use to live with us. The reason I put it there is that I have just enough space to put some of the potato's into the ground.

See how the wire cylinder is shaped round.

With the stakes around it to keep it in place.

Now here you see that I am going to start the layering process. The little ditch next to it is where the ground potato's will be planted.

Line your tower with straw and put a layer of dirt into the tower. On top of that layer place potato's close to the wall of the tower. They only need to be next to the straw they will find there way through.

Here are a few tips on potato planting out of the tower.  Plant them 6" deep and 12" apart. As the plant grows you need to add soil to the stock to protect the tubers from sunlight. The potatoes start to form after the flowers bloom. 

Keep the process going straw, dirt, potatoes, straw, dirt, potato's.
No need to pack them they will do it naturally.

This is my area about two weeks after I first planted the tower and the ground. Notice the little green of the potato's coming through the tower.

The ground potato's are doing well also.

Here is a post that gives you a lot more information on the potatoes and the how to with regards to growing them.

Oregon State University  
their link has a good amount of information for you.  

You can see how the potato bush sprung out of the tower.I wish i had mre to post on this subject but it really is an easy project. Here is a link to the Burpee site for ordering potato's also if you are all organic you could go check out Seeds Saver's. I get a lot of stuff from them also. But at this point in the season they are sold out of potatoes.

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