With all our enthusiasm we got too many potatoes at the nursery. Even with Mark growing up in Idaho, we haven’t planted potatoes more than two times in our adult life living here in Portland. But here we are this year, catching up I guess!
On a side note, potatoes (aloo in Hindi) were cultivated in South America for centuries until they were introduced to Europe by the Spanish. then, immigrants brought them from there to North America. Crazy how me being from Chile and Mark being from Idaho show all the signs that we were meant to plant potatoes!
By no means we are experts in potato gardening, but this is what ‘we’ learned (by ‘we’ I mean Mark doing the searching) in reading books and online.
TUTORIAL: How to Plant Potatoes
1- First you need to get some good helpers. That is the most important part, so it can make it even more fun to be outside growing your own food and getting everything done and taking good care of them.
2- Then you get the potatoes you bought from the nursery, or those forgotten potatoes in the back of the basket growing roots already. If they are big enough you cut them so they have an eye per piece, and are just big enough. For those potatoes that are small (like fingerling) you don’t have to cut them.
3- You need to let the potatoes dry a little where you just cut them, for a day or so, so they don’t get infected in the dirt and survive and grow healthy instead. Note: some places they said to coat the potatoes with sulfur, but we decided not to do it this time.
4- Then you get into your garden and loosen the soil.
5- Make a trench and make sure the soil is loose in the bottom.
6- Place the potatoes in the trench with the eyes and sprouts up.
7- Plant them about 10 inches apart in the trench.
8- Cover them with about 3 inches of soil. When they start appearing you cover them back up again.
9- Get everyone together and decide where two feet are in your bed and start your other trench.
10- Dig another trench and plant the same way.
11- Then, get everyone together again and find wood you’ve had laying around from other projects and build another raised bed, for the other dozens of potatoes you already bought.
We didn’t get to finish our raised bed, but I’ll post the rest of the pictures when the rain stops again and we are ready to set our bed next to the other ones to continue our “potato field.”