Growing Potatoes

On April 2 I blogged about planting potatoes.  I shared a few pictures, including these.

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Now, about 6 weeks, later the potato plants are all up and growing, and we’re hopefully on our way toward an abundant harvest.

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I’ve been battling our annual nemesis, the Colorado potato beetles, known unaffectionately to us as “potato bugs.”  Because we don’t use any sprays or toxins, whether “organic” or not, it’s all hand-to-hand combat.  Fortunately the adults are easy to spot and catch, their egg clusters are bright orange and easily seen, and the larvae (which do the damage) are immobile and easy to find.  All it takes is time.  So I try to spend a little every day walking the rows and eliminating the bugs.  So far we’re winning the battle.  Once the potato plants are established well, the danger will be over.

Now is also the time for hilling the plants.  I also do that by hand.  I use a hoe to pull soil around the plants as they grow, giving the tubers more friendly ground in which to grow.

Raising potatoes this way takes work, but the payoff will be great.

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8 comments on “Growing Potatoes

  1. Bill, my potatoes are up as well. It took a long time this year for them to finally sprout up through the soil. Half are still not showing themselves yet but hopefully they will come up out of the soil soon. Everything else looks well. The cabbages are in good shape after replanting a couple times. The lettuce and radishes have grown good this last week. The onions are finally starting to take hold and grow. The tomatoes and bell peppers are holding their own but just haven’t started their growth spurt yet. I suspect it needs to be consistently warmer during the night hours. We are starting to get some 50 and 60 night time temperatures more and more but it’s not quite what those warm weather crops like just yet. I’m glad your potatoes are doing well. I’ve not really been bothered by any bugs on my plants in my back yard or in my big garden (Terra Nova Gardens). The big garden I believe it’s because of the wild turkeys. They continually are scratching about in the mulch. Hopefully, it will stay bug less.

    Have a great potato growing year.

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    • Bill says:

      Glad to know the potato beetles aren’t bothering you. I’m hoping we’ve just about got them whipped.

      I didn’t get anything planted today, but I plan to get back to it tomorrow.

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  2. Buffy says:

    I’m fighting the Colorado potato beetles too, nasty little pest! They found my tomatoes too, so the war is on!

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  3. shoreacres says:

    OK – here comes the non-farmer with a question. Those potatoes you planted — are those peeled when you put them in the ground? I’ve been sitting here debating between just white potatoes and peeled potatoes. I can’t tell. And I don’t know. All I know is that every piece of potato has to have at least one eye. At least, I think that’s right.

    Maybe these are seed potatoes? Are they different.

    Isn’t it fun when the city kid shows up? ;)

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    • Bill says:

      They’re not peeled. The potatoes are usually cut into chunks (making sure there is at least one eye) and planted with the eyes facing up. Often by the time we plant the potatoes have sprouted and have long crazy tentacle-like growths. Those do the best. Seed potatoes you buy look just like potatoes in a grocery store.

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  4. There’s almost nothing as beautiful as a field plowed and ready for planting. Ah, wonderful! :)

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