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.