#43114
Malgus
Malgus
Survivalist
member8

Good advice, all.

I must have missed this thread.

We planted potatoes as an experiment. Yukon Golds. Back in the Spring, we marked off an area 10×20 and tilled it. It was rough, even with a gas-powered tiller. Wishing we had tilled last Fall… would have made life a lot easier.

Once we got rid of most of the rocks, we hoed the rows 18″ apart and planted each seed potato 12″ from each other down the rows, about 3″ deep. Covered them up, watered them and let them go…

Short version: They sprouted. We covered them halfway with a mix of dirt and compost. As they grew taller, we kept covering them. Then came the Potato Bugs. One or two, then a scourge. We sprayed once every 14 days with Malathion. When the plants grew flowers, we clipped them of so they would not divert energy away from potato production.

The plants eventually turned brown, then withered and died off. We thought we did something wrong – having never planted a potato in my life. What the hell did I know? Maybe too much rain? Optimum water is one inch every three days. We got 6 weeks of rain. I thought it was a giant failure. All our work for nothing.

Couple weeks ago, my wife and her twin sister decided to take a look. They started digging. Lo and behold, we netted 20 pounds of potatoes per row! Most of them were between baseball and softball size.

That translated to 60 lbs total, give or take. We saved out the smallest ones as next year’s seed crop, crated them up proper and stored them right. After a two week wait (recommended, so the skin thickens), we made dinner using those same potatoes… and they were awesome! Tasted way better than storebought…

Potatoes. Other than keeping tabs on the water and spraying every 14 days, they’re more or less no maintenance… didn’t really do much weeding. Didn’t need to. And no problems with pests, other than those damn potato bugs… my son tried pulling them off by hand and smashing them with a rock, but unless you got many hands, that’s a big job… Depending on how bad they are, you could spend a good portion of every day smashing potato bugs and not see an end to them…

You can grow them vertically in stacks or in a normal garden. Good return on investment. You’re gonna need some slat crates to store them in, with newspaper in between layers and a cool dry place for the full crates…

This coming Spring, we’re going to double the size of our potato plot. Might even go vertically. Don’t know yet.. highly recommended…

The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1