By Deanna Lutz, Director of Operations
Growing your own Potatoes is easy when you follow these four easy steps.
STEP 1: Find a Suitable Pot
With so much the planting going on this time of year, there’s a good chance you have some large plastic pots on hand that the plants came in. Instead of putting them in the recycle bin, why not grow yourself some potatoes?! No large pots, you say? An old trash can or even a large bin will work just as well for growing potatoes. It is very important to not let the plants dry out but you don’t want them soggy either so make sure there is good drainage in your pot.
STEP 2: Selecting Your Potato
You don’t necessarily need special seed potatoes, any small fresh organic potato that sprouts will easily grow in your pot, but beware that some store-bought potatoes may have been treated with an inhibitor that prevents the eyes from sprouting. After making sure that they have not been treated, select your favorite variety or mix it up for a fun and flavorful harvest!
STEP 3: Plant Your Potato
Plant the potatoes in 6-8 inches of soil mixed with compost, leaving several inches of space between each one. As the vines grow every 5″ or so, add soil, compost or straw, mounding it around the vine and leaving about 1″ uncovered. Doing so allows for the stem to create more potatoes as the plant is buried deeper. Keep mounding on the soil, compost or straw until your pot is nearly full.
STEP 4: Harvest Your Home-Grown Potatoes
Harvest a ‘new’ or ‘baby’ potato at any time. These potatoes will not store long, so enjoy them right away. If you wait until the flowers start to fade and the stalks turn yellow, your biggest potatoes will be ready and may be stored for a period of time in a cool, dark place. But who’d want store potatoes when they are your own home-grown fresh-as-can-be goodness to enjoy?!
If you’ve never gown potatoes, give it a try. They are very easy to grow and will nourish your soul as well as fill your belly.