If you’ve ever tasted home grown potatoes you’d never go back to store bought ones. The flavor is just amazing and they are surprisingly easy to grow.
It helps to prepare your growing area well so that you have a fairly loose friable soil with the addition of some compost. You’ll also need some straw or pea mulch as its really important to keep the tubers totally covered so that they’re not exposed to light as this will make them go green. Green potatoes are poisonous as are the tops of the potato plants.
Be sure to purchase good quality seed potatoes to plant in your garden and plant them far enough apart to ensure that the tubers have room to grow. Once you’ve planted the seed potatoes cover the entire area with a layer of straw or pea mulch. As the plants start to grow keep adding some mulch as this will help to both support the growing plant and will keep the tubers covered.
You may also like to stake your plants as they can become quite tall and will fall over easily however this doesn’t harm the plant and they will still continue to grow. Staking them just gives a bit more support and your potato patch will look tidier.
Potato plant don’t need a lot of care or even a lot of water. They seem to be quite drought hardy. Just give them a little liquid feed every 2 weeks and water if the plants are looking a bit wilted.
The really big bonus when growing potatoes is that once the plants have flowered you can start to gently dig up a few and let the rest keep growing. Imagine that you feel like potatoes for dinner and all you need to do is go out to the garden and gently dig around the base of a couple of plants to find some reasonable sized tubers to harvest and cook.
Eventually the plants will die down and then you can pull them out and harvest the rest of the tubers. It’s almost like a treasure hunt digging around in the soil and finding all the potatoes that have grown.
You’ll most probably find that you will fail to find a few and they’ll come up again the following season however its a good idea not to grow potatoes in the same spot for more than 2 years.
Home grown potatoes will keep for quite some time but remember to keep them cool and in a dark spot, a hessian bag is perfect for storing your potatoes.
If you’re short of space in your garden you can even grow your potatoes in large pots or special bags which you can purchase in garden centers. Just half fill the pot with a good quality potting mix enriched with compost and as the plants shoot and start to grow just keep adding more potting mix. This will also help to improve the yield of your plant.
So give your taste buds a little treat and grow your own potatoes!