as the mulch blocks out the light You don’t have to keep earthing up as the potatoes grow - simply add more mulch., when you manage to spear the prize potato through the heart while digging it out, is a thing of the past If you suffer with potato eelworm , no-dig will lessen its impact on the crop.– those tiny (and not so tiny) ones that get left in the soil to sprout next year – virtually disappear The mulch breaks down to add organic matter to the soil.Possible Problems with No-Dig Potatoes.Growing Potatoes Without Digging.You could cover with a couple of inches of compost, but I go straight to the straw.Remove the mesh when the plants emerge and, if any plants are being held back by the mulch, help them through it.Now all you have to do is water when necessary and top up with grass clippings if the mulch looks a bit thin.If the potatoes are too small, replace the covering carefully and let them grow on a bit longer.You can even harvest some potatoes from a plant and leave the others to grow on. .
How to Plant Seed Potatoes in the Ground, in Pots, & in Straw
What are seed potatoes?Seed potatoes are not actually seeds at all.Rather than saving some of your own harvest for replanting the next year, I recommend purchasing new certified seed potatoes at the start of each growing season.Purchasing and planting certified seed potatoes is the only way to ensure a “clean” crop.Instead, they are cut up into pieces prior to planting to yield more plants from each seed potato.Each piece should contain at least 2 eyes.Or you can cut the seed potato first, and then let the sprouts develop under the ground.One pound of seed potatoes yields about 8 to 10 seed pieces for planting.I space my seed potato pieces about 10 inches apart when planting.Where to plant seed potatoes.Regardless of which seed potato-planting method you choose, select a site that receives at least 6 hours of full sun per day.Regardless of whether you plant in rows or holes, when growing seed potatoes in the ground you’re going to want to hill your potato plants two or three times through the growing season.How to plant seed potatoes in pots and grow bags.This second method of growing spuds is great for folks with limited space or no in-ground garden.Each piece of seed potato needs at least 2.5 – 3 gallons of potting soil to grow into a full-sized plant.Just as you hill potatoes in the garden to ensure there is maximum space for tuber production, you should also perform a similar task when growing seed potatoes in pots.How to plant seed potatoes in straw.If you’re wondering how to plant seed potatoes in a way that makes them easy to harvest and keeps the spuds clean, then growing in straw is the way to go.Then, nestle each piece of seed potato down into the soil by no more than an inch or so.Now that you know how to plant seed potatoes in the ground, in containers, or in straw, it’s easy to see which method is best for your space.Harvesting potatoes.Do you grow seed potatoes every year? .
Planting Potatoes The Easy Way with Straw (+ Updates)
It's a great way to make planting and hilling up easier, plus harvesting them is fun - and clean - with a lot less wasted to the shovel.Find the how-to along with updates for those who live in damp climates and an alternate way to plant if underground animals are a problem.When I first started growing vegetables, I planted potatoes the most common way I read about: digging a deep hole or trench, laying the tuber in the bottom, and just covering it with soil.Those first potatoes grew, producing foliage and flowers, and then eventually started to brown and wither, which meant it was time to harvest - yay!When I realized that more potatoes were pulled up cut in half than not, I moved to a garden fork.Then I read that potatoes could be hilled up with straw, which would make a cleaner and easier harvest.Of course I tried it the next season - and not only did it work wonderfully, the harvest was fun and the kids LOVED helping because it was so easy to find the potatoes.(UPDATE: after five years planting this way, I had major damage from slugs and so had to adjust the technique.If you deal with slugs, I've added a section at the bottom where you'll find the additional steps I took.(TIP: I know this because I keep track in my Garden Success Notebook, which is FREE for subscribers!).When it's time to plant, remove the plastic and then simply rake up the debris and pull any remaining deep rooted weeds.Here in the mild valley of the Pacific NW (zone 8) we can plant the earliest potatoes the end of March and into April (the old saying is St. Patrick's Day, but I find that to be to wet, even with a no-till raised bed).TIP: You can just see the bed in the top of the picture above where I grew the previous year's potatoes.Which reminds me that another benefit of growing potatoes with straw is keeping the weeds down all year!I simply leave the straw in place after harvesting until I need to plant the bed the next spring.You can also find seed potatoes at garden centers and nurseries in early spring.I like to plant early, med, and late season potatoes to extend the harvest.There are lots of fun types of potatoes - try growing something that you can't find in the store if you have limited space, like fingerling.And I didn't have a good crop that year, so I'm thinking it was because they weren't "certified disease free" seed potatoes.TIP #1: I usually use small, whole potatoes to lessen the possibility of rotting (it's known to get damp here in the Pacific NW, ha!Though you probably won't have sprouts this long even with presprouting - I think I should've planted sooner that year!For this large bed, I used about half the bale for the first mounds, leaving the rest for hilling up after the plants have grown.Main Crop: When the tops brown, wither and/or die back you can harvest all the potatoes you see.It’s OK to have a method that you love, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, the bugs attack, or the harvest just isn’t what it should be, a little tweaking is in order.Since they also weakened the plants, it gave a foothold to flea beetles, too, so some tweaking was definitely needed.If you live in a wet climate like the Pacific NW, you may find this adjusted technique helpful, too.Here's the big difference: Do NOT add any straw until the plants have grown 6 to 8 inches tall.I continued to plant and grow potatoes with this method, but over the next few years the vole population (aka, field mice) grew out of control.Use a drill with a large bit to add drainage holes to the bottom of your clean garbage can.Disclosure: affiliate links in this article will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price. .
Growing Potatoes in Straw
Amongst those who plant potatoes in straw or mulch there is a saying that goes, “even a couch potato can grow a good potato crop with very little work.”.The planting and harvesting of potatoes planted in straw or mulch is a simple matter.As the potatoes grow, keep adding, a little at a time, the straw with old manure mix mounded up around the base of the plants.The straw holds the moisture, so less water is needed.Growing and harvesting in this fashion is a great method of cultivating potatoes. .
How to Grow Potatoes in a Tower
For those seeking to grow their own spuds in a small space or in a vole-prone area or for those wanting to keep their crop somewhat contained in case disease strikes, a potato tower is an excellent solution.Ranging from 2 to 4 feet tall, this simple vertical column is comprised of wire fencing lined with straw and filled with compost, saving you from having to deeply till and excessively amend your bed.If you have trouble with voles, add a piece of fencing with small holes at the bottom of the container to prevent the critters from burrowing into it.Place the potatoes about every 5 to 6 inches along the outside edge of the tower, add a thin layer of compost, and water them in; they should be next to the straw, with their eyes pointed out (photo, right).Create additional layers comprised of a straw “nest,” compost, and potatoes until you reach 4 inches from the top of the bin.When the plants have significantly died back in late summer, tip the tower over (photo, above) and sift through the compost to find the spuds. .
How to Plant Potatoes in Straw & Sand
The straw layer keeps potatoes evenly moist, so there is less need for watering as the plants grow.Potatoes grown in straw rather than soil stay clean and can be harvested quickly without digging.Place the pieces in a room temperature area for one to two days to allow the cuts to form a dry callous and prevent rotting.2 Add 3 to 4 inches of aged compost to the top of your potato planting area. .
Can You Grow Potatoes In Straw Bales? (A Genius Method
We’ll walk through how to prepare a site for your straw bale potatoes, how to plant your seed potatoes, how to care for your plants, how to harvest at the end of the season, and how to cleanup afterwards.Preparation of Straw Bales for Growing Potatoes.Before you can plant any potatoes, you need to prepare your straw bales for growing.That includes choosing a suitable location, getting the straw bales you will need, watering your straw bale, and adding fertilizer to the mix.Water Your Straw Bale.Watering your straw bales will get the composting process off to a good start.Planting Seed Potatoes in Your Straw Bales.All you need to do is get your seed potatoes, prepare them for planting, and put them in the straw bale.You can buy sprouted (seed) potatoes online or at a local garden center.This potato is already starting to grow eyes!However, you can get more potato plants if you cut your seed potatoes into pieces.Also, leave the cut potato pieces out for a few days to dry out before planting them.Plant Your Seed Potatoes.Cover the seed potato with 4-6 inches of straw and composted material.Caring for Your Straw Bale Potato Plants.Water Your Straw Bales Often.Add Fertilizer during the Growing Season.For more information, check out my article on over fertilizing your plants.When your potato plants start flowering, you can start harvesting the older potatoes, which are found at the bottom of the straw bale.Then, store them in a cool, dry, dark place to prevent them from sprouting.For more information, check out my article on how to make compost.Just remember that hay may contain the seeds of weeds or other plants you don’t want in your garden. .
Growing potatoes in straw didn't work?
The potatoes were planted a month late due to insane amounts of rain this spring, couldn’t get into the garden.Zero of my plants grew any potatoes up the stem, basically all of that straw was useless. .