Potatoes should be planted in rich, well-drained soil sometime around the end of April through May.  If you have raised beds, you will be able to plant earlier in April.  To start, you will need certified seed potatoes.  Small potatoes can be planed whole.  Large potatoes will need to be cut leaving 2-3 eyes (area where sprouts appear) per piece.  The cut potatoes will need to be set in the sun for 1-2 days to cure before planting.  The easiest way to plant potatoes is to hoe a line 2” deep.  Lay in trench 10-12” apart and cover (or hill) up with 3” of soil or organic mulch.

As plant spouts and grows you will need to continue hilling or covering the plant until you have a mound 8-10”.  New potatoes form above the seed you planted.  Do not allow potatoes to be exposed to sunlight because they will turn green and bitter.

Fertilize with Espoma Organic Garden-tone.  Also use the organic Garden Dust after rains to protect against late blight and potato beetle.  Maintain even moisture by watering underneath foliage or use a soaker hose during dry spells.  Potatoes are ready to harvest when foliage turns yellow and dies down.  Dig with a pitchfork and enjoy.  One pound of seed potatoes will require 10’ of garden space and will yield approx. 10lb. of potatoes.

To store potatoes gently rub excess dirt off after harvesting but do not wash.  Make sure surface of potatoes are dry and put in breathable containers.  If possible leave a layer of air between every 6-8” of potatoes and store in a cool dark place.  A towel or light blanket work well to cover so no light gets in.  Store well, potatoes will last until April of the next year.  Try some potatoes this year in your garden!

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