Potatoes Don’t Care Where You Plant Them

potato

Potatoes are a vegetable that seems to grow anywhere you plant them. Even before we improved our clay soil into a more loamy type soil the potatoes would still grow in it. That first year when we were learning about how clay soil works was the year we got the largest potatoes we have ever had. Not much else grew that we planted except the green beans and potatoes.

We have even planted potatoes in just a section of the lawn that we dug up right along the horse fence line. We dug up the soil and just stuck them in. They grew really well. NO extra watering or fertilizer or anything. I am not sure why they grow just anywhere.

Where do we get our potatoes that we plant?

This is an easy question to answer. The potatoes that grow eyes over the winter that we forgot about in the potato drawer are the ones we plant. We also get them from the reduced produce section of our local grocery store. We do not buy special seed potatoes to plant, we just use the ones from the grocery store. As I have said before, we would not win gardener of the year but we always seem to grow lots of veggies 🙂

Why do potatoes grow just anywhere?

I decided to do a little research on this delicious and versatile vegetable to figure out why it just grows anywhere. Some things I found are:

  • Potatoes like an acidic soil with a pH below 6.0
  • Good drainage is important
  • Dry the potato cuts for 2 days before planting
  • You can use the whole potato also
  • They will grow in a container
  • They will grow in straw
  • They will grow in a bag
  • They will grow just on top of the ground without planting them

So like I said potatoes grow anywhere. They are just easy to grow.

How we plant potatoes?

      1. We pick an area that we won’t be using for anything else that year. An area away from everything else. We do this because we grow a lot of potatoes and need the space for that large amount. That is how we choose in front of the horse fencing that one year.
      2. Most years we cut the potatoes into 2 to 3 pieces. When cutting them we are making sure each piece has an eye on it. We sometimes let them dry and sometimes we plant them right away. If it ends up being a wet spring the dry ones do much better. The fresh ones tend to rot in the ground in a wetter spring. Some years we plant the whole potato just to see what will happen.
      3. We till up the area of ground that we will be planting the potatoes in. We leave a trench for the potatoes to be planted.
      4. Next the trench is watered. Sometimes we add Miracle-Gro to the water and sometimes we just use water. (affiliate link)
      5. We put two to three potato pieces into piles in the trench keeping the piles about 6 inches apart.
      6. We cover the potatoes with dirt and mulch them with cut grass. Usually we also drench the mulch down with the water so the cut grass doesn’t blow away.
      7. At the end of the season we dig them up.

Close-up low section of woman holding spade

What are our plans for planting potatoes next year?

In the search I did over the internet I found an idea I would like to try. I loved the idea of planting the potatoes just on top of the ground and covering them with 4 inches mulch. I think we will try this next spring. Boy, spring seems like a long way off. I better write it on my google calendar or I am going to forget I want to do it that way.

What now? How about trying to plant potatoes in a new way next year 🙂

Brussel Sprouts till Frost

Our own Brussel Sprouts

Our own Brussel Sprouts

“Brussels sprouts are ready to harvest when the tiny heads are firm, green, and 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Remove sprouts by twisting them until they break away from the plant. As you remove the lower sprouts, you can also remove yellowing leaves; the plant continues to grow upward, producing more leaves and sprouts.” From: Bonnie Plants

My daughter Artist asked me yesterday when the brussel sprouts would be ready to harvest. I had no idea. She suggested maybe after the first frost? I thought that sounded like a good idea.

We were out in the garden earlier this week tilling in the Tomato Hornworms and the brussel sprouts looked pretty tiny. I figured it would be a while till they were ready. We totally missed the harvest last year. By the time we remembered the brussel sprouts were still out there it had snowed twice. Not the greatest gardener.

We usually only plant certain things that we always plant. This year and last year we were given brussel sprouts in a barter for website work I did. We really had no idea how to take care of them (sure glad they didn’t give me a milk goat). We just planted them with everything else and they did great, just like last year.

My oldest daughter still at home, Director, went for a walk outside today and noticed that the brussel sprouts look ready to pick. In just 5 days they went from marble size to ready to pick.

Really glad she went for that walk. We love brussel sprouts and now we get to have our own for lunch tomorrow. YES!!

Based on the info above I better let the kiddos know not to pull the whole plant up to harvest, might be too late. Nope, they didn’t pull the whole plant up, just checked with Director. They actually pulled every leaf off the plants, guess the plants will die, oh well, maybe next year we will do it all the way right. Man, I wish these veggies came with directions 🙂