Friday, January 15, 2016

Planting Potatoes in Hay

If I don't have boiled potatoes for my main meal, an integral part of my meals is amiss.  The best way to eat potatoes is with the skin still on them because the vitamins and other nutrients are just below the surface and most often the skin is so thin that it is not a problem as long as the potatoes are well scrubbed.  Some potatoes are most delicious and I can't resist to add a dab of margarine.

All I need to know about potatoes is that they contain vitamin B6 that helps to break down the carbohydrates during exercise (Dr.. Earth's Home Grown Food).  Exercise in my blog means tilling and preparing the garden for a late winter or early spring planting.

The potatoes also have fiber that helps lower the cholesterol and supports the digestion (Dr. Earth)
A Bale of Hay
The other day, I made a trip downtown to the good folks at  Standard Feed and bought five (5) lbs each of White and Red Potatoes.  In addition, I bought a bale of hay!  The devil made me do that, I believe.  Let's have some fun in the hay!

Actually, I planted some of my own seed potatoes that already had rather well developed eyes.  I had six (6) of them for testing, say.

Making your own seed potatoes takes about 4 -5 weeks.  Most often, store bought potatoes are processed to resist sprouting.

I had prepared the potato patch for a rather conventional planting.  My only question: do I cut up the potatoes with eyes or do I plant them whole?  What do you do?

A Seed Potato Nested in Hay
I went back to the patch and dug a furrow about half a foot deep and loosely filled it with hay.  I planted the six potatoes, whole, in "nests" in the row of hay.

I planted the taters a foot apart to give them plenty of space to grow.  I added more hay on top and to prevent the hay from blowing away I covered it with a thin layer of my homemade compost.

Once the shoots appear, some gardeners continue to cover them with more hay as they appear.  Apparently, no "hilling" is needed .  I have also been told that it is so much easier to retrieve the crop of potatoes from the hay.

It will take 60 - 90 days for Irish potatoes to mature.  I expect it will take a bit longer for my potatoes to mature.  I'll be looking for new potatoes in middle of April.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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