Fruits & Veggies,  Gardening

My First Time Growing Potatoes!

My First Time Growing Potatoes!

This will be the first year I’ve grown potatoes in the garden.  Potatoes are inexpensive at the grocery store so I wonder if it will be a waste of space to grow them at home?  I’ve heard that homegrown potatoes taste much better than store-bought.  That’s true for everything else I grow, so it seems reasonable to assume that will be true with potatoes too.

Potatoes are an early spring-planted crop so I’m happy I can get out there and plant something else in the garden.  The spring equinox was on March 20th this year and today is April 6th.  Seems early to me right?

I found these two boxes of potatoes at Al’s Garden Center.  I wanted to buy from Johnny’s because their other seeds have been so good but apparently potatoes sell out VERY early, like January, so I missed the boat on that one.

I have a French Fingerling potato and a Purple Majesty potato.  I’m always looking for more colorful things to grow.  Every color comes from a specific mix of vitamins and minerals in a plant so “eating the rainbow” ensures a healthy, well-rounded diet.  Plus, I think these will be really beautiful on the plate.

I know gardeners who have had a lot of success with potatoes in Grow Bags so I decided to use mine for these guys.

 

Potatoes like more acidic soil and they really should be rotated on a 3-4 year cycle so using bags to isolate them from the other veggies seems like a good idea.

These little seed potatoes did a great job sprouting all on their own in the box so they were ready to plant after sitting on the counter for a couple of weeks.

Growing Potatoes

I added about 5 inches of the Dr. Earth Acid Lovers soil to the bottom of the bag and then arranged the potatoes on their sides with the sprouts facing up.

Then I gently added another 3 inches or so of soil on top.  I kept it light and fluffy so I didn’t break the sprouts.  I gave them a little water and positioned the bags at the end of one of the beds where they would be warm and get lots of direct suns.

On April 21st I noticed these beautiful little leaves pop up.  I let them grow a few inches tall and then added more soil to bury the leaves.

On April 26th, they had grown even taller so I added more soil.

I repeated this process until the bags were full of soil and then they popped out of the top of the bags on May 14th.

Now I will just continue to let them grow into nice-looking plants and eventually, they will flower.  They will be forming little potatoes during the flowering stage.  2-3 weeks after they’re done flowering, I could start harvesting a few little ones to eat.  I will try to let some of them continue to grow into larger potatoes that I can store for a few winter months.

These photos are from May 25th.  Check back for the flowering stage!

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