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The best way to plant potatoes

Potatoes and tomatoes are botanical cousins
Potatoes and tomatoes are botanical cousins
R. MacGregor

Spring is moving right along and so is the planting schedule for the back yard veggie gardener. Potatoes are generally in the ground by now but if you have not planted yours, in most zones there is still sufficient time to do so.

The only problem which might crop up could be finding seed potatoes to plant. If you are ordering from a web site, don’t order blind; take the extra time to phone them or utilize customer service chat to determine if what you need is in stock.

Once the seed potatoes have arrived you will need a few days of preparation time. Take each potato individually and with a sharp knife divide it into two pieces so that there approximately the same number of eyes and mass of potato in each piece.

Lay the potato halves out in a place where they will receive a little sunshine and lots of air circulation. A screened in porch is ideal. Place the potatoes so that the cut side is exposed to air and light.

Allow two to three days for the cut side to develop a membrane which will act as a disease and rot barrier while the potatoes are sprouting.

In general plant each potato so that it will be covered by four inches of loose soil, cut side down, eyes up. You may bury them deeper but if you do so only cover the seeds with perhaps two inches of soil and keep filling the hole in as the shoots show, until you are back to original ground level.

Once the potatoes are safely sprouted it is essentially weed, water and wait.

There are many varieties of potato and maturation may take from 90 days to 115 days. Of course, all can be harvested early for “new” potatoes.

Enjoy!

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