The humble potato. It is one of the most versatile vegetables on the planet and the 3rd largest crop grown around the world.
This is my second year of growing potatoes, with the first year being successful enough, so I thought that I would expand my spud growing operation this year. This is my patch from about the same time last year.
Anyway, this year I thought a bit bigger. After watching Gardening Australia last Saturday, and getting a better understanding on how to plant potatoes, I made my bed much bigger and higher.
It is 2.4 x 1.2 metres and should be large enough to get a good crop. I used a garden fork and dug down about 25 cm into the soil, and then built it up with the compost that I had laying all over the area in two smaller beds. I sprinkled liberally with pelletised chicken manure, added a few handfuls of blood and bone and some sheep manure, turned it over again and gave it a good soaking with the hose. Then I dug three trenches and mounded up the sides.
Then I collected the potatoes that I have been chitting for the last week.
I kept them out of direct sunlight and the eyes grew so that I could tell which way was up when I planted them out.
The trenches in the spud bed were about 75 cm apart and about the same in depth. Then I placed the potatoes in each trench with the eyes facing upwards.
Then I covered each row (5cm) with compost from the Aerobin, which was more like worm castings, then some more compost from the other bin that had been sitting for 6 months. The next layer was about 5cm of soil which I then watered in well.
As the growing tips poke their heads through the soil, I will cover them up again until the trench becomes a mound. The soil is very friable, which is just how potatoes love their environment. All things being well, we will have a bumper harvest this year. More on this beds progress as the season moves along.
We just love our roast, mash, salad, and jacket potatoes! A.A. Milne said it best with, “What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”