Planting potatoes

I just finished planting potatoes and thought you’d be interested in seeing my latest video on how to do it.

This year, we’re growing ‘Viking Purple’ and ‘Yukon Gold’. I’ve grown and enjoyed ‘Yukon Gold’ for many years and have only grown ‘Viking Purple’ for 2 seasons so far but we’re very impressed with it. Despite the name, the flesh of the potato is a bright white — it’s the skin that is deep purple. They keep a really long time in storage.

Here’s the video covering the basics of planting potatoes:

So what happens now? Well, you pretty much just let them grow all season long. How easy is that?! I’d recommend mulching the surface of your potato bed with straw or lawn clippings from an untreated lawn (no weed ‘n feed allowed!). That will protect any potatoes growing at or near the surface of the bed from being exposed to sunlight. If that does happen, the potatoes manufacture a chemical called solanine, which is considered harmful.

potato - mulchKeep an eye out for Colorado potato beetles. These small, striped beetles lay orange, tubular eggs that have into ugly orange larvae with black spots on the sides. And let me tell you, those larvae have VORACIOUS appetites!

The best thing you can do to control them is to hand-pick the beetles and larvae, and to crush any eggs you see on the undersides of the plants’ leaves. However, there is a safe spray you can use, called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) that is safe for humans but deadly to the larvae.

Only use the spray if you have the Colorado potato beetle larvae on your plants and be sure to follow the label directions.

Potato plants don’t like overhead watering, which can increase the chance of disease. I prefer using drip irrigation and have also used soaker hoses placed on the surface of the soil.

Have fun growing potatoes!