Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Tatie Planting Time

For a lot of you, it's time to start thinking about planting potatoes. It's a little early here yet, but since there's been a bit of discussion about growing potatoes, I thought I'd share with you a great way of growing them without any back-breaking digging.

  1. Choose your patch of ground and cover it liberally with newspapers.
  2. Place potatoes on top of the paper at about 30cm or 12in apart in a grid.
  3. Cover with a layer of mulch or hay (lucerne hay is best if it's not too expensive). On top of the mulch / hay, place liberal amounts of blood and bone, well rotted animal manures and/or compost. Water the lot in well.
  4. Add more hay and more fertilisers / manures, watering after each addition. You want the pile to be moist throughout, but not sodden.
  5. When you reach a height of about 60cm, finish off with a layer of mulch or hay.
  6. Note: you can add shredded paper and lawn clippings in with your hay if you like.
The advantages of this technique are:
  • no digging!
  • when the potatoes are ready, you just lift up the layer of mulch and pick them up
  • you are left with an area ready to dig over and plant with new things
  • you end up with a heap of semi-composted hay, which is a great addition to the garden
The disadvantages are:
  • the hay can be expensive
  • you may need to top up the hay during the growing season, so the potatoes do not get exposed to light
  • it takes a reasonable sized patch of ground (compared with potato condos)
Happy planting!

love and light


Cheryl said...

Hi naturewitch.....sounds like a great idea....going to tell Dad, he misses his potatoes....I think he would be able to manage that....tku

Anonymous said...

Hey NW, I do something similar, only I use 4 harden stakes and wire to wrap around them, straw and a shovel full of dirt.

Althought the straw as you rightly point out can be costly, once the spuds are finished it goes over the garden beds as mulch, 2 uses for the price of one makes it a little more cost effective

The part I like best is you can bandicoot very easily (steal a few small young ones) if you feel a little decadent and want some "boutique" baby potatoes for a dinner party


Anonymous said...

make that GARDEN stakes excuse is its 1am LOL!