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  1. Planting potatoes: Part 1

    April 15, 2011 by Daniora

    I’ve grown up with gardening.  My parents have always had a garden.  I have fond memories of visiting my grandmother and picking vegetables in her huge garden or hiding in the greenhouse.  I’ve eaten green beans right off the vine, picked raspberries off of prickly bushes, and emptied pea pods. One thing that still fascinates me is growing potatoes.Potatoes

    I’m pretty sure we’ve all had potatoes slip to the back of the cabinet to be found later with large sprouts growing from the eyes.  The fact that this will lead to more potatoes boggles my mind.  We’ve never planted potatoes before, so this year I’ve decided to try it myself.

    Grow bags with potato plantsThe one problem is that sunny garden space is at a premium in our yard, so I have to find a way to grow them without taking up areas designated for other plants.  Fortunately, I got this article from Urban Sustainable Living newsletter. They recommend a method of growing potatoes in a grow bag.  Gardener’s Supply Company sells grow bags for a variety of different vegetables, including potatoes.  The beautiful thing about this method is that they can be put anywhere (and moved if they have to be). The bags come in multiple colors and sizes.  I’ve got a small poppy orange colored one picked out for myself.

    The other ingredient that I need to locate for this project is seed potatoes.  Yes, you can grow potatoes from ones that you buy at the grocery store, however things I’ve read say that getting actual seed potatoes will increase your likelihood of success.  As success is something we here at the Nerdly Home are rather fond of, that’s the route I’ll be going.  Unfortunately, the seed potatoes at Gardener’s Supply haven’t gotten the best reviews. I will be turning, instead, to one of my other favorite resources.  Jung Seeds and Plants.  In our house, the arrival of the Jung catalog is the real sign that spring is coming.

    Red seed potatoesFor my potato experiment, I’m going to go with the red seed potatoes. These have gotten high reviews and have apparently won awards at county fairs in Wisconsin.  I really like red potatoes for their versatility; I probably use them more than any other type of potato.  They are my favorite for roasting, using in soups, and for potato salad. Also, because of their smaller size, I think I’ll be able to get a higher potato yield from a smaller area.

    I’m really excited about this project and I can’t wait to see how everything goes.  I will certainly be posting updates on the potato progress as the season goes on.