This week we began to plant potatoes. How does one know when to plant potatoes? Some let nature tell them. All devoted gardeners know that nature sends us signals. Here’s one clue that’s pretty reliable: Plant potatoes when the dandelions bloom. To be sure, we did additional check of the soil temperature. Sure enough it was above 50F just like the blooming dandelions had already told us.
So with that done, let’s get those tubers in the ground.
After the subsoiling, the next task was to dig row trenches about 8 inches deep. To do this trenching, we used a potato plow. Once the trenches were plowed, we use a potato hook to level and flatten the bottom of trench. With this done, we poured the fertilizer in the bottom of the trench from a gallon-sized plastic watering can using the walk-and-pour method. This preparation resulted in a nice soil bed for the tubers.
The next step was to place the seed tubers into the trenched bed about a foot apart. If the tubers have started to sprout, we carefully placed them so that the sprouts are pointed upward.
To cover the potatoes, we raked the loose, fine soil from the sides of trench to cover the seed tubers with about 2 or 3 inches of soil. We are careful not to allow any heavy soil clumps or stones to set upon the tubers. The remaining soil on the sides of trench will be used for ”hilling” up the potatoes plants when the plants are about a foot tall.
We planted over 130# pounds of fingerlings on four days. Below are the field notes, as the sun slowly sinks in the west.
1) Field 5, Row 3 planted with 38# of Russian Banana on May 6, 2012.
2) Field 5, Row 2 planted with 33# of Russian Banana on May 7, 2012
3) Field 5, Row 1 planted with 20# of Rose Finn Apple on May 11, 2012
4) Field 5, Row 4 planted with 40# of Swedish Peanut on on May 12, 2012
Applied dry fertilizer directly in rows: 50# of Fertrell Gold Special Starter (Rate: ~30# per 1000 feet) and 40# of Fertrell Super K (Rate: ~20# per 1000 feet) into rows 1, 2 and 3 (450 feet times 4 rows = 1800 feet row).
Equipment used: 1951 Ferguson TO-20 with 3-Shank Subsoiler and 1X Potato Plow Implements, Potato Hook and Gallon-sized Plastic Watering Can.