If you’re thinking about planting potatoes, now is the time! Potatoes are delicious, nutritious, and easy to grow. There are also many more varieties that you can grow in your garden than you can find in the grocery store. In the past we have grown Red Pontiac potatoes and Yukon Gold in our backyard garden. This year we are planting All Blue potatoes and Red Pontiacs. If you want to have a very patriotic potato salad this summer, try growing red, yellow and blue varieties of potatoes!
It’s important to start with “seed potatoes” if you want to grow them in your garden. These are potatoes grown specifically for planting and are free of diseases. Supermarket potatoes can carry diseases and are often treated with a chemical to inhibit sprouting.
Just like potatoes from the grocery store, seed potatoes vary in size. If they are golf ball size tubers, plant them directly into the ground without any advance preparation. Cut larger potatoes into pieces about 1 ½ inches thick. Make sure each piece contains two “eyes” which should be just beginning to sprout. After they are cut, heal them by placing them in a well-ventilated area at about 55 degrees for one or two days.
Plant potatoes about 1 foot apart in a shallow trench about 3 inches deep. Potatoes like fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. When the plants are about a foot tall, “hill” them by drawing soil up around them with a hoe until just the top few inches of plant poke out of the soil. Hilling keeps the potatoes from turning green, which happens if they are exposed to sunlight.
Potatoes are ready to harvest when the foliage dies back. Using a garden fork, gently and carefully loosen the soil (which is easier if you let it dry out a bit), and feel around for your potatoes. Pull them out, but after harvesting, leave them on the ground until the soil on the potatoes dries. Brush the dry soil off, but don’t wash them. Cure for about two weeks at around 55 degrees in humid conditions. Store them at about 40 degrees in a root cellar, if you have one.
All of our varieties are 79 cents per pound. We carry:
Dark Red Norland
4 medium potatoes (about 2 lbs)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
2 garlic cloves, minced
garlic salt to taste
Wash potatoes and cut into wedges. Put in a gallon ziploc bag, drizzle with olive oil. Add rosemary and garlic, and shake well to coat. Pour out onto foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spread into a single layer, and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until browned.