Monday, December 16, 2013

Dirt-free Potatoes – and That’s No Hay

You’ll need about 1/2 a bale of hay to make the base of an approx. 4′x6′ bed. Take a flake (those are the square chunks that make up a bale) from the bale and gently pull it apart. Lay these down to form the base.
*Note: If you’re growing hay potatoes for the first time and are putting your hay down on grass, it’s best to use the whole bale for the base that first year, so buy 2 bales. It will kill the grass without tilling and you won’t have the bother of weeds.

Because the spacing isn’t very important in a hay potato bed, you can easily fit 50lbs of seed in a 4′x6′ bed. We remove any sprouts and plant them whole since the potato plants will need all the energy and nutrients they can get.

Lay the seed potatoes in their bed and top each one with a generous handful of organic potato fertilizer.

Cover the seed potatoes with the remainder of the hay. You want them to be fully covered so the potatoes aren’t exposed to any sunlight. Let Mother Nature take over from here unless it’s terribly dry, then a good dousing of water from the rain barrels once a week can help things along.

Watch them grow and blossom! About 2 weeks after the blossoms have gone by, start checking for potatoes by gently pulling back a bit of hay from around each plant. Remember to wear gloves since the seed potatoes will still be there and can be squishy! If you can stand to wait, just check their progress until they grow to the size of a golf ball before harvesting.

Start looking for recipes – you have beautiful, clean, organic potatoes to eat and enjoy!

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