Planting Potatoes in a small raised bed garden is an amazing idea. It can help you to generate your endless root vegetables with great success.
According to history, potato was introduced to Europe from South America close to sixteenth century. During those days, potato was first grown in Netherlands and some other nearby countries as a table vegetable.
Most of us know that Potato (Solanum Tuberosum) is the easiest crop to manage; especially for the new gardeners.
There are many different types of potatoes. Generally they are divided into three groups:
Early and second early sort of potatoes are commonly used for private home growers like us.
If you have limited garden space, the earliest variety may be your best choice. If you have plenty of rooms, you can consider all types; only if you can find your preferred ones. Alternatively, you can also grow the same type at a different time space.
Besides our favourite Eigeneimers Dutch potato, there are also "Doré" and other imported types if you preferred.
Planting Potatoes in Groups
Most of the people said home-grown potatoes have a better flavour than those in the market. I totally agree!
Methods to Grow Potatoes
The Best time to Plant
As long as the temperature is right, you can do it.
The Best Suitable Soil Condition
My girl friend told me that, the excellent crops were grown when seaweed is used, as seaweed contains some percentage of potash and some percentage of nitrogen. I thought I might try it out next time.
Turn your soil 2 feet deep over in the fall before the freezing started. The frost and air exposed will assist to reduce the numerous pests from the ground.
How to Sow
Drill a depth of 3 to 4 inches holes with a hand bulb planter; and set the non-sprouted seeds in place. If you have more space, it is better to keep the holes 2 feet apart.
What to Do During the Growth
Use a handy hoe occasionally to keep the weeds down, when shoots appeared on the soil surface. Mould up the rows when the shoots are high enough.
You will notice that, planting potatoes in containers is faster than growing them in the open ground vegetables beds if both were sown without sprouting done before.
How to Harvest
Harvest the tubers carefully with the spading fork, take care not to damage the fruits. During harvest, if you discovered any diseased tubers due to exposed to the frost (purplish or reddish), throw it away, but never in the compost.
This time we had harvested 5 kilo's of organic potatoes from 500 grams of seed potatoes from this small garden bed.
If the weather allows, you may leave the tubers in the ground until needed. However, we had a wet ground, so we had to store our harvest in a cool dark place till they are totally dried. Normally it will take a few days.
Thereafter, you can remove all the ground and put them in a cool dark room and lay them on papers on the floor. They will last long enough when they are not expose to lights; moist; or higher room temperature.
Fresh and delicious potatoes are sitting on your kitchen table!