Wells Brothers Class 1.28.17
Prepare the soil 2-4 weeks before planting. Soil in this area tends to be too alkaline for potatoes so test it. Adding 1 pound of sulfur for every 100 square feet will help reduce the pH. (It takes 6-8 weeks to lower soil pH.) Fertilize well. Alternate fertilizers: Medina and Dirt Diet.
Dig 7” trenches mounding soil on sides. Place bone meal or rock phosphate in the bottom of the trench for root development. Cover with a few inches of soil.
Choose potatoes with lots of eyes. Red laSoda, Pontiac and Yukon Gold do well in our soil. The Red Pontiac are most productive. Russets don’t do well in this area. One pound of potatoes planted can yield 10 pounds at harvest. Cut potatoes so each piece has 2 eyes on it. Allow them to “skin over” before planting to prevent mold with any of these methods: roll in sulfur or fire ash, soak in water and let dry, put it in a bag for week.
Plant by moonlight on Valentine’s evening. Place potato piece eyes up 6-10” apart and cover with 3” of soil.
As plants grow continue to cover with soil from the mounds always leaving at least 3 green leaves exposed.
Fertilize every two weeks. Don’t over-water. Potatoes don’t like wet feet. Maintain consistent nutrient and moisture levels.
• Use an old tomato cage upside down to contain the plant, adding straw or soil and lifting for easy harvesting.
• Use containers such as tubs, bags, boxes being sure there is good drainage and they aren’t too large to be cumbersome at harvest.
• Dig holes in a straw bale, fertilize as described above and water. Plant potatoes with or without soil.
Harvest gently when leaves die with a pitch fork, about 70-100 days from planting. Skin is very tender at first. Don’t wash them immediately. Let them sit 15 minutes in the sun. They may be eaten immediately after harvest.
• Rabbits don’t like potatoes.
• Some leaf holes shouldn’t be a problem.
• Diatomaceous earth can be dusted, Neem or Pyrethrum sprayed at night when critters come out and bees won’t be affected.
Wells Brothers will be open Sundays 2/19 – May.