Some sections of America – particularly in the South – are planting potatoes already. LUCKY!! But the rest of us are not far behind, as they can go in the ground earlier than tender plants like tomatoes, so I recommend everyone get your ground or containers ready now!
The ideal width of a growing bed, for large plants like potatoes, is 18″. Twenty four inches is wider than is needed; it’s difficult to water efficiently, and too narrow for an extra row of plants.
Twelve inch-wide beds or boxes are too narrow to plant two rows of large plants like potatoes, and much aisle space is wasted if you only plant one row per box.
We plant potatoes, making sure we have at least one good eye per piece used, 8″ apart near the edge of a Grow-Box, or at the base of the ridges inside a Soil-Bed, with two rows per bed or box.
We plant so that the top of the potato is 3-4″ deep in boxes, and 2-3″ deep in the soil.
We do not ridge, nor do we mulch.
In the weeding process we pull the ridges down and back up – perhaps as many as two times in the early spring. Each time some soil falls around the stems, but NOT a LOT.
Thereafter, as we weed we pull soil from the center of the aisle up the ridges. Again, some soil will spill over onto the stems of the potatoes. Over the course of the summer we may have put 1-2″ of soil on the base of the plants, but again NOT a LOT.
The close planting and healthy, heavy greenery do much to keep any tips of potatoes from getting green from exposure to sunlight.
Feeding with Mittleider Magic Weekly Feed continues until your potatoes are in full flower. That is the last time you feed.
Natural mineral nutrient fertilizers can be made from scratch using the recipes included in the Mittleider gardening books, or in the fertilizer pages of the Learn section on this website.
Alternatively, they can be made using the Micro-Nutrients that are available on the Materials page of the Store section.
They can also be purchased pre-mixed from several sources in the Mountain West, including Steve Regan Company, Intermountain Farmers Assn., Sutherlands, and J & J Nursery.