Q. I can’t get to ground level easily so do all my weeding by hand since I only have 4 boxes so far. For this reason my beds are 4′ by 16′, but two are 1′ deep and two are 2′ deep.
Since I get the weeds when they’re tiny (one of the blessings of the Mittleider Method) it hardly disturbs the soil at all, so should I cultivate a little around the potatoes?
In the 4′-wide boxes, how far apart should the potato rows be?
A. If your Grow-Boxes are filled with sawdust and sand there should be virtually no weeding. It’s when people use some dirt in their boxes that they have problems with weeds, bugs, and even diseases.
We recommend using clean organic materials that are very slow to break down, along with sand, in your Grow-Boxes. Things like sawdust, peat moss, perlite, ground-up pine needles, coconut husks, and coffee hulls are very good options. Use 65-75% of these materials, in any combination you like, with 25-35% clean concrete sand – by volume – for best results.
We do NO cultivating around potatoes, or any other crop, except as necessary for weed control, or to get fertilizer below the soil surface if we are using urea as our nitrogen source.
Plant your potatoes 8″ apart in rows. The outside rows should be about 1″ from the sides of the box. The inside rows should be about 12″ from the sides of the box.
This gives you about 2′ of clear space the full length in the center of your Grow-Box. DO NOT plant in that space. It is necessary as an “aisle”, to leave room for the plants to get air and sunlight as they grow and mature.