I got my potatoes planted today. Yay, the first thing in my 2010 garden! I decided to try a different planting method this year. If you remember, last year I tried two other planting methods: traditional mounding and deep hole planting. Neither worked well. Our red clay soil made it hard for the little potatoes to grow, so the mounding method did not work well at all. And the holes simply filled with water upon the first rain we got, and all of the seed potatoes rotted. I was not impressed with either method.
So, this time I’m trying a “no dig” planting style. It’s super easy! I’m *really* hoping it works!!!
Here’s how you do it…
Lay out a row of newspaper. Make it 3-4 layers thick. (Pick a non-windy day to do this, life will be so much easier, trust me!) This will act as a weed barrier.
If your potatoes are large, you can cut them so that there is an “eye” on each piece. Halve them, or quarter them; the smaller you cut them, the smaller the potatoes you harvest will be. If the potato is pretty small, you can leave it whole. I cut mine in half. Put the cut side down on the newspaper. Space them about a foot apart.
Next, cover the potatoes with about 12″ of straw or leaves. Make sure that they are covered well- if the sunlight reaches the potatoes they will be ruined.
Once the plants come up through the straw, you’re supposed to add another 12″ of straw or leaves. Continue doing this until the plants turn yellow and die back. Then the potatoes are ready to harvest! Simply pull the straw back and pick up your rewards.
Sounds easy enough, right? I’m so hoping this method works!
But my question is…
Does the soil underneath the newspaper have to be good? Cause, it’s not. I’m hoping it doesn’t matter. Do potato plants send roots into the soil, or do they just grow the little potatoes and the plant grows up? If you know, please fill me in!!