I’m the granddaughter of a potato farmer. My grandparents and great grandparents planted potatoes in Kirkville NY for the war effort during WW2. They were such good farmers that they had a train spur that came onto their property in order to load the potatoes directly to the train cars! (My mother corrects me that this was in Williamstown…)
Having not planted or harvested potatoes since I was a teen, this year I’ve planted a lot of taters. LAST year, I bought a 50 lb bag of Red Norlands from a farm stand a little bit away. We ate them all winter. They’ve been growing eyes…my kids think that this is gross. And, in fact, they do look a bit octopus like! Me, I’ve been bringing them up, brushing the eyes off and cooking them. But, it’s time to plant them, even though we’re not finished with the winter yet, so yesterday, youngest son and I cut up the rest of the potatoes and left them to cure.
Potatoes need a bit of a scab on any cut before you plant them, or they tend towards rotting. We let them sit overnight to get that scab and das husband tilled up a couple of beds for us.
Today we planted the taters we cut up, a bunch of potatoes we’d had since last august, which had already tried to bulb out, and the seed potatoes I saved from my efforts last year.
Finished bed. Funny pre-bulbed taters!
Seed potatoes from last year.
These are resilient veg. They live in the Andes mountains, naturally. They’re cold weather adapted, so planting them a month or so before my zone 4 is freeze safe is an ok deal.
In the tilled earth, we planted them approximately 3 inches down and 6-8 inches apart. Most typical instructions say to plant 18 inches apart, but I don’t have the luxury that space, and I’ve seen the potato towers. I *think* that I can plant them closer and have good results- I’ll keep you posted on this.