04 March 2015

Planting Potatoes - handy advice for when the ground thaws!

Dee Nash at Red Dirt Ramblings says to plant potatoes before St. Patrick's Day but it's still freezing and snowing out there so maybe this year is different.

The GardenWeb forums have postings that help.

This Garden Web posting recommends these varieties - http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/2104363/potato-varieties-for-oklahoma
Red Soda, Red Pontiac, Red Noland, Kennebec, Norgold, Yukon Gold or Norkota


This 2.28.15 Tulsa World article by Bill Siever, Master Gardener, says
"OSU lists several recommended varieties of potatoes in the fact sheet “Vegetable Varieties for the Home Garden in Oklahoma,” available online or in the Master Gardener office.
Potatoes are planted from Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) to mid-March and it takes about 90 days until harvest, depending on the variety.
Planting is usually done in shallow trenches. The seed potatoes are cut in pieces and are planted with eyes up and covered with 3-4 inches of soil. After sprouting, add more soil to the plants base which produces a longer underground stem allowing more potatoes to be formed. At maturity, the plants should be in a small hill of soil.
People with heavy clay soils should plant potatoes either in a raised bed or some variety of container. A trash barrel with drainage holes, plastic “grow bags,” a ring of wire mesh or a standard gardening container may be used. Some people have grown them in burlap bags.
Rather than using garden soil for containers, use commercial potting soil. Follow the same planting and hilling technique as above. Another version of container planting uses old straw added to the plant stems as they grow in place of soil. Potatoes grow into the straw.
Fertilizer may be mixed into garden or potting soil at the time of planting. It is best to base the fertilizer choice on a soil test result. Be aware that potatoes, like their cousin tomatoes, will grow mostly leaves and little fruit if fertilized with too much nitrogen.
Potatoes are usually harvested after the tops of the plants have naturally died down and have turned brown. They may be harvested at any time before then if small “new” potatoes are desired.
POTATO SLIP SOURCES
Sand Hill Preservation http://www.sandhillpreservation.com
Ronniger's http://www.potatogarden.com
Fedco http://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose.htm
Wood Prairie Farm http://www.woodprairie.com
Potato Garden http://potatogarden.com/

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