Mounds of Potatoes

Spent a half hour adding some compost to my german butterball potatoes now that they are 6 inches tall.  Ended leaving only the top few inches of the plants above the surface.

Before

This is actually the second mounding since they first sprouted: i planted them in a 4″ deep trench and when they were 6″ tall, i filled in the tranches, again leaving a few inches above the mulch.

After

Why?  There are a few reasons…If potatoes get exposed to sunlight, they turn green and become inedible: actually, potentially toxic!  It also increases the yield a bit since the now covered stems will form tubers.  Heavy mulching helps with moisture retention and keeps them evenly wet, and don’t forget about mulch’s role in keeping weeds down.

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About Ryan

Urban gardening at it's best (sometimes it's worst)! Adventures and learnings from going 100% lawn free in a D.C. row house.
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3 Responses to Mounds of Potatoes

  1. Kim says:

    Hey Ry – my fingerling potato seeds sprouted in their box. I probably stored them all wrong (?). They came end of March, and I just pulled them out and noticed. They look like bean sprout shoots coming out, and the potatoes have gone a little soft and are a little shriveled. Not too bad. I read you’re not supposed to sprout them in the dark, and don’t think they look like hardier sprouts in the pics others have posted online. Do you know – have I ruined them? Can they be saved?

    • Ryan says:

      sprouts from the eyes are pretty wimpy if done in the dark: but not to worry! think of a potato growing on its own under the ground…no light there, just warmth and moisture. That’s what they do naturally. Plant them, making sure to cover the sprouts fully so they don’t get toasted by the sun, and they’ll be fine. the main reason to sprout them is to give them a jump start before getting planted so they’re less likely to rot. You growing them in a bucket that you’ll keep filling with soil? vey glad you took the container gardening plunge!

      • Kim says:

        Pretty much exactly the plan. I just need to drill holes in the container (tomorrow) and get it going. Tomorrow or Tuesday. Depends on the rains…they never seem to stop.

        I transplanted two cukes and two beans today (currently under a makeshift shelter to protect them from the rain), and three tomatoes yesterday. I’m so worried about my babies out there in the wild world all by themselves. Also built a big-ass trough yesterday and have other planters that Jason made or half made. All from reclaimed wood (someone redid their porch). A lot of it is kind of rotted, but I think it will be fine for the season, and best of all, cost nothing. You’re such an inspiration, Ry!

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