On this week’s episode, Greg is planting the best potatoes in the garden. When planting potatoes he likes to plant them around the end of February. Some of the potato varieties that he plans on growing this season are Jelly, Blue Belle, and Red Pontiac potato. The Jelly variety produces a large potato that has a nice yellow color that contains a buttery flavor profile. The next variety is known as Blue Belle which contains a little bluish color outside and produces a smaller potato but is very productive in the garden. Lastly, the Red Pontiac variety is an old standard potato that is really accessible anywhere. Along with Irish Eyes potatoes, we also carry several varieties of potatoes that are really productive such as Red Norland, Yukon Gold, Adirondack Blue, and German Butterball.
Preparing Potatoes for Planting
When cutting up seed potatoes, Greg recommends cutting at least two or three eyes off at a time, which ends making little slices of potato. If you have a potato that does not have well-defined eyes you can just cut the potato in half. After you get done cutting the seed potatoes, then we use fir bark dust fertilizer which is used to heal newly cut seed potatoes so you can basically plant them the same day you cut them. The fir bark dust is also slightly acidic which in return helps as a fungicide, keeping diseases out of your seed potatoes. Greg just pours the fir bark dust over the freshly cut seed potatoes and stirs it around to get good coverage. Once the fir bark has been added to the seed potatoes they are ready for planting in the garden. If you do not plan on using the fir back dust to heal potatoes, you should allow a couple of days for the seed potatoes to “heal” or suberize before the desired planting date.
Planting the Best Potatoes
As a cool-weather crop, potatoes do best when planted in late winter or early spring when temperatures are still relatively cool. When planting the potatoes, Greg uses the High Arch Wheel Hoe because of its many adjustable abilities for whatever you need in the garden. The first adjustment, Greg will make with the high arch is a position for digging a furrow for the plants. Next, he will adjust the plows to turn out and create a hilling position so he can cover them up in the garden. When planting potatoes be sure to plant with the “eyes” facing upwards in the vegetable garden. Greg ended up planting four rows of the different potato varieties. After the potatoes start to come up and it’s time to hill them, we will take the high arch and move the spacing out to create a wider hill with our plow attachment in order to throw more soil to the plants. Potatoes tend to not do well once temperatures begin to warm up, so they should be harvested before the summer heat conditions.