Row by Row Episode 39: The Best Tips for Growing a Huge Potato Harvest

Increasing Your Potato Harvest

On this week’s episode, the guys discuss their favorite tips and practices for growing a huge potato harvest. They walk through the four varieties of seed potatoes that they now carry, which include Yukon Gold, Red Norland, Adirondack Blue, and German Butterball. They mention how some varieties are early-maturing and others are late-maturing, and that this should be taken into consideration when planting. They suggest planting potatoes 3-4 weeks before the last frost date in spring. For their planting zone, which is zone 8, the ideal planting time is Valentines Day throughout the end of February. They talk about cutting potatoes to get more from the seed potatoes purchased. They suggest cutting the seed potatoes so that there are 2-3 eyes on each piece. Seed potatoes should be cut several days before the intended planting date, because they need time to suberize or heal. This will prevent the potatoes from rotting in the ground, making them less susceptible to fungal disease in the soil, and provide a better potato harvest in the end. They mention that the Hoss Double or High Arch Wheel Hoe with the Plow Set attachment is the perfect tool for planting potatoes. The Plow Set allows you to make a planting furrow and cover the potatoes easily, just by pushing the wheel hoe along the row. Hilling, or covering the plants with soil, will also ensure a large potato harvest. This should be done every 2-3 weeks as the plants grow, leaving just a few leaves uncovered. To decrease issues with blight causing problems with foliage on your potato plants you should apply a fungicide. Greg recommends using Liquid Copper Fungicide to help with your blight problems. It is very weather resistant and sticks to the plant once it dries out leaving lasting control.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, Greg shows the preferred size that he likes when harvesting his Skyphos Butterhead Lettuce, which is an open-pollinated variety. He also brought some Daikon radishes that he grew as a cover crop in his vegetable garden. Although these were grown as a cover crop, they are also great to eat and are considered a high-demand crop in some markets. Travis explains why Tillage Radish works so well as a cover crop. The long roots penetrate deeply into the soil, providing aeration and reducing soil compaction. The roots also sequester nutrients from deep and store them so that they are available to the upper soil layer when they are incorporated or tilled into the soil.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment, the guys answer questions about harvesting peppers and growing onions from seed. Travis suggests two techniques to help when you are adding trellis to the plants get the string on the main stem of the plant so it won’t smush all the leaves together. The other suggestion is growing peppers in cages to provide more airflow, allow leaves to spread, and decreases disease problems in the garden. This will also help to prevent fruit from being stuck in the middle of the plant and being inaccessible for harvest. Greg explains that onion plants can be grown from seed in the greenhouse, but that it is much easier to just purchase plants from companies like Dixondale.

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