[gardeners] Re: Growing potatoes

Bob Kirk (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sun, 28 May 2000 19:14:33 -0500 (CDT)

> > I am growing 6 different fingerling potato varieties this year from 
> Garden.com.  There's French, Russian, Purple Peruvian, Yellow Fins, as well 
> as regular Peruvian Purple, and a couple of other small gourmet varieties.  I 
> think we planted late (last week) for California, but they are in an area 
> that won't get full all day sun.  I hope that helps.  Any suggestions on 
> techniques and success on growing potatoes????  Hubby is from WA but never 
> grew potatoes before! 
>                        Mary-Anne > zone 9B > Sunset 14/15 > SF Bay Area
  Best trick I ever tried was the widely-reported method of planting them
directly atop spaded-up soil and adding straw, leaves, etc. as the vines
elongate.  You do have to keep them well covered, else the outer/top ones
will turn green - growing them in the traditional stack of tires, half a
steel barrel or just a >= 24" wire cage makes this a lot more reliable.
   All the known advantages - check progress, harvest some or all at any
stage, minimal if any washing, if your time is worth anything you simply
can't justify the effort of digging & sorting them out of the soil.... Or
even picking commodity potatoes out of the mulch, but not necessarily true
for high-priced varieties like you're growing.
   Btw, this still works pretty well once you've planted in the soil.