Re: [gardeners] potatoes

margaret lauterbach (
Sat, 03 Jun 2000 09:57:51 -0600

At 09:30 PM 6/2/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>    Be sure to "dirt" your potatos. Pull loose dirt, compost, straw, etc. to
>just under the leaves. Do this weekly or as often as necessary to keep the
>potato plant nearly buried. All potatos will be made between the seed piece
>and the top of the ground. "Dirting" makes the area in which the potatos
>grow considerably larger. It also helps protect against insect pests that
>bore into the stem and those that suck on the stem and the leaves.
>    Keep your potatos evenly moist. If you have roller coaster dry to wet
>spells it will cause the potatos to become deformed. Even moisture will help
>prevent hollow heart and black heart.
>    I fertilize my potatos once, at planting time. I bury the fertilizer 2-4
>inches deeper than the seed pieces. I have found it difficult to "side
>dress" potatos.
>    Allen
>    Bastrop Co., SE Central TX
>    Zone 8
Allen, here in Idaho territory (ahem), we call that "hilling" the potatoes
instead of "dirting." The main purpose is to shield the taters from the
sun, because the sun will turn them green and the green is a toxic substance. 

I'm with your wife, incidentally. I could eat good baked potatoes every day
(not wrapped in foil -- those are steamed) too. I usually grow Burbank
russets for that, but I don't know how they'd work in Texas. Friends prefer
Buttes, saying they taste oven baked when microwaved, but I haven't gotten
good production out of them. Margaret L