Growing Great Potatoes

Potatoes are so easy to grow in the no dig, organic way. They are one of the top three in vegetable growing due to their popularity and versatility. Boil 'em, mash 'em, fry 'em, bake 'em. It's hard to go wrong with this staple in the diet.

They're also a great source of vitamins, minerals and iron. Most of the goodness lies just beneath the surface of the skin though, so try to keep at least some of the skin intact when preparing for cooking.

To the growing!

Purchase some seed potatoes from a nursery. You can use potatoes from the supermarket, but seed potatoes will bring better yields. You can 'chit' them first (allowing them to start to grow) before planting, simply by placing them in a sunny spot.

There are many different types of potatoes you can grow and it's important that you grow one you like! So start at the do you like to eat them? See the description of potato types below to choose.

Once you decide what type to grow, place your seed potatoes directly on the ground about 30cm (12-14 inches) apart. Cover them with a 50/50 blend of straw with old manure, blood and bone and compost. Water generously.

In a couple of weeks, the tops will emerge through the straw. As they grow, keep topping them up with the enriched straw blend, making sure the tubers don't get exposed to sunlight. This can turn them green and make them toxic.

Potatoes take 14-16 weeks to mature. When they flower, they are getting close to maturity. When the plants begin to die back and yellow, the crop is ready for harvest.

The beauty with growing them under a straw mat is that you take the guess work out of the growing. You can actually lift the corner of the straw and see your potatoes developing. When you are close to harvest, you simply pull out some of the bigger ones for early eating, without killing off the plant.

On the ground, in your no dig garden bed or inside an old tire (for containment) these things will grow anywhere given the right conditions.

Whack some in. Very satisfying gardening!

Potato Types

There are dozens of types of potatoes you can grow. Some are small with waxy flesh, others are large with floury white flesh, and there is everything in between. What you grow will depend largely on how you like to eat them. Not all potatoes are created equal. Some are better for boiling and some for baking.

Baking Potatoes

Baking potatoes are those higher in starch than others. They generally have a course skin and a firm flesh. These are best for baking, mashing and frying. They are light and fluffy inside once cooked and are just brilliant.

It's impossible to name all of the types, but some examples of good baking varieties are Russet, Goldrush, Idaho, Bintje and Norgold.

Boiling Potatoes

Boiling potatoes typically have less starch and higher sugar content. This means they will hold together when boiled or used in soups, casseroles and salads.

Some good examples of boiling varieties include Red Potato, La Soda, Bismark, King Edward, Sequoia, Bronwell and Pontiac.

Those that fall in the middle, the all-rounders, include Kennebec, Yukon Gold and Sebago.

Judy Williams ( aspires to become a fulltime earth mother goddess. This site acts as a primer for all vegetable gardening aspects covering topics like how to build a garden, nurture seedlings, container gardening and composting.

In The News:

pen paper and inkwell

cat break through

Adirondack Chairs - The Proper Way to Care for Them

The Adirondack chair is unlike any other chair every made.... Read More

Landscaping Design - The Primary Principles

Principles refer to standards or prescriptions for working with or... Read More

16 Lawn Mower Safety Tips

1. Always read the instruction manual before operating your lawnmower.... Read More

Science Cant Explain Everything!

You will know that if you have spent at least... Read More

Durable Wooden Swing - Decorate Your Outdoors with One

There is nothing better to do on a hot, lazy... Read More

The Meanings Behind the Colors of Roses

Roses are a sign of love and friendship and by... Read More

Wind Chimes Go Great With Gardening

What could be more relaxing than gardening on a nice... Read More

5 Things To Consider Before Purchasing a Push Reel Mower

Push Reel Mowers are making a "comeback" of sorts, though,... Read More

Wild Flower Garden - Yours to Design and Plan

To design a wild flower garden, you do not need... Read More

The Protea Family (Proteaceae)

The protea family (Proteaceae) includes a wide range of ground... Read More

About Hummingbirds and How to Attract Them to Your Garden

Visualize watching a bright green hummingbird in your garden moving... Read More

Buying a Lawn Mower

Anyone with a lawn, no matter how small will at... Read More

Come With Me To The Casbah!

A ripe persimmon is a thing of beauty ? sweet,... Read More

Canopy Swings - Escape the Weather with One

Do you love to sit outdoors and swing for hours... Read More

How to Grow Sweet Corn

Purchased corn, whether on the cob or in a can... Read More

Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (Part 5) Plant Growth

PLANT GROWTH & PHYSIOLOGY. (Part 5)There are three classes of... Read More

Bird Baths in Your Yard

HOOEEEHas summer come in with a bang!Heat waves everywhere.And where... Read More

All about Tulip Gardens

As the curtain of winter lifts, tulips are one of... Read More

Gardening in Containers

Every Garden can benefit from the addition of container gardens.... Read More

How to Grow Avocado

Fruit gardening and vegetable gardening is a very exciting venture.... Read More

Dont Roll that Lawn

Every spring some mysterious hormone hits the male of the... Read More

Would You Like More Information About Climbing Roses?

What is more beautiful than seeing a home or building... Read More

How to Build a Shed

The easiest way to build a shed in the backyard... Read More

How to Attract Butterfly Activity...

The flittering of the butterfly through your garden is no... Read More

Dill: Scandinavias Most Important Culinary Herb

The ancient herb, Anethum graveolens or Fernleaf dill as it... Read More

Lawn Edging

How do you make those flowers bloom where they are... Read More

Choosing the Right Roses for your Garden

There are literally hundreds of types of roses that you... Read More

Growing Tomatoes Organically

Tomato Seeds Vs. Tomato Seedlings?Whether you start your own tomato... Read More

The Benefits of Landscaping

How much have you thought about landscaping? Do you know... Read More

10 Free Gardening Products

One of the pleasurable spin-offs in organic gardening is finding... Read More

Adirondack Furniture - What It is and Why You Want It

Adirondack is the name given to a style of furnishings... Read More

How to Control Deer in Your Garden

Deer are the most difficult of all pests to deter... Read More

The Zoo-Doo Man - Or How to Make the Best Compost in the World!

Is your garden soil great? Does it produce an abundant... Read More