The Q&A Archives: Growing Spuds

Question: I have heard about growing potatoes, by starting them in a deep hole, and then covering them with soil and compost. When the plant begins to emerge, cover it again with soil and compost. Repeating this process until you have a good mound above the ground. In this way you have potatoes all through the mound. I have never grown potatoes before, and don't even know when the best time to start them is. Does this sound like a good plan or not?

Answer: Sounds like an excellent plan. You can start your potatoes now (the usual planting date in your area is mid-March). Plant the seed pieces 6-inches apart and cover them with 4-5 inches of soil. As the vines grow, hill soil, leaves, or compost over them tokeep the developing tubers covered. Leave only a small portion of the growing vines exposed to encourage additional root development. Once the plants blossom, stop adding compost to the hill. When the foliage begins to wither and die, the tubers will be full-grown and ready to harvest.

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