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Next, potatoes

Gold Rush: russet seed potatoes

Next up in our crazily extended and seemingly neverending SPRING planting schedule: potatoes. We have what’s become my standard line-up: Yukon Gold, red Chieftan, and russet Gold Rush (above). Still haven’t decided how we’ll plant them this time around, trenched or shallow, but they should go in soon! This season’s nerveracking tiny farming adventure continues…



  1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one still doing spring planting! I just put in my late potatoes this week, and I haven’t even begun my squash… mind you, it’s so cold and wet where I am, there’s not much that can be done. One day into summer and it’s practically mitten weather. Brrrr!

  2. I fertilizer burned (chicken manure) my potatoes, so I think I’m done with those for this year.  Hope you have better luck than me….

  3. Love those Yukon Golds-I plant them every year. Glad to see I’m not the only one still busily planting. It’s sure been “one of those years”!

    Also wondered if you’ve notice a lack of Yukon Gold’s in the stores—I’m wondering if there was a problem with them last year?

  4. Good luck!
    We just tripled our potato planting, and worry daily about rot and blight.  Way too much rain up here.

  5. Chris

    I planted spuds super late this year as well (early June, London area).  Because I planted more than usual, I planted them at 2′ row spacing instead of 4′.  I made a shallow trench with my tiller for the seed then covered the entire patch with straw (6″ deep).  Plants are just starting to come through now.  Also planted seed about 6″ apart to promote smaller tubers as they are more popular at the market.  That’s at least three different variables in my potato experiment this year, with no control plot!

  6. We are still planting our Chieftain and Yukon gold as well.  Did you get the seeds from Coe Hill?

  7. I got mine planted a few weeks ago!  Actually, since I green-sprouted my seed stock, they’re pretty well off: about 6″ (15 cm) so far.  It’s the only thing I got in on time that’s actually doing well, given the cold rainy spring we have around here.  There will be potatoes!  :)

  8. Granny Miller

    We’re behind too because of the wacky weather.
    Good luck to you this season :-)

  9. Rox

    Just joined and this is my first post…..Potatoes, we try to grow them last year and we had no luck, but this is our first time with this soil and it’s very clay-ish like hard soil, so, needless to say, may things did not make it, the only thing that grew like crazy were green beans…still eating them from last year.

    How do you prepare/plant your potatoes?

  10. OMG.  You are planting seed potatoes now?  Where exactly are you?  The arctic circle?

  11. Rox, until you get advice from the tiny farm people (I bow to their superior knowledge), I have some advice of my own.  First, buy ‘seed’ potatoes.  From a seed store.  Don’t use ones that come from a supermarket.  Trust me, it will make a huge difference.
    Next, cut them up so one or two active eyes is on each piece.  You can cut them very small, like 1/4 cup size.  Let them sit out at least a day before you plant them.  Plant them two weeks before your last frost.  Bury them ~6″ deep.  That’s it!  You’re done, Rox.  You’ll have potatoes like nobody’s business.  You’ll have to WORK to give them away.  They’re very prodigious.
    Not this year though.  It’s too late to plant potatoes.  I think our TFB friends must live in the Northwest Territories.  Certainly SOME place Canadian.  Planting potatoes in June!  Hah!  That’s so funny to a ‘farmer’ that lives as south as America gets.  We plant them in mid February, and dig them in May.

  12. We always plant our potatoes after the full moon in June in order to keep ahead of the potato bugs which are marginal at this time.  Works like a charm!

  13. Scott

    You know I have had many people ask at about planting potatoes by seed or potato is better, if someone knows please let us know

  14. Because of the terrible amounts of rain we’ve had the last couple of years I have taken to actually planing our’s above ground on straw…our yields have been great and not digging!  I cover the ground with newspaper, put on straw, then a bit of compost, cover with straw and keep adding straw throughout the season to keep taters covered.  No more digging, just move the straw aside!
    Good luck, I just planted corn!  Kim

  15. inadvertentfamer, does that work because excess water runs through the straw, and off the bed?

  16. j

    Wish I could grow potatoes down on my micro farm in Mexico…but no luck! Jealous, keep up the good work!

  17. Good luck with the planting :-) Does anyone here know if potatoes prefer an acid or alkaline soil?? thanks

  18. Ripe

    Potatoes are my favorite vegetable.  Did you know that there used to be over 400 varieties?  Enjoy your potatoes!

  19. When I last planted potatoes in my no-dig garden (for the past 20+ years and described in my book “Weedless Gardening,” I made a very shallow trench, deep enough to just barely cover the spuds. As the sprouts grew, I “hilled” them up by piling half-rotted leaves from a pile I had dumped here by landscapers the previous autumn. The potatoes grow well and were very easy to harvest. I could even reach into the mulch and pull out a few spuds without disturbing the plant.

  20. Hey Jesse do not feel too bad about having fertilizer burned your spuds, many of us have have done the same. Better luck next time.

  21. Lee, that sounds good.
    How deep was that initial trench, 3″ or 6″?

  22. Thanks for the info here. I’ve been searching for the best ways to plant potatoes, and I stumbled upon this blog. Keep up the good work with your potatoes!

  23. Shonya

    We always plant ours around Good Friday, but best of luck to you!

  24. We are late to plant potatoes too. I am excited to see how they do being planted so late. How do you plant your potatoes? We were thinking of trying to plant a winter garden but here in Kansas, I don’t know how that would work.

  25. I plant my potatoes in a pile of leaves. Works just like straw. ;)

  26. Emily, are the resulting spuds full size?
    (We heave our tons of leaves into compost, a fine addition of brown to mostly-green) 

  27. Pratik Tamhane

    Can you please guide us on any particular things we need to take care while planting the potatoes… Thanks..

  28. Pratik, make sure that you start from fresh potato starters, not leftovers from last year.

  29. Pratik Tamhane

    Hi – is the weather ok to still plant the potatoes. Am I too late? I’m worried that the rain will destroy my efforts…

  30. For example Pratik we have just planted our first batch of early potatoes (Pink Eyes) however as we are in Southern Tasmania this is normal for us.  Spring is fast approaching and there is much to do.
    On a different note I hope Mike is ok, it would be nice if the blog were to start up again but more importantly I hope all is well.  I have been from front to back of the blog in the last couple of weeks and this blog, along with others, has really given me the confidence to go ahead with my own tinyfarm plans that have been brewing for an awful long time.
    cheers Mike for sharing.

  31. Potatoes are my favorite starch, especially red potatoes. Great with mustard on St. Patty’s day.

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    […] supplier of seed potatoes and offer help and advice on planting potatoes and growing potatoes.Standard super market potatoes and vegetable garden grown seed potatoes carry more spores of bacteri…t may prevent your harvest from growing properly. Mild mosaic disease happens when the […]

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