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Potato hilling, potato boxes

April 30, 2011

Initially I was concerned about my seed potatoes; I pre-sprouted them after I cut them into pieces but once planted it took some time for the sprouts to appear above ground.

Well, the growth since then has erased any doubt about the viability of this year’s seed stock. My source, Ronniger Potato Farm LLC, merged with Milk Ranch Specialty Potatoes LLC last fall for one storefront “Potato Garden”; I really liked their guide to growing potatoes and ended up ordering my seed stock from them this winter (Russet, Red Pontiac & Yukon Gold). The seed potatoes arrived in excellent condition on the right date for my zone; I was a little delayed in getting them cut and sprouted due to general disorganization but it appears everything will work out fine.


Once some leaves started catching sunlight the plants have taken off so it appeared to be time for the first “hilling”. After last year’s disappointment using straw I decided I would go with the traditional soil hilling method this year.

No problem with the potato boxes, there was (by design) plenty of vertical container left to fill with new soil mix. This picture was right after I added soil last weekend; this morning they are already close to being ready for their second round:

The front beds in the boxwood garden area needed some additional “vertical” work in order to be adequately hilled. The beds are 8″ deep (a portion of these beds are below grade) and I created as much of a trench as I could at planting time (and had already back filled over the base of the new plants.) I felt like I could increase the yield a good bit if I could cover more of the plants, so last night these rigged additions were created and installed:

The additional 4″ should be adequate.

The 3rd planting area was in the western half of the new 16’x3′ bed with the new bamboo bean trellis frame along the eastern side. This picture is from several days ago; since then the plants grew enough to basically move the mound of soil from the right side of the bed to the left side around them. I’ve since planted the beans along the far right side (“Christmas” limas again) and the grade of the bed is fairly level. The jury is out on whether I need to add another course to the bed; I have a feeling I’ll just leave it as is and see what kind of yield I get.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mr. C permalink
    April 30, 2011 6:33 pm

    Well, Good” Spuddy”, the “eyes” have it !

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