Planting Potatoes for the first time on Rozendal Farm
We decided to plant potatoes for the first time on Rozendal as just as we cleared a large new patch of garden, we discovered that Livingseeds was stocking good quality organic seed potatoes. Why not? everybody loves potatoes and these are great keepers to have some produce from the garden during the chilly winter months.
We started with this new endeavour in August. First step was to order our seeds, nice and easy to do from the Livingseeds website and within a week our seed potatoes arrived by courier to the farm.
Each seed potato can be cut in half, making sure that there are at least two eyes. This way your seed potatoes go further and you have slightly larger potatoes. We then left them for a week in a well ventilated area to dry out and heal the cut wound. Once the first eyes started to form buds it was time for planting.
We prepared our beds as we usually do, mixing the soil with a gardening fork and adding some well matured compost. We planted single rows in the beds, pieces 30 cm apart and about 10 cm deep. Covered the pieces with soil and gave the beds a good soaking. Watering regular is important and before long we had good sturdy potato plants.
When the first potato plants started flowering we did the first hilling. Flowering is usually an indication that the little potatoes are starting to form. I think we definitely had a case of beginner’s luck as everything ran so smoothly and before no time it was ready to harvest.
The right time to harvest is when your potato plants naturally start to wilt, all the energy has gone down to the tubers and the aboveground parts are no longer needed. For us this was in early January, we didn’t want to leave the tubers too long in the ground as this gives bugs and grubs opportunity to eat your bountiful harvest.
You harvest quite simply by pulling the plants out of the soil and plucking the potatoes from the plant. Carefully dig with your fork to make sure you haven’t left any behind and voila you have a great stash of potatoes for the winter.