My seed potatoes finally arrived about a week ago. I ordered 3 varieties this year – Kipfler, Dutch Cream and Pink Fir Apple. I grew Kipfler last year and was so pleased with them I decided to grow them and a couple more varieties. I had heard great things about Dutch Cream and Pink Fir Apple is a salad variety I used to buy a lot at the farmers markets in England.
Although I don’t have much experience with growing them I do like the idea of growing potatoes – I think its that they are a carbohydrate that makes their production exciting – it somehow lends realism to the idea of a meal from the garden. Also digging them up is a lot of fun.
How I grow Potatoes:
Last year I grow potatoes both in the ground and in pots. The pots were most productive but I suspect this is largely because the plants in the ground got little sun and were competing with some pretty large eucalypts for nutrients. Frankly I’m supplied I got anything out of them at all. Here are some plants which arrived post harvesting amidst my parsley.
This year I think I will only grow them in containers but experiment with 2 different methods. For both I am using the same 40cm pots. One pot I am filling up pretty much to the top with potting mix and then planting my potatoes about 5 cm under. I will mulch heavily when the plants are growing to ensure that no light penetrates to the forming tubers. The other pot I am filling by a third and planting the potatoes about 5cm under.
In the 2nd method the idea is that you add more potting mix as the plant grows allowing it to produce potatoes throughout the pot. It will be interesting to see the difference (if any) between yields using each method. Last year I just sowed my seed potatoes using the first method and my best container produced 70 potatoes out of the 1 seed potato in a 40cm pot so if the second method produces even more I will be more than happy.
I’m interested to see what proportion of the year I can successfully grow potatoes in. I suspect you can actually grow potatoes year round in Melbourne. I harvested some from the above plants a week or so ago and those plants sprung up in mid Autumn. I know people who sow from May onwards so that pretty much covers the whole year. I am planning monthly plantings starting with these seed potatoes and then sowing their progeny later in the year. It seems I am going to need a lot of pots…….