For part one click here
To start pick fresh healthy potatoes. It is best to purchase them from an organic grocery store as this helps to insure that they have not been treated with chemicals to retard the potatoes ability to sprout. If you can find small or "baby potatoes" select these as they are virtually seed potatoes. While larger potatoes work fine, the small potatoes do not need to be cut up so they are less susceptible to disease or rotting when they are planted.
Potatoes are a cool weather plant so plant them in the early spring. If you live in a warm climate you can plant for a fall crop as well.
Place the whole potatoes in a cool but sunny spot for a few days before planting as this will allow them to develop some chlorophyll, giving them extra energy to use when they are planted and thus expediting their growth.
Prepare the soil in raised beds by double digging. Use compost to fertilize the soil and to improve its texture. Potatoes thrive in rich moist (not Soggy) soil full of organic material but will also do well in less fertile and slightly dry soil. They do not grow well when the soil is hard and compact or when the soil is very dry or soggy. They will rot if they are left in soggy soil so that is why raised beds are best
Plant the potatoes about 6 to 8 inches deep and about one and a half feet a part in all directions. Keep the soil lightly moist. They are slightly frost tolerant so do not worry if you have a freeze. If a late freeze is a concern when the leaves are already above ground, simply cover the leaves with a little earth or straw. The plants will grow through this layer of earth in a few days, or the straw can be carefully removed.
In our next segment we will talk further of the care that your potatoes might need and how to harvest.
If you would like to contribute by submitting an article, photograph, or know of a product or a service that should be listed here, Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to OrganicLiving.com
A web site dedicated to
A Better World Through Better Living! TM
All graphics, illustration, and information
on this web site is copyrighted by Organic Living.
© 1998, 1999 Organic LivingTM