Grow Organic Potatoes
Potatoes are always the favorite of our family, and with good reason. We know them as Sunday meals, Monday hash, and home-cooked frites on Saturday nights. We like baked potatoes topped with homemade salsa and home-cooked fries with eggs and salsa. We want to use diced potatoes, cheddar cheese, and green chile for an enchilada-stuffed potato. As autumn approaches, we cook delicious cheese and mushrooms tart made with potato crust. We’ve even been known to create a fantastic pizza with onions and potatoes using rosemary. As with everyone else, we are a fan of garlic potato mashed potatoes.
In these days of low carbohydrate intake, potatoes usually get an undeserved negative reputation for their nutritional value. They’re pretty nutritious. Of course, all commissions on potatoes will sing their praises. They can, since potatoes are a fantastic source of fiber (which reduces the digestion of carbohydrates, which is a great thing) and are a good food source for potassium. Also, they contain B vitamins Vitamin A, minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, as well as antioxidants. A medium potato could provide half the recommended amount of vitamin C if the skin.
The problem is that. Commercially grown potatoes contain more pesticides than the majority of vegetables. They also have a lot of residues from those pesticides, usually found in the area where 20% of Vitamin C and a large portion of the fiber is inside the skin. The application of pesticides to potato fields is finished once the potatoes are planted. Seed potatoes are usually sprayed with fungicides before being produced, and the plants are then sprayed when they grow. They are “hilled up.” Potato plants are sprayed to kill vines before harvest, and the harvested potatoes are usually treated with another dose of fungicide before they are hung to dry. Learn more about the dangers that potatoes cause in this article, and find the list of sprays for potatoes (scary!) here.
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What else are you doing to relish potatoes without stress? You can purchase organic potatoes from your local farmer’s market or green grocery store. The best option -and the best option to manage the situation is to cultivate the potatoes yourself. Growing your potatoes is relatively easy to accomplish and not only ensures that the potatoes you eat for your family are not produced with pesticides but allows you to taste a selection of delicious and heirloom varieties that aren’t typically sold in stores.
The majority of potatoes are made from seeds potatoes. Finding organic seed potatoes can be challenging ( Planet Natural has them in stock — for retail!). The neighbors and other organic gardeners from your area are the most reliable sources. Gardeners who have been in the area for a long time know what kinds of potatoes perform best in your area and will be able to provide insights (and solutions) for the more typical potato-related issues you may encounter in your local area. If your local gardening association isn’t able or willing to offer seeds potatoes, seek a reliable source such as The Seed Savers Exchange.
The potato prefers acidic soil and can be found in soils that are acidic down to the pH of 5.0. In the days of living in the vast Northwest the first time, we would mulch between the rows of potatoes using sawdust and cedar scraps we bought from the local mill. However, you must measure the soil before planting, alter the pH, and incorporate sand into the ground. Like carrots, potatoes prefer to thrive in soil that is a little sandy. Potatoes aren’t heavy eaters, but a generous amount of compost in your potatoes garden will ensure your plants are healthy and productive.
Guides to gardening suggest planting tubers up to six weeks before the final frost. This is especially true in the case of soil that has dried out and thawed; however, take your time putting your potatoes into the ground quickly. The more moisture you have in your soil and the longer your potato seeds are planted in the earth, in all that dampness, the greater chance that you’ll lose some of them to decay. Patience can prevent problems.
It can also boost your crop. Potato shoots can’t stand frost. They will likely die if you get a late frost on your potato plants. This isn’t an all-out disaster, as the shoots will appear, and the plants will begin fresh. However, the setback may not cause a delay in harvests but will affect how big the potato too. The smaller the potatoes in the world, sometimes the better. Soils that are deficient in calcium will also produce smaller potatoes.
Suppose you’re cultivating potatoes in a region where you’ve previously experienced issues with fungus or other diseases. In that case, you should take the time to sunseed your garden first, then get rid of any harmful organisms within the soil’s top layer before you plant. The sun’s rays on sunny days in spring, although only a little effective if temperatures rise in the summer, will aid in solving the issue. Make sure you incorporate compost into your soil after removing the solarizing plastic to introduce beneficial microbes and ensure your potatoes remain disease-free.
To help your potatoes get off to a great start, before planting them, take them out of your root cellar or any other cold storage space where you’ve stored them, and let the eyes release their spouts in a warm (but dark) setting. Make sure to cut the seeds into pieces with three or two eyes and then plant them cut face down, about four inches deep. After sprouts appear, the trenches will make it easier to layer more soil (to increase the number of potatoes). Some gardeners fill the channels with straw and add more as the plants develop. There is no problem with weeds when using this method.
Most garden guides advise a minimum of 12 inches of space between plants. However, we’ve been able to plant them in more minor and double rows of at least 6 inches. We’ve noticed that split seed potatoes perform better than small potatoes that we’ve grown in whole, but we’re still trying to figure out why. Does anyone have an idea? There have been times when we’ve had to pick up one or two organic potatoes from our fridge, cut them, and then plant them in our garden, too.
Growing potatoes in rows and “hilling” soil or crowding mulch against plants is the most tried and tested method to ensure your plants grow. The idea of planting the potatoes into raised gardens, as my fellow gardeners have demonstrated to me, can be efficient. Urban gardeners have recently destroyed the myth of not growing potatoes in pots. Innovative growers are collecting potatoes in barrels they are growing within buckets on their porches and decks or cultivating potatoes within bags.
After we have our potatoes planted, we’ll tackle potato pests and other issues in a different post. When it comes time to harvest, we’ll talk about how to save your seeds potatoes (as easy as it seems). In the meantime, how do your potatoes get bigger? We’ve been particularly interested in bucket, bag, and barrel experiences since, truthfully! This is the first time we’ve attempted these. You should convince us.