Mulching Potatoes  

Mulching Potatoes

by Farmer Dave
(Northern California)

Potato Mulch

Potato Mulch

Mulch your potatoes

If you are in a hot climate mulching your potatoes will preserve water and keep your potatoes cool. Mulch will also step-up your potato production. Mulch will prevent green potatoes which are caused by potatoes being to close to the surface of the soil and getting exposed to the sun. If this happens don't eat them as green potatoes are not good for you.

We plant our potatoes every 12-18 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart, in 8 inch deep trenches. Slowly hill the potatoes as they grow, always leaving a few inches of the potatoes growing above the ground. When the ditch is full we keep hilling the potatoes until the mound of dirt around them is 10-12 inches high. Use organic compost instead of the soil to hill up your potatoes if you have enough compost. The compost will increase your long term soil fertility as well giving you a better yield this year.

When the potatoes grow a foot or so tall above the dirt hills we mulch with a thick layer of grass leaving the potato tops showing above the mulch. With time and as you water, the mulch will compress and you may need to add more mulch if you did not mulch thick enough the first time. Your potatoes may be growing above the soil which is an indicator that you did not mulch deep enough.

Mulch in between the potato plants and on both sides of the beds. You can also mulch your potato beds before your plants have grown, letting the potatoes just grow through the mulch. If you do not mulch too densely the pre mulching method works fine but if your mulch is dense or too thick the potatoes will have a hard time pushing through. Your organic gardening guide can answer any gardening questions you may have.

"Reap what you sow eat what you grow"
Farmer Dave

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