Why did I wait so long to add potatoes to my garden considering my affection for all recipes with my favorite spud! Yet it took a few years until I tried growing potatoes in my garden. It was well worth the wait for fresh potatoes on demand which last for months when properly stored. How easy is it to grow potatoes? Easy with a capital E! Fool proof for even the garden challenged when using this easy garden hack of growing potatoes without dirt.
Growing Potatoes Without Dirt
Who said no dirt? Technically the potatoes are grown on dirt with this no frills method. How do the potatoes grow by not being buried in dirt? Very well thank you!
Do I Need Seed Potatoes?
I have tried and succeeded equally with all types of potatoes: seed potatoes, potatoes from the grocery store and organic potatoes. I have planted all the traditional varieties of potatoes with success including red potatoes, baking potatoes, white potatoes and yukon potatoes.
Many reputable sources state that potatoes from the grocery store will not sprout and cannot be used as a seed potato; I have not been found that to be true.
However, potatoes from the grocery store may be treated with pesticides so that should be taken into consideration. If you are seeking fingerling or multi colored potatoes then ordering seed potatoes are a good choice.
The most important part of growing potatoes is placing the potato eye up when placing the potatoes on the dirt.
Potatoes grow up from the sprout.
How To Plant Potatoes Without Soil
Have your seed potatoes ready with one or two sprouts per wedge of seed potatoes.
Cut your potato with sprouts into wedge and let dry to remove moisture for 24 hours.
Place potato on the dirt with the eye up approximately 12 inches a part .
Create a mound 6-8 inches of yard clippings, mulch, straw on top and around the potato.
Lightly sprinkle the potato mound with water and you are done.
As the potato leaves grow simply add more material to the mound.
What Materials Can You Use To Create The Potato Mound
I simply use yard clippings, old leaves, compost clippings, mulch. This is my current pile of materials for my potato mounds.
Some potato growers go with all mulch or all straw, but I have found the ease of stashing the yard clippings a wonderful way to recycle and save money spent toward soil. Potatoes need to be protected from sunlight at all times to prevent the green skin from appearing.
Harvest Without Spearing
The best part of growing potatoes in mulch, straw or yard clippings is the safety of the potato when harvesting. If you plant the seed potatoes in dirt this will require careful labor when harvesting as the exact location of the potatoes is unknown and noone wants to accidentally spear a new potato!
This method is not labor intensive as you can simply search through your potato hill to find the yummy and oh so fresh taters.
No sharp tools necessary and so much easier then searching for new potatoes in a bed of dirt.
What Grows Well With Potatoes
Every potato plant likes a buddy!
Plants Compatible As Potato Neighbors
Plants NOT Compatible As Close Potato Neighbors
Container Potato Gardens
Potato are also friendly to a container garden. I have tried this method also and was rewarded with a successful potato harvest. Old tires, traditional pots, and grow bags all make good containers.
Each year I reuse my grow bags and switch up the plants; grow bags have the same advantages when growing potatoes with mulch for harvesting. A neat invention is the garden planter bag with a window which opens up to harvest your potatoes.