A few months ago, my dear friend Lucie told me she had a friend I MUST meet. She said he was a gardening nerd like me and that we would get along famously. Thanks to the modern miracle that is Facebook, we have indeed become long distance gardening buddies, and we get along famously! Kenny inspired me to plant potatoes and when he was ready to plant his, I asked him if he would take some photos and make notes so he could be a guest star on my blog. So here goes: (and Kenny, thank you for being such a sweet muse – you rock!)
Kenny’s Potato Method:
This year, I chose 3 varieties to try. One called “All Blue” is exactly as named – the skin is blue and the flesh is blue! I’m looking forward to making a batch of blue mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving this year!
The second variety is call “Superior”. It’s just your basic white potato. It is supposed to be heat and drought tolerant…those abilities will definitely be tested here in Arizona!
And lastly, just for good measure, I planted a good ole Idaho spud I got from my local supermarket. All 3 are supposed to be good all-purpose potatoes…baked, mashed, or fried.
Making my bed:
Hmmmm, where to start…I guess I’ll start with the place where I’m growing them. I have a nice sunny spot that doesn’t get any shade at all throughout the day. I live in Phoenix so no shade could end up being a problem in the heat that is quickly on the way…we’ve already hit 97 one day last week!!
I’ve decided to use the raised bed method. First, I built a basic raised bed which is approximately 9 square feet. The bed is about 12 to 14 inches deep and the bottom is rocks. My whole yard it rocks so that part was easy!
Next, I put down a layer of newspaper to prevent any weeds from growing. I then dumped in a bag of quality garden soil mix from my local nursery to fill the bed about halfway, added some manure to the soil and mixed that all in well, then leveled the soil.
To plant the taters I dug a hole about 3 inches deep, placed 3 potatoes in the hole and covered with soil. I spaced my tater groups about 8 inches apart so I have 9 group plantings.
I watered everything really well, then lastly I place some chicken wire over everything to keep the neighborhood feral cats from using it as a litterbox.
Unlike Pam, I did not “chit” or pre-sprout my potatoes so I’m not really sure how long it will take for them to start. The instructions that came with my potatoes said it can take 2 to 3 weeks for them to sprout and push through the surface. Now the wait begins!