Monday, December 26, 2011

Potatoes ( How To Grow White Irish Potatoes )

               Good day to you all, welcome back today with us this is Ken and Marilou, on Garden The Easy Way.

               Today we would like to talk about one of our favorite vegetable, the potato we would like to talk about is  White Irish Potato and we will also tell you how to plant them and grow them. There are so many different kinds of Red Potatoes also many different kinds of White Potatoes, and they all are good eating.

               Potatoes remind me of squash, we have winter squash and we have summer squash, the winter squash you can not eat the skin, it is too thick and tough, but the summer squash you can eat the skin, it is a thin light skin, just wash and cut them up with the skin on them. The Potatoes are the same way so to speak, they are white potatoes and red potatoes that have light skin you can eat and some white potatoes and red potatoes have a dark thick skin, they are too tough to eat, so you will have to peel them before eating, just like the winter squash.  

              Today we would like to talk about a White Potatoes with a thin skin, it is light brown and you can eat the skin, making it easier to cook with, and they make great french fries.  

              How To Grow White Irish Potatoes

1. Cut your potatoes eyes off of the Potatoes, make sure to cut one to three eyes off per cut, no bigger than the size of a chicken egg. The eyes will produce vines and roots.  

2. After cutting your Potatoes Eyes, let them dry 5-6 days before planting 60 to 70 degrees, this will keep them from rotting after planting.  

3. Plant in full sun, well drained area, use garden tiller, dig down 12 inches, add 4 inches of aged manure (cow or horse) see your local farmer he will probably give you all you will need for (Free), they are happy to get rid of it. Add 4 to 6 inches of compost, mix well and use your garden rake and mound the rows up, make the rows about 12 inches wide, and 4-5 inches high is best, that will give your potatoes plenty room to grow.

4.  Plant your potato eyes 3 inches deep and 12 inches apart. Space your rows 36 inches apart, water well 6 inches deep.    

5. Add mulch with organic material to conserve moisture. Add more soil at the bottom of the vines when they grow 6 inches above the ground, this will keep the sun from hurting the potatoes.    

6. Water vines to keep the soil moist. ( Never let the soil dry completely out ).  After the flowers start to die back, check to see if harvest can begin by digging with your fingers to find a potato. Scratch the skin and if it easily scratches away, the potatoes are not yet ready. Cut the vines back, wait a few days and try again. Begin harvest when it is hard to scrape off skin.

7. Dig 8 inches away from the plant with a pitchfork-- be very careful-- at a downward angle toward the vines and carefully pry the earth and potatoes out of the ground. try not to impale or scrape potatoes, as those will not store well. Pull them out of the ground and let them lie in the garden a few hours until the soil dries and falls off easily. Watch carefully and do not let them sunburn. Store them in a dark, cool area.  

Tips & Warnings:

A.  Start early varieties as soon as soil reaches 50 degrees f in spring and wait until mid-June to plant fall crops.  

B.  Purchase only certified potatoes or tubers to plant from a nursery as eating potatoes are treated with a non-sprouting chemical. ( The Best And The Easy Way Is buy a bag of  Potatoes and Cut off Your own. )  You will save money, and you know for sure what kind of Potatoes you are Planting.

Things You'll Need

Garden Tiller
Fertilizer aged manure (cow or horse)
Shovel and Garden Rake  
Hoe and Pitchfork and Sharp Knife
Organic mulch      

              That's it for today here on Garden The Easy Way, we hope to talk  again tomorrow, until then this is Ken & Marilou wishing you all Happy Gardening Always.