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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

POTATOES: Planting, Storing for Winter and MORE

PLANTING

  1. Dig a trench about 6-8 inches deep.

  2. Place potato seeds about 1 foot apart and 12-18 inches between rows.

  3. Cover potatoes with about 3 inches of soil.

  4. Water.

  5. Wait for potatoes to sprout above the soil.

  6. Now use the reminder of the soil that was removed from the trench to cover your seedlings 🌱 or about 3-4 inches of soil.

  7. Harvest potatoes with a pitchfork once the flowers have disappeared and the leaves start to yellow and brown. You can harvest potatoes up until the first frost. By then, you'll want all the potatoes to be dug up.


Storing Potatoes


First, wait.. Potatoes will "store" just fine in the ground until before the first frost. Enjoy fresh potatoes from the earth as you need them until that time! This is one of the easiest ways to store them, at least temporarily.


After digging up your potatoes, allow them to dry out in a dark place. Lay them out and let them cure for up to a week.


DO NOT WASH POTATOES UNTIL YOU'RE READY TO COOK THEM!



STORING POTATOES IN A ROOT CELLAR

If you don't have a root cellar, an unheated garage would be a close second.

Store potatoes in a well-ventilated area and use boxes or crates that allow maximum airflow.

Always store food in the darkest possible place as light speeds up the breakdown of foods.

Each week or so, you'll need to inspect your potatoes for signs of rot and sprouting. Use these ones up right away!


COOK AND FREEZE


I like to do this a couple of ways. One way is making ahead baked potatoes. I bake them almost all the way, then set them on the counter to cool down. After they have cooled down a bit, I store the potatoes in a freezer bag.


I LOVE the second method to make up a huge batch of mashed potatoes. After the potatoes have cooled, I store them in quart-sized freezer bags, and occasionally I'll pull out a bag when I need a quick side dish.

POTATO FERTILIZER/ROT PREVENTION


My soil is very well-drained, and I've never experienced rotten potatoes. I often use a little wood ash on our potatoes when I plant them. This also helps fertilize as well.

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH

DE can help kill off potato bugs that eat your plants. Simply sprinkle it around your plants and under the leaves. This process will need to be repeated after it rains.


I update my posts regularly with new information on the topics I write about. What other questions do you have about potatoes? Please leave them in the comments! I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!





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