The easiest way to have potatoes over a long period of time if you have no place to store them is to
- plant early and late varieties and
- plant them over a period of 3 or 4 months. (March/April through the first of July)
This will allow you to start harvesting new potatoes in June (maybe even a bit before that). Late varieties planted late will finish up as late as October. Even with less than perfect storage conditions you could probably get through another month or so eating potatoes. Or — if your winters are relatively mild and you mulch with a foot of straw like I do, your potatoes will keep in the ground until you want to eat them.
An Example of how I plant:
- My first planting last year was in April 1st. (This year my first planting will be March 22nd) I planted some of each of the following varieties:
Chieftan – an early red skinned variety (55 to 70 days to maturity)
Kennebec – an excellent mid-season white potato) (70 to 90 days to maturity)
King Harry – late variety that is resistant to the Colorado Potato Beetle. (110-135 days to maturity)
- May 1st I planted again, using the mid-season Kennebec and two more late varieties that take 90 to 110 days to mature.
- I planted the few remaining potatoes the first part of July.
By the first part of June:
Kennebec and Chieftans had been blooming for about 2 weeks – signifying that they were making potatoes — I started taking new potatoes from them. By July I’d harvested about 150 or more “new” potatoes from the plants.
End of July
Vines on the early Chieftans are almost dead signifying the potatoes were mature.
The mid-season Kennebec vines were almost finished.
The late varieties were just blooming and still had lush growth.
All remaining potatoes matured.
I was still digging potatoes.
Possibilities for November thru winter:
Had I had more space to plant more potatoes I could have been harvesting potatoes from the garden through the winter.
If you love potatoes as much as we do, you’ll want to have them fresh from the garden as long as possible. Staggering your plantings of early, mid-season, and late varieties is an easy way to do that.
Organic Gardening is easy, efficient, effective and it’s a lot healthier.
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