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  • Writer's picturecluckoftheirishhom

50 lbs of Potatoes Planted!

My husband jokes that we are obliged to eat potatoes as we are of Irish descent. He says it is in our blood, and we would be doing our ancestors a disservice if we didn't take advantage of this crop that once caused so much devastation, and in a stroke of luck, brought his family over to America.

Regardless of obligation, we go through potatoes quickly in this household! They provide good nutrition, are an easy staple that works with many different recipes, and taste delicious.

I have grown potatoes for several seasons, although not in the last 2 years because of lack of land access. Now that I am able to have a giant garden, I naturally have decided to go big and plant a full 50 pound bag of seed potatoes!

Next year it would be lovely to add more potato varieties, however this year we have the common potato that you find in the supermarket.

You may or may not be familiar with how planting a potato goes, but it has always fascinated me that you plant the tuber, the potato, to grow more (thus cloning them) rather than planting the actual seed. I learned recently that the reason you don't plant from seed is because you will not get the same variety of potato and instead each seed will grow a genetically different potato plant that may or may not have the qualities that you desire!

In fact, this practice is so common that we use the term "seed potato" and many people don't realize that the sprouted potatoes that are planted are not the plants true seeds!

The process of getting seed potatoes ready for planting is easy, the trade off is that it is a repetitive time consuming task. That being said, I do actually enjoy the chore and I was able to catch up on several episodes of one of my favorite podcasts.

Each potato can be cut up into cubes so you can get multiple plants from one potato as long as each piece is at least 1"squared and has a sprout.

I made several large beds for the potatoes and used hay to mulch the beds. Once the greenery starts popping up, I will add more hay and then do so again a few more times this summer. I want to make sure there is plenty of mulch so none of the growing potatoes are exposed to the sun.

Hopefully we will have a good yield, however I have already found the chickens scratching through some of the beds and pecked-clean potato skins. The beds will be monitored over the next few weeks as the plants come up. If needed I will get some more seed potatoes to plant and replace the eaten spuds.

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