Happy new year!
Let’s plant potatoes!
These potatoes to be specific, just a couple of good waxy potatoes from the grocery store that I’ve been ripening in a paper bag with a banana.
In order to make planting easier I cut the non sprouted end off.
Now- you can totally wait till your potatoes are desiccated and green and the sprouts are the length of the potato- and the more sprouted your potato the quicker it will grow. I’m just impatient so this is good enough for me.
(To be fair you can also just cut a fresh potato and as long as there’s at least one “eye” it will grow- eventually)
There is one concern with store bought potatoes and that’s the minor chance the food potato has some sort of agriculture disease of fungal thing that’s harmless to people but definitely a concern for growing. That’s why if you’re gonna do this I would actually recommend using a seed potato. The problem is… the only seed potatoes that would arrive in a week as opposed to a month were ones where I’d have to order like 10 and I have two bags.
And I’m terribly impatient.
But if you decide to be impatient…
Here’s a little insurance.
You take the cut potatoes and put them in a paper bag, and put a shake of agricultural sulfur in. Shake it up- and hopefully the sulfur kills any possible fungal or bacteria contaminant. It’s not foolproof- but it’s good insurance.
These are the bags, they tend to be made of plastic or canvas, and have drainage holes in the bottom, and this type has a Velcro window so you can reach in and take potatoes out without disturbing the plant.
The trick is to roll down the edges of the bag til it’s about a third of the height, and filling it with 3-4 inches of soil.
Then you place your sulfur dusted potato halves on top and cover with 1-2 inches of soil.
Water well- and in a few weeks the first plants should come up.
Once the plant is large, you roll the edges of the bag up and fill with more soil, leaving a small few leaves on top. All the covered leaves will turn into potatoes!
Just repeat until the bag is fully un-folded and the bag is completely full of soil. Then once the plants have grown for some time at full height and dies back- you can pick your potatoes! I like to pick mine a little early so I can have some fingerlings. That’s the beauty of the window into the bag, you can take out a few fingerlings early but leave others in to become full size potatoes.
Happy New Years!
Here’s a January 1st ladybug.