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by Carole Schwalm A bowl of freshly picked garden potatoes.

The average family uses about 15 bushels of potatoes a year

Many people start out with seed potatoes. You can purchase certified organically grown seed potatoes. There are fast-growing potato types: some are ready between 70 to 90 days. Others take over 100 days. Most aren’t ready for shipment from a supplier until early March. Usually they are not shipped after the month of May. There can be state restrictions.

We had good luck with organic red potatoes from the natural grocery store. Often a friendly produce person is more than happy to let you have perfect potato candidates for planting for free.

Potatoes should be planted between March and April and again at the end of May for late season harvest. Potatoes like fertile, loose, well-drained soil, and they resonate with slightly acid conditions.

A grouping of home grown garden potatoes. They are also container-friendly, as long as it is deep enough. We’ve been happy with results using flue tiles, potato grow bags and planting them in a bag of topsoil, propped standing up for depth.

To plant, you need at least three eyes per piece. They should be planted approximately four to six inches deep. Potatoes like moist, mild conditions, and aren’t fans of extremely hot, dry conditions. In the case of the latter, water generously. Fertilize with compost humus and/or bone meal.

When the plants die down, they are ready to harvest. You can also peek carefully to how they are doing.

You get approximately three bushels of potatoes per 100 foot row.

Share your potato gardening experience or if you'd like more information.