Potatoes are a welcome addition to any vegetable garden and they will do well in most parts of the South East Queensland.  We have been growing them in the Kerry Valley now for about 6 years. We start planting them in early March, planting about every 3 weeks for several months.  They are a great vegetable for the home grower because they are quite quick, with the harvest coming after about 90 to 100 days.

We always start everything we grow with quality plants and seeds and Potatoes are no different. We generally buy good quality seed potatoes that give us the best chance for a good harvest.

We plant them about 15 to 20 cms apart and with about 7 cms of soil coverage. We like the soil to be nice and loose with lots of compost as they are hungry feeders. Be careful not to overwater early on as they can rot in the ground. When the shoots emerge and the plant gets to about 20cms tall we will then begin to mound them.

Mounding is simply adding more soil (we use compost) and burying most of the small plant. You need to ensure some of the green leaves are left exposed as the plant needs green leaves for Photosynthesis. We typically add a total of about 20 cms of compost in 2 or 3 goes. Adding these layers of compost (good soil) is necessary because the potato crop forms between where the original potato was planted and the surface.

Potatoes need lots of watering to ensure a good crop. There are a number of ways you can tell when ready to harvest, they start to flower or when they start to die back are 2 of the best guides. If you harvest too early it just means you will have smaller potatoes.

Because of the hard work when digging them up and the likelihood of damaging them, we plant a lot of ours in 20 litre food grade containers. We use the same technique as I covered earlier. When they are ready to harvest we empty the containers into our compost bins and collect the potatoes. Quick and easy.

When you visit the homestead on one of our Farm Tours you wills see how we grow some of our vegetables in Containers. Hope you join us for one of our in-depth farm Tours. They last about 3 and a half hours.

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