How to Plant Potatoes in Straw Bales

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Potatoes provide important protein, vitamins and minerals, and can be grown in any climate and at any altitude. They can also grow in almost any type of soil, and it is even easy to grow them on top of the ground, as long as you cover them. Straw makes a great cover for growing potatoes. Hay can be used also, if straw is unavailable.

Things You'll Need

  • Straw bales
  • Seed potatoes
  • Locate a flat area in your garden.

  • Cut the seed potatoes, but be sure there are three to five eyes on each piece. The seed potatoes can be cut large, but do not cut them smaller than into quarters.

  • Let the potatoes sit for two days.

  • Place the potato pieces 2 feet apart, in a row. The 2 feet will allow the potatoes to grow and spread under the straw. The pieces can be placed directly on top of the ground. There is no need to dig into the ground.

  • Cover the potato row(s) with at least 6 inches of straw. Place the hay 6 inches deep and spread it out 6 inches to each side of the row, so that the row is at least 1 foot wide and 6 inches deep.

  • Soak the straw with water.

  • Add more straw as the plants begin to peek through, in order to keep the base of the plant entirely covered.

Tips & Warnings

  • If weeds start growing between your rows of potatoes, cover the weeds with straw and it will kill them. If you are planting the potatoes in an area where there is grass, be sure to mow the grass before putting your seed potatoes down. Grass clippings can also be used as a cover for growing potatoes.
  • Watering the potatoes from the time they flower until they mature will improve the yield. To prevent the potatoes from drying out too quickly, the soil can be mulched before the potatoes are planted. During the harvest, do not water the potatoes for several days--then just rake the straw back to reveal clean potatoes.
  • Do not let the base and roots of the plant be exposed to light. Always keep them covered by adding more straw if they peek through. Use a space where no herbicide has been applied. Be sure to use seed potatoes purchased from a garden center, because grocery- store potatoes have been sprayed with chemicals to prevent them from sprouting.

References

  • Photo Credit Potato image by lefebvre_jonathan from Fotolia.com
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