|Potatoes to the right and left of the trellis.|
|These sweet potato slips were planted this morning. Even though they look wilted, sweet potatoes are vigorous and will bounce back after a few days.|
|Camron holding a white yam and a Beauregard sweet potato after harvest.|
|Potato crates after a few weeks of growth.|
|Potatoes prior to hilling.|
|The "hilling" process.|
Other options for great results are:
- Creating a palleted box about two feet high and four foot squared. Add about a foot of compost and "hill up" when you start seeing potatoes peeking out of the top. (This may require cutting the pallets in half to get desired height.) If planting sweet potatoes, fill all the way up with compost and plant you slips. Remember that sweet potatoes grow very well in compost, so keep your slips spaced around 30". It will not look like much, but when harvest time rolls around you will be surprised at the results!
- Wheat straw bales make a great organic solution to growing potatoes. At our farm, we typically have left over straw bales to start the spring. It is a great way to re-use something that would otherwise only be fit for the compost pile. So using six bales (or more), make a rectangle using two bales on each side and one bale on each end. Fill with compost about a foot high and plant your potatoes. After about two-three weeks of growth, hill them up. When your ready to harvest, simply remove one side and dig out your potatoes. If planting sweet potatoes, fill all the way up with compost and plant your slips about 30" apart. (You may want to expand your area if you have a big family to feed.)
Compost is very nutritious and typically has the right balance plants need. I typically add a light fertilizer like MicroStart, which is 3-2-3, but has many trace minerals. We also use the 180 plant dip as a foliar spray as they are growing.