Welcome to my website in which I show you how I grow great organic vegies in a water conserving raised garden bed with the help of a built in worm farm and pest exclusion devices. I also show you how I rotate these vegies in a 4 year 4 bed cycle. Check out my website 'Gardening with Ecobeds' which shows you how Ecobeds are made and how they grow food without using poisonous chemicals....................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Latest Update 27th August 2017.
Potatoes are a staple crop in our household, and we can usually grow enough to last 6 months in our limited space.
I prepare the potato bed with lots of compost and mulch prior to planting the seed potatoes.
usually take delivery of certified seed potatoes in mid June, and
after chitting them for about 6 weeks, I plant them. The weather starts
to improve by then, and damaging frosts are usually gone by September
when the tender shoots start to emerge from the soil.
We harvest a few new potatoes as soon as their flowers set in early
November. They are delicious when steamed, mashed or baked in
If you delay harvesting the main crop until the foliage hasdied back completely the tubersstore longer.
Check out my blogpage
which explains how I maintain productivity in my Ecobeds. It describes
how soil is prepared prior to planting, the importance of rainwater in
Ecobeds, how to regulate the sun's intensity and how to feed plants
through their leaves.
Check out my blogpage which tells you when to sow seeds.
your seed potatoes in May for deliver in mid June. Use a certified organic supplier to avoid disease (buy 48 tubers).
earlier growth you should "chit" them by placing them (eyes up) in a warm spot with plenty of indirect light for about 6 weeks.
a few weeks they will send out new shoots.
to 3 or 4 shoots to grow larger potatoes, but leave them to produce more shoots if you're happy with smaller ones.
Dig planting holes through the mulch in late August, 250mm apart (6 tubers) along rows 300mm apart (8 rows).
Sow the seed potatoes 150mm deep and cover
them with about 50mm of soil. Make sure the shoots are facing upwards and take care not to damage them.
Backfill gradually with soil as the
shoots grow, but make sure the growing tips are never completely
The soil must be kept moist during this stage, but can be left to dry out when the plants begin to die back (don't let the Ecobed's water tank empty, but keep the water level low during this stage of growth).
The plants draw back nutrients and moisture from the leaves for use
in their tubers.
Harvesting and Storage.
Young potato tubers are delicious and well worth sacrificing some of the main crop harvesting them early.
these "New Potatoes" as soon as flowers appear by digging up a whole
plant. Use all of the tubers before harvesting the next plant.
main crop for storage 2 weeks after the foliage dies back (usually in late January).
a hand trowel to harvest your main crop. Push the trowel into the soil
at an angle so that it is below the clump of Potatoes and lift the whole
clump. Take care with the trowel as you
don't want to disturb the water tank's cover or perforate the liner.
Wash the tubers and leave them in the open air to dry.
Don't leave them in hot sun too long as they can be damaged.
your Potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place in a hessian sack or cardboard
box. Note** They will rot if they are not perfectly dry.
on them from time to time, and remove any tubers starting to rot.
After a few months the remainder of your crop may start to sprout. It
is worth going through your stored Potatoes at this stage to rub
out these new shoots. This will prolong the storage life of your crop.
you can preserve (pressure cook) potatoes in a saline solution for
longer term storage in preserving jars (see article).
Organic Pest Control.
like most vegetables, are vulnerable to attack from certain pests in my
garden. My blog on "Controlling Garden Pests" explains a
little about these pests and what to do to protect plants from them. For details click on the appropriate link below.