What do you call a person that spends time sitting and watching their garden? A Medi-tato.
That’s us. We like to enjoy our garden and we must admit, even a vegetable garden is a great place to relax and take in the beautiful sunsets of the Capricorn Coast. Potatoes are a welcome addition to our garden because they are easy. If you have never tasted fresh potatoes, you are missing out. Sure, you have bought “fresh” potatoes from the supermarket, but they may have been in storage for months and aren’t at their best.
Autumn/Winter is the time to put in potatoes because in the humidity in the warmer months leaves them prone to rot. We are growing Mr Fothergill’s Pontiac, certified seed potatoes.
Seed potatoes will always do best in terms of yield, storage and quality. Pontiac are a red skinned potato that is considered the best roaster. Before planting, we left them to “chit” in an egg tray. That is to say, we sat the potatoes on an open egg tray, in an airy position out of direct sunlight, so that they could develop their eyes.
Potatoes prefer a free draining, loamy (sandy) soil, with a high humus (organic matter) content. They can be grown in mounded rows, but we are all out of room in our vegie garden, so we have decided to grow ours in potato growing bags on the deck. We layered in Tanby Garden Centre potting mix about three inches deep, placed the sprouting seed potatoes on top and then sprinkled on about two inches of more potting mix.
We watered them in and will continue to water as need be. The soil will be kept on the drier side of wet (make sense?). When the shoots appear, we will cover them over with more soil, until the bag is full. Once the foliage has reached about a foot above the top of the bag, have flowered and started to die back they are ready to harvest. The best part about using the Botanico Potato Growing Bag is that you can check the potato’s growth as you go.