Spring potato planting time has arrived in Oklahoma. Potatoes are a cool-season crop and grown through the spring months and harvested in early summer in Oklahoma. I would love to share some easy potato planting tips and ideas for small or large gardening areas.
Planting should begin in early March in central Oklahoma and mid-March in northern Oklahoma to promote early crop development and avoid extreme summer temperatures. Loose, friable soil improves tuber set and development of smooth, well-shaped and even-colored potatoes.
Cultivation may be necessary to control weeds, keep soil hilled-up, aid water penetration and soil aeration. Cultivate only when needed, but should be completed by the time plants reach full bloom. Weeds must be controlled in potato fields, since they compete with the crop for water, nutrients and light, and are hosts for insects and diseases.
With that being said the next two methods I will describe will be lower maintenance and take up less valuable space.
POTATO TIRE STACKS
Potatoes don't like to get water-logged so have good drainage below the tires, rocks under the tires works well. Stack two or three tires and fill them with damp earth and compost to just over half the depth of the stacked tires. Then place 4 or 5 seed potatoes in the stack, about 2 inches deep, with the eyes or shoots facing up.
Cover with a couple of inches of soil and don`t forget to water. You may choose to add one to two more tires to the stack as potatoes grow. If conditions are right, you will see healthy potato plants growing after about 6 weeks.
Please excuse the uncropped photo from my phone.
POTATO GARDEN TOWER
Start by choosing a spot for your towers. I have kept mine together in the past, but if I separated them they would be less likely to all go down if there was an insect or disease problem. So if you are doing more than one tower, consider placing them in different locations (and away from tomatoes too).
You will need 12-24 seed potato pieces per tower.
For step by step instruction on growing potatoes in a garden tower, see Potato Tower Blog: 4Cagservice.com/blog