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This Spuds For You!

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.


HILLING METHOD

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.

As the potato vine grows one "hills" or piles soil up around the vines as they grow. This creates a type of potato mound.


Potato Tire Stacks

Potatoes don't like to get water-logged so have good drainage below the tires, rocks

underneath the tires work 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, while adding soil around the vines. in just about 6 weeks you can knock the tire stack over and 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. Form garden wire in a cylinder shape to stand upright on the ground. Secure with rebar posts. Layer soil, straw and potatoes inside your ring of wire.





If you are interested in growing potatoes

4C Ag Service LLC would be happy to help you. You may shop the farm for seed potatoes, onions plants, garden plants and more. 4cagservice.com

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