A vegetable gardener confession . . .My potatoes were the worst crop this year! While people naturally tend to want to focus on their successes, it is good to take a step back and try to improve upon the failures!
Here are some reasons why I think my potatoes failed:
Potatoes do not like to be drenched in water. It rained too much and was too cool in June.
- Potatoes like soil that is loose and drains well. Last year I grew the potatoes in grow bags with fresh soil, however, this year I put the seed potatoes in one of the raised beds and the soil was too thick so the potatoes had issues with growing.
- Potato roots like to get some air circulation. I am going to use the grow bags again next year. If you missed my post from last year on making your own grow bags, please click on the link.
- Potato plants like to be hilled. This process is way easier with grow bags because you just carefully add more dirt in the bag. The hilling process was more complicated this year because we started using a drip system instead of overhead watering which was installed after I planted by seed potatoes. As I hilled the dirt over potatoes, the hills were above the drip tubes and when the hot and dry weather hit in July the potatoes didn’t like it. I have single emitters in the grow bags that can be easily moved so that is another reason to go with the grow bags next year.
The thing that gets me really mad about this is that I tied up one raised bed and a 1/4 of another raised bed growing potatoes and I ended up with very little. Lesson learned – there is always next year!