We planted potatoes last week! This was the earliest we have ever planted them, and it was a big accomplishment. Having the potatoes in the ground early gives them more time to grow into big taters, and we'll probably have "new potatoes" earlier in the summer. Another advantage is that it gives the plants time to grow. Potato beetles tend to come out in June. If the plants grow longer they will be stronger and healthier before the beetles attack them.
This year, planting was a group effort. Farmer John's Mom and Dad picked up the seed potatoes in Moundsville, they also spent an afternoon cutting them up. A potato usually has several eyes, and you really only need to plant one. Cutting them up stretches the seed potatoes so you can plant more. And after an incident with Beast the cat, Farmer John's Dad also donated some blood meal for fertilizer.
Farmer John had plowed the gardens last weekend. He went over them with the tiller before we planted. Then he used the hand plow to make rows.
Next, his Mom and I set the seed potatoes in the rows - about 6 inches apart. Potatoes aren't planted very deep, because they like to grow in hills. Farmer John followed behind us and hoed the soil into a mound over the seed potatoes. We'll do this a few more times this spring to make the hills bigger.
Hopefully we'll have plenty of Yukon Gold potatoes to eat with our Highland Beef, and share with our families and friends.