How far up to cover potatoes? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

So I took my storebought organic white spuds which were sprouting in the pantry and planted them in the garden. I left the 2-5in sprouts above ground. Now they have nice happy green leaves. When do I start hilling them up, and how far up? I mean, do I cover them totally up? I'm planning to hill them up with soil rather than straw or mulch because this is a wet county. But what do you master gardeners say?

-- snoozy (, May 03, 2002


Not a master gardener, but I cover mine with just the tippy tops showing :)

-- Sue (, May 03, 2002.

Might look at: Growing Potatoes, on this site, though it talks about growing potatoes in tires, the principal is the same.

-- BC (, May 03, 2002.

I like to leave about 4" of stem and leaves showing after each hilling. I usually wait until the stems are about 6" tall before I start. Make sure that you use enough mulch to completely block the sunlight from the potatoes, or they will be green. I have found that if you cover green spuds *while they're still attached to the plant* the green will go away.

-- Marcia in MT (, May 03, 2002.

Thanks, BC, that website had exactly the info I needed!

-- snoozy (, May 03, 2002.

I wait til my potatoes are up about 4" or so and cover them up compleatly. Then when they come through again about another 4" I do it again. I have never done it a third time. Mostly because I didnt have enough soil left to do it but then I mulch good and I always have too many potatoes. I have never been able to save all of them through the winter because my basement gets too warm. Just A note. I have planted the eyes from my regular eating potatoes from the store before but the yeilds are always poor. It would still work if you have a lot of spare room to keep planting . I usually only get two or three potatoes from each plant. The ones in the basement that have 15" starts and are all shriveled up I plant whole and I get lots of big potatoes from them. These are the ones left over from last years crop.

-- corky wolf (, May 03, 2002.

We were going to have a late frost this year. Some of my potatoes were up four and some six and some even more inches. I covered them all up for the frost. About half of them came up throught the dirt. I guess it was the ones that were closest to the surface... So, next year I won't completely cover them each time I hill.

-- Sally (, May 11, 2002.

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