Potatoes are a delicious and productive vegie to grow at home and can even be grown in pots. Seed potatoes planted during late winter and spring will be growing strongly during summer.
Here’s what you can do during summer to promote the best possible spud harvest:
· As green shoots emerge, cover with a 15 cm layer of mulch, such as lucerne hay or pea straw, and a sprinkling of Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. The mulch layer encourages the shoots to grow taller, which provides more opportunities for the potatoes to develop along the stem. It also protects the potato tubers from sunlight, which turns potatoes green and inedible. Yates Dynamic Lifterprovides the growing potato plants with slow release organic nutrients to promote healthy growth and encourage lots of potatoes.
· Water the plants if the soil and mulch feels dry.
· Each time new shoots emerge through the mulch, apply another 15 cm layer of mulch and more Yates Dynamic Lifter.
· It takes around 4 months for potatoes to fully mature, however impatient gardeners can harvest some tender baby potatoes a little earlier. Gently dig around the root zone of the potato plant (a technique called bandicooting) and feel for the little spuds!
Potato insect watch: keep an eye out for sap sucking aphids and mites, which can damage and distort potato foliage. Regular sprays of Yates Nature’s Way® Vegie & Herb Spray Natrasoap®, on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces, will help keep aphids and mites under control. It’s certified for use in organic gardening so is ideal for gardeners wanting to use organic methods of insect pest control.