Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lazy Bed Potato Planting Method

Last year I grew potatoes in towers. The towers were constructed of wire fencing material rolled into columns. Each tower was lined with fabric and rebar was driven into the ground close to each tower for support.

6"/15cm of shredded leaves from the previous autumn were alternately layered in each tower with a layer of seed potatoes.

A 12"/30cm layer of growing medium was placed atop each tower into which was planted a grape/patio tomato. This proved to be a mistake. I was unable to harvest the potatoes when they were ready for harvest because the tomatoes were still producing.

Although, for the season, the grape tomatoes were productive(13.2 lbs/6.448k), I was disappointed with the potato production (2.11 lbs/1.031k).

This year I planted a few potatoes from the towers harvest of last year, combined with some sprouting potatoes from a bag of commercially grown potatoes found in my pantry. However, I used a different planting method.

I had a supply of sod I cut during the process of preparing the second raised bed site. This reminded me of a method of potato planting told to me by an Irishman who was raised in the Wicklow mountains outside Dublin, the Lazy Bed.

Basically, to make the lazy bed, potatoes are placed on the ground atop the grass. The sod next to the potatoes is dug up and flipped over onto the potatoes. Easy right? Sounded easy to me. Plus, I already had sod cut.

I chose a site close to my second raised bed. I decided to use the same footprint of my raised bed, 4'/1.21m square, for the lazy bed.

I placed four potatoes in a row, each 12"/30cm from each other. I also placed a drip irrigation tube in each row. The drippers are conveniently spaced 12"/30cm apart which made the potato spacing easy.

The previously cut sod was then placed atop the rows of potatoes.

The overturned sod was then covered with 4"/ 10cm of shredded leaves. The mulch of shredded leaves will retain moisture, provide food and allow ease of weeding. Plus I had to move the pile of leaves off my patio.

I hope the production of potatoes will increase with this method. Time will tell.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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