I like potatoes (but prefer rice), but hate planting them as it involves a lot of work. Even worse I hate weeding them, so I don’t. This year is the year of the mulch here at the smallholding – everything is covered with plastic, weedblock or a hay mulch.
So I decided to try something new with the potatoes. I am growing them on the hugelkultur, I am not digging them in deep (as I can’t on the hugelkultur) and I will mulch them.
So here is what I did:
I removed the black plastic that I had put on the hugelkultur in the winter to help the clover cover crop rot down – not too bad given it wasn’t just clover that grew but lots of grass as well – this is because I added all the turf to the hugelkultur when I made it – see here.
For contrast I didn’t cover the other hugelkultur bed – I left this to the naked neck chickens to take care of. For the record this was not a good idea – they don’t eat the grass, but they did scratch off the hay mulch from around the leeks – from now on chickens are only allowed supervised visits to the hugelkultur. Don’t worry though, they can still freerange over the rest of the campsite.
I took the potatoes and with my trowel made a small hole and popped the potato in – sometimes they were covered with a little soil, sometimes not so much.
I planted them at randomish intervals
Then I put a liberal covering of alpaca poo over the area
I then covered the area with about 2 or so inches of hay – this was special sheep peed on hay – they hay they chuck out of the feeder, trample into the ground and then go to the toilet on!
I will add more hay in the next couple of weeks as the potatoes start to grow. The benefit of this method – assuming it works – is that you don’t have to dig the potatoes when you plant them and you don’t have to dig them when you harvest them either.
N.B. I can’t remember what type of potatoes I planted but one is an all-purpose one and the other is a salad one – I think.