Growing Irish Potatoes in the North Carolina Piedmont

I’m getting ready to plant potatoes aand this is a fantastic post. I planted potatoes for the first time last year, and they were delicious. I found this post while trying to refresh my mind on the procedure.

This weekend I’ll seed 3# of red fingerlings and 3# of blue potatoes. Tonight I will go through them and cut them, then put them in the greenhouse in the morning. I also have 25# of early red potatoes coming in from Johnny’s Seeds soon. I am splitting this with two other gardeners, so I will have 15#. I think I may have made a mistake in not ordering a late potato like a Yukon Gold. I grew these last year and the were both yummy and kept well. Jeez, what was I thinking!? Well, it is not too late!

harvestliberty

Red Maria potato plant in early growth stage. Red Maria potato plant in an early growth stage.

When it comes to potatoes, aren’t we all a bit Irish?  I adore the earthy orbs, baked, boiled, steamed, or fried; and I’d be quite content to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  When I ate my first homegrown ones though — little baby spring taters robbed from the plants that morning and then steamed tender and drenched in butter — I knew not only was I Irish, I’d be a Potato Farmer for life.

What follows is our family’s guide to growing Irish potatoes, Solanum tuberosum, in the Piedmont of North Carolina.  If the geographic emphasis in the title doesn’t give the clue: planting Irish potatoes is heavily location specific.  These ideas work for us, here in Durham, N.C.  For planting in your neck of the woods, take care to research tips specific to your region.

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3 thoughts on “Growing Irish Potatoes in the North Carolina Piedmont

  1. I just put in some compost. I will be raking back the soil tomorrow and plant Sunday. I would like to do what this blogger does for next year –

    1. Decide where my potatoes will go and how much room I want to devout to them. This is a big thing. I still have not wrapped my mind around how much we will want, but I am going to try digging them up during the season and see how that goes. Last year (my first year) I just harvested them all at the end and I don’t think that is the best strategy. I am going to poke around at my red potatoes at ~60-70 days to see if I can harvest some. They will be coming in later in the month, and you will be getting some of those!

    2. Plant a cover crop to improve the soil. I have never done this, and there were beds that were basically bare over the winter. I don’t want to let that happen next winter.

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    1. I like the idea of trying a cover crop. I sure do need to try SOMETHING different because last year I hardly got any potatoes at all. Hopefully this year will be better! Will keep trying! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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