Vegetable: Spring Potatoes
SYG Varieties: Red Norland, Kennebec, Yukon Gold, Blue
- Cut sprouted potatoes into ping pong sized pieces. Make sure each piece you’ve cut has a sprout or eye on it.
- Dig holes 9-12 inches apart and 5-6 inches deep.
- Place 1 piece of potato in each hole with the sprout facing up. “Eye to the sky” is an easy to remember rhyme we use when giving spring potato planting instructions to students.
- 4×12 beds (K-12) fit 30 potatoes in a full bed (3 across & 10 down)
- 3×9 beds (preschool) fit 10 potatoes in a full bed (2 across & 5 down)
Plant to Harvest Time Frame: 10-12 weeks
- Plant: mid-March to early April
- Harvest: Late May to mid-June
– Harvesting earlier will result in smaller potatoes (new potatoes). While you won’t get as much of a potato, they are still delicious.
Harvest: Potatoes are ready to be harvested when the plants start to die. The green plants should be about 1½ -2 feet tall and the top leaves will start to turn brown. When this happens you can use a garden fork to gently loosen the soil around each plant (taking care not to puncture the potatoes growing underground). Once plants are loosened, pull them out of the ground. Continue to gently loosen soil so it can easily be dug into with hands. Next, allow students to start digging for potatoes. There should be about 6 or 7 potatoes from each plant, so make sure to dig deep! Store potatoes in a cool, dry and dark place, allowing them room to breath.
Follow along with expert potato harvester and K-12 garden coordinator, Crystal as she shows you how to harvest Spring Potatoes on our YouTube channel:
Tips and Tricks: Once your potatoes start to form, you might have a few start to peek out from the soil. Avoid this by ‘mounding’ your potato plants. Mounding just means that you’ll gather soil in a mound around the stem of each plant. You’ll only need to do this 2-3 times in the growing season.
You’ll also want to mulch around your potato plants once they reach about 4-5 inches high. The SYG team suggests using straw as mulch as it’s inexpensive and quite effective at deterring those pesky weeds.
Health Facts: While some might turn to oranges to get their vitamin C, 1 medium sized potato actually contains about 48% of the recommended daily value, making them an exCellent source!
Recipe: Oven Roasted Spring Potatoes
Potatoes can be cooked and enjoyed in a lot of different ways. One of our favorites at the SYG office is easy to prepare with students and a great substitute for french fries.
Try oven roasted spring potatoes for a sure crowd-pleaser!