Tips For Planting Potatoes & Onions

Potato, potahto.  Onion, Schmonion. It doesn’t matter what you call them.  All that matters is that it’s time to plant them!  There’s an old wives tale that says to plant your potatoes on Easter. We try to stick as close to this date as possible. Somehow each year it sneaks up on us and leaves us scurrying for all our supplies.

This year, we just happened to have nice weather and were able to get the garden tilled in between the April showers. We use a tiller that attaches to our lawn mower. It’s much faster than our other option which is an antique manual tiller! If you’re looking to work on your triceps, find yourself a manual tiller and a garden to till. 

We bought 6 lbs of seed potatoes from Big R….on sale! We chose to do 3 different kinds: red, Yukon Gold, and Russett. By doing this we’re hoping if one variety doesn’t like our soil, then we will still have luck with the others. Or all of the potatoes will flourish! Potatoes for everyone!Last year, it was potatoes for no one. Very depressing. We tried the tire method and it did not go well for us. So many people have been successful; however, we somehow ended up with less potatoes than we started with. Not sure what went wrong, but we’re going back to what worked for us in the past. Trenches. 

Once the trenches were dug about 6 inches deep, we placed our seed potatoes about 8-12 inches apart. We covered them with about 2-3 inches of soil. Since you continuously add soil as the potatoes grow, we don’t fill in the entire trench. We only add soil over the potatoes to conserve soil for piling.When the potato plants reach 8-10 inches tall, add more soil to cover most of the plant. Don’t cover all the leaves completely in order for them to continue to grow. We typically add soil 3-4 times through the season.

So for the onions, we picked up about 1 lb of red, white, and yellow onion varieties. We again dug shallow trenches about 2-3 inches deep. We placed the onions fairly close about 3-4 inches apart. When we were new to gardening, we were placing the onions closer together about 6-8 inches apart. We quickly realized onions don’t need that much room and can be placed closer together. This way we can plant more for making salsa!After placing all the onions, we covered them with the soil. Since everything is planted beneath the ground at this time, we always grab a few rocks to mark where we planted. One day when we don’t have a dog that pulls up sticks and kids that move the markers without us looking, we will DIY our own beautiful markers. Today, we have plain old rocks that we pulled out of the field.

Once the weather gets a little warmer, we’ll get to work on planting the remainder of the garden. We plan on planting green beans, broccoli, tomatoes, multiple pepper varieties, zucchini, and cucumbers. What’s in your wallet…I mean garden?

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