I did some potato research prompted by a Facebook group post on hilling with a link to this article:

Determinate and Indeterminate Potatoes

I had never heard of this distinction. But it seems pretty important because determinate potatoes are not worth hilling. They do benefit from mulch to keep the sun off tubers that form close to the surface.

So in the interest of this year being our big potato year (as well as our big tomato year, and a big year for a lot of other things), I worked on the potatoes as shown:

Bed 1

“Keepers.” Late varieties, but it turns out they are mostly determinate. Mulched them with straw waste from the chicken coop, mounded up good. Includes from bottom: Adirondack Red, Caribou, Elba? (Elba may be indeterminate, this is not an exact science!)

Bed 2

“Keepers,” continued. Sam built a frame of old boards screwed together. I piled it full of leaf mulch + reclaimed soil, then a light layer of hay. We expect to get extra tubers from the Katahdin planted in there, which specified “hill well” on the packaging. There are also some Kennebec at the top which are determinate (oh well).

Bed 3

New raised bed for “Early” varieties. They are growing tall and somewhat floppy but according to the article, they are determinate varieties. Blue Gold, Chieftain, Dark Red Norland, and Satina. They received a heavy application of hay mulch. They’re so tall you can hardly tell.

Bed 4

Fingerlings. Some of these were frost bitten on June 1, but recovered well. French Fingerlings, Magic Molly, and Amarosa. The Amarosa may be indeterminate? Not sure that makes sense. I treated them all the same with a light application of hay mulch.

No flowers yet. No sign of potato beetle either. I’m expecting a huge infestation like we had last year. Stay tuned.

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