I had originally planned on buying seed potatoes from a local farm supply store. I bought potatoes from them last year, and they did fine.
But then I started looking. And thinking. And coveting :)
There are so many varieties out there! And as we all know, variety selection is my downfall. So I decided to order my seed potatoes this year. And as much as I like to support local businesses, the best combination of price, quality and selection I found was from West Coast Seeds. Of course, I was a bit late ordering them, so next year I can hopefully find a closer supplier.
They arrived safe and sound (along with some seeds I also bought - I have a problem, I admit it) and some cover crop seeds (buckwheat and red clover). The weather was nice yesterday afternoon, so I prepped the bed and planted the early potatoes.
Early potatoes? Yep! I was planning on only planting one bed this year - before I went to the workshop at Tree & Twig farm. Linda mentioned that she doesn't plant her potatoes until the beginning of July! For her, it's so she can miss the main potato beetle season. But for me, a light bulb went off. I can plant early in the year, start harvesting in June, and have potatoes all summer long. I can then plant a second bed in July for winter potatoes. Brilliant!
And thankfully I bought more than enough to do two plantings :)
I chose Yukon Gold, Chieftain (red) and Kennebec again this year, as those three did well last year and stored well. I also added a Russian blue, for the novelty of eating a blue potato, and Russet Norkotah because... well, it was there. There are more varieties to try, but I am limited by space - and money!
I also decided to try hilling this year. I dug a trench and planted the potatoes (one per square foot) in the trench. As the plants grow, I'll fill in the soil, and then continue to top with straw. Hopefully this will work!
The straw in the bed is the residue of last year's mulch. I try to mulch most of the beds with straw - it cuts down in the weeding and helps to retain soil moisture.
I can already taste that first potato salad....