22 May 2016 Hilling potatoes


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http://durgan.org/2016/May%202016/22%20May%202016%20Hilling%20potatoes/HTML/ 22 May 2016 Hilling potatoes
Three rows (18) of Pontiac Red potatoes were large enough to hill. The soil along the row was hilled around the plant. The hollow made was filled with compost. The bed was then heavily mulched with wood chips to retain moisture.
Hilling is to keep the new potatoes covered to prevent formation of solanine formed by reaction with light. The compost adds a few nutrients. The mulch inhibit water evaporation from Sun. Expectation is four pounds minimum from each plant. The seed potato is marked to facilitate watering if needed, also digging since all vegetation is gone at harvest.
 
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I'm hilling up my redskin maincrop potatoes ("Desiree"). I hill them twice.
First time, I fill the trenches with well rotted manure, which, when it rains, will leach some nutrients into the soil.
Second time I use the manure to hill up, as it's an excellent water retainer for when the spuds are bulking up.
4lbs per seed is a decent return, but occasional ones will give more, up to seven pounds, like this.
 
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I find production is almost wholly weather dependent. If under four pounds usually the potatoes are not top quality. I get from 4 to 8 usually. This year it is already dry so I must water judiciously.
 

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