About a month ago I planted potatoes. The weather has been very mild so they are ready for the next step.
When the potatoes are 9-12 inches high, they are ready for a good thick layer of mulch. I use straw, it’s easy and inexpensive in this area. My brother uses horse manure and sawdust.
Loosen up the bail and pile it on until about 3 inches show out the top. This is why I like using rows instead of a hexagonal layout, it’s just easier for me. These two rows took seven bails of straw.
Here you can see one bed that is finished and one that isn’t. The cats across the street love this so I just check it occasionally to make sure they haven’t thrown it everywhere and straighten it up if they have.
Here they are both completed. They make the rest of the garden look pretty puny at this point. The corn is only 6 ” high and most of the plants are still in the greenhouse waiting to get some size to them before going out into the garden. We are slowly working our way across the garden adding in compost and manure. This ground is so full of building debris, even that isn’t going to help as much as it should, it’s pretty weak ground still. Next year it should be beautiful though.
Every time the potatoes get about a foot higher than the mulch, add more until they start flowering. After they start to flower, they can be left to grow until they start to die back.
See also: Potato Planting Time