Make your potatoes yield better

By following a few basic techniques, you can coax more bountifulyields from your potato plants.

First, start with certified seed potatoes of a prolific varietylike ‘All Blue’, ‘Red Norland’, or ‘Yukon Gold’. In early May or afew weeks before the last expected frost, prepare a bed of loosesoil by digging in three 5-gallon buckets of compost. Dig a trench10 inches deep and space the seed tubers 10 inches apart along thebottom. Cover each row with 4 inches of soil topped by a thin layerof mulch, such as pine needles.

When the sprouts reach 6 inches tall, mound soil around them inthe trench, covering up the lower half of the plant; do this againwhen the stems grow another 6 inches. This mounding processencourages root formation above the seed tuber. After plantsblossom, begin harvesting new potatoes. For reliable seed potatoes,order from BigelowAssociated Farms (719/754-3640) or IrishEyes-Garden City Seeds (877/733-3001).