How to Grow Potatoes: Step 2 Planting

This year we decided we would have a go at planting some vegetables in the garden as we want Burt to grow up with an understanding of where food comes from and how you can produce some food for yourself.  I am also hoping to use these experiences in the garden to help him learn patience and perseverance as I am pretty sure that not all our attempts will be successful but we can learn from our mistakes and try again. We have already had to change our plans as the winter was so long, cold and snow-filled but in the last week or so the days have become warmer and although the risk of frost hasn’t completely passed we can always keep an eye on the weather forecast and wrap up any plants with fleece or bubble wrap if frost threatens to come this way.

So, we finally got around to planting our seed potatoes which we ‘chitted’ earlier this year.  The intention had always been to plant the potatoes in an old plastic bin so the fun began with a drill.  Obviously Burt wasn’t able to help with the drilling as he is still a bit young for that but he was amazed to watch from a safe distance.

Drilling

Once the drainage holes were done we added a small layer of gravel to the bottom of the bin to allow water to drain easily.

Preparing for Planting

Then we filled the bin half-way up with compost suitable for growing vegetables.  This was definitely the most interesting part for Burt as he loves to grab a trowel or a small fork and have a good dig!

Planting Potatoes

Once all the soil was suitably broken up and Burt had lost interest in digging we got him to help carefully place the seed potatoes on top of the soil with the ‘eyes’ of the potatoes which have sprouted pointing upwards.

Planting Potatoes in an Old Dustbin

Then, I carefully covered the potatoes with about 10cm of soil and Burt spent a happy half hour traipsing from the garden tap to the bin with his tiny child’s watering can to give the potatoes a good watering in their new home.  The potatoes and the sprouted bits need to be kept under soil so now we need to keep an eye on them and every time we see leaves bursting through the soil we need to cover them over until the soil reaches the top of the bin (hence why we only half-filled it to begin with).  Also, potatoes hate the cold so we will need to watch the weather forecast and if there is a risk of frost cover the top of the bin with bubble wrap to keep the potatoes warm and frost-free.

We’ve put the bin at the back of the garden in full sun and now we just need to have patience and wait to see whether we will have a successful crop of new potatoes in a few week’s time.

 Gardening With Kids : Planting Potatoes

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