Prairie Dome Seed Potatoes, Strawberries, and Saskatoons
  • 1. Before Planting

    • Refresh your seed stock with new seed regularly. Soil and insect born viruses build up in potato populations over time and carry over from mother to daughter tubers. These are undetectable to the eye but will drastically reduce yields.
    • Try and rotate the location of your potato patch. Insects and disease build up over time in the same spot, year after year.

     

  • 2. Chitting

    Chitting your seed potatoes gives them a head start and leads to better yields.

    • Green sprouting is the process by which your potatoes have little green leaves growing out of the eyes
    • A wagon can also be used to move the potatoes out into the sun and then returned to the garage or shed at night when it is cool
    • Place your seed potatoes in an area at room temperature with lots of exposure to natural light (a window sill is excellent for this.)
    • If your seed potatoes are in a mesh bag you can leave them in it, or remove them.
    • Exposure to light should allow green sprouts to form in 2-4 weeks
  • 3. Fertilize

    When choosing a fertilizer, any standard vegetable food available at garden centres will work, even a granular 20-20-20.

    Gardens:

    • Using a garden hoe, work the soil to soften it up and remove weeds and lumps
    •  Add compost or fertilizer to the soil, making sure to mix it evenly.

    Containers:

    • Add compost or fertilizer to your potting mix if it’s required. Some potting mixes already contain fertilizer and may not need much added.
    • Mix the compost or fertilizer in evenly by hand
  • 4. Planting

    Gardens:

    • Trench the soil 4”-6” deep, placing your seed potatoes with the main sprouts pointing upwards. Refer to the packaging for spacing instructions.
    • Cover seed potatoes with 2”-3” of soil, lightly packed
    • Water

    Containers:

    • Refer to the packaging for details on how many seed potatoes can be planted in your container size.
    • Container should be filled about halfway with good quality potting soil or mix.
    • Place seed potatoes on soil with main sprouts point up.
    • Cover seed potatoes with 2”-3” of soil, lightly packed.
    • Water

     

  • 5. Hill Up

    • When your plants are 4”-6” tall they are ready to be hilled.
    • Add 4”-6” of soil (with your hands, shovel, or rake) around the plants but take care to not cover all of the leaves
    • You should hill as needed throughout the growth season to cover exposed potatoes.
    • If you’re using containers, add soil throughout growth until your container is full.

     

  • 6. Water

    • Soil should be kept moist, but not overly wet throughout the growth season. Take care not to over water as potatoes dislike overly wet soil. Use small, regular waterings as opposed to the occasional big blast. Even amounts of water will ensure uniform tuber growth. A soaker hose works great!
    • Water in mornings and evenings to keep evaporation at a minimum.
    • Containers may require additional watering as they’re smaller size means they may dry out more frequently.

     

  • 7. Inspect

    • Keep an eye out for problems, such as disease or insects, by occasionally checking your plants throughout the growth season. Hot, humid weather is of particular concern.
    • If using containers, make sure multiple containers are spaced far enough apart to keep mature plants from crowding, and to allow proper ventilation to the leaves.

     

  • 8. Harvest

    • Seed potatoes are ready to harvest from late July to mid September.
    • Ripening yellow leaves indicate the plant has matured.
    • You may dig in the hill or container to check the size of the tubers if you suspect the potatoes are finished growing.
    • When ripe, you may remove the vine but leave the potatoes undisturbed in the soil for a few days to all their skin to further set and harden.
    • Potatoes can be removed all at once, or removed from the soil as needed. Important: make sure to remove any remaining potatoes from the ground before the first frost.

     

  • 9. Store

    • Any potatoes meant for storage should be left in the ground for roughly two weeks to further harden their skin
    • Make sure potatoes are fully dried after harvesting before storage. Important: avoid washing potatoes meant for storage to increase shelf life.
    • Whenever possible, store your potatoes in a cool (5-6 degrees Celsius), dark, well ventilated environment.
    • Avoid storing in the fridge as this can affect their flavour.