Potatoes like a fertile, deeply dug moist, acidic soil with a pH of less than 6. They do not grow well in heavy clay or a limed soil, which promotes potato scab. To avoid this, always rotate your potato patch each year. Many older varieties of potatoes have lost favour commercially because of either deep eyes or an irregular shape but may have many advantages to the home grower in hardiness, disease resistance and prolific production.
Recommended planting time: These vegetables can be grown in many months of the year, depending on whether the garden receives frost, as these vegetables are frost-tender. These vegetables need 60-90 days frost-free to be successfully harvested; potatoes harvested early as ‘new’ potatoes do not store well. In northern NSW and QLD one of the best planting times in March-April, as the soil is warm, growth is rapid and there are generally fewer pests. For frosty areas, this abundant vegetable can be planted in early spring, shortly before the last expected frost. Planting can continue into summer although the risk of pest and disease damage increases as the weather becomes hotter, particularly in humid areas. Green Harvest offers certified seed potatoes in March-April and July-August.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
These vegetables are ready for harvesting when the majority of the tops have withered; this can be from 12 to 20 weeks after planting, depending on the variety. Early potatoes may be dug for table use at any time but for storage, these vegetables should be fully mature. After they are dug, dry as quickly as possible, and then store immediately in a cool, dark, dry place. Exposure to light will turn them green; these green vegetables are poisonous and should not be eaten. It is usually possible to save some of the harvests from a crop of certified seed potatoes for replanting. Doing this more than once can dramatically increase the risk of disease. Potato diseases can take years to eradicate from a garden.