Hilling potatoes

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Old 05-12-10, 08:08 PM
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Hilling potatoes

I've read a few things online about hilling potatoes. Just wondering what the opinions / success stories I could find here. Some places say to start hilling as soon as leaves appear, and keep covering until you have your hill. Other places say let about 6" of growth appear and hill once, maybe twice.

Any strong opinions of what to do / what not to do?
 
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Old 05-13-10, 03:56 AM
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What we do is rather than moving dirt is apply layers of wheat straw (not hay....too many seeds) over the emerging shaft and leaves. They grow through an we just keep adding the straw. Seems to hold in the much needed moisture, keeps the sun from scorching the plant and the ground stays somewhat loose so the potatoes can grow. I had a pretty good harvest last year in 2 year old ground. This year, I moved them to 60 year old black soil, so I am hoping for even better results.
 
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Old 05-16-10, 07:37 PM
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Black soil can be kind of heavy for potatoes, I think. Our garden has heavy black soil too. The straw is a good idea, I have a bunch of leaf trash I should add between the rows, and use that to mulch the soil.

I'm going to hill the heck out of these potatoes as they grow, and see what happens. One thing I read advised picking some new potatoes after they finish blooming, which actually causes the potatoes to put more energy into producing larger potatoes out of the ones that remain.

We'll see. It's my first year at growing them. 35 ft of Kennebec (late) and 35' of Red Norland (early). Some friends of our are growing Yukon Gold, so we'll have a potato taste test later in the year.
 
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Old 05-17-10, 03:35 AM
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Aaah, Yukon Gold. The best. I grew several varieties last year, and the Yukon Gold won hands down. I'll try your suggestion on the new potatoes after blooming. I usually wait until the shaft of the plant has died to harvest them all. Maybe onto something there.
 
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