The Potato Challenge
I challenge you… To start a no dig potato patch!
What you need:
Potatoes that are currently sprouting
A bale of (preferably pea) straw but you could also use sugarcane mulch
Two bags of sheep manure
A few old newspapers
Some blood and bone meal (optional)
A spare patch of grass you’d like to convert!
This is a truly simple and ingenious way of growing potatoes. It is easy, quick, requires next to no effort, and once you harvest the potatoes, it is all ready to start growing a different crop- brilliant!
To start off, cover your patch of grass with newspaper stacks at least 6 pages thick (for grass/weed suppression.) Water the newspaper well to keep it lying flat while you cover it with the other ingredients.
Place the sprouting potatoes over the area, roughly 50cm apart.
Spread the bags of sheep manure over the area.
Lay chunks of the straw over the top so that every area is fully covered with a good, thick layer. If you are using the blood and bone, sprinkle this, 1 handful per metre, over the top now.
Water VERY well now and voila! There is your lovely, no-dig potato patch! The plants will grow up from the pile and spread their roots down through the newspaper (by which time the grass/weeds will be dead.) You shouldn’t need to water again because of the thick layers of mulch involved, which is part of the ingenious design.
Harvest once the potato plants go yellow and die right down (which shouldn’t happen til at least a month or two after they flower.)