For the past two years, we’ve used the “Lazy Bed Method” for growing potatoes; and been relatively satisfied with the results. The potatoes were very simple to plant and maintenance was non-existent - just lift the potatoes when the growing season is over; however, the potato quality seemed to suffer somewhat from being grown above ground – insects nibbled on a few, some rotted, yield seemed a bit low, etc. So this year, I decided to modify the method just a bit, and the potatoes turned out great! I think we’ve got a method now that produces great potatoes with very little work or maintenance.
Instead of just placing the potatoes on top of the prepared bed as in the original lazy bed method, I tilled the bed and planted the seed potatoes a couple of inches deep in the soil. Then waited until the potato plants sprouted before covering with the straw mulch. Otherwise, everything was done as in the original lazy bed method.
The result was that the potatoes grew in the soil, but at the very top, and so were still easy to harvest (I didn’t need a pitch fork) but didn’t seem to suffer the damage they had previously when grown on top of the soil in the mulch. The mulch still smothered all the weeds, I didn’t have to “hill” the potatoes, and harvesting was still simple; however, the quality and quantity of potatoes improved.
This year we tried two new potato types, King Harry and Prairie Blush, while also growing our old favorite Yukon Gold. They all produced beautiful potatoes; just like the pictures – so I’m excited – we’ve got lots of perfect potatoes to store for the coming months – we’ll be using this method again next year!
In case you’re wondering what those cards in the pictures say these potatoe types are good for (and the pictures are too small to read), here’s what they say:
Yukon Gold – European-style yellow-fleshed potato renowned for outstanding flavor and dry texture. Perfect baked, boiled, mashed or fried.
King Harry - New round-white Irish potato from Cornell. Moderately moist and waxy texture. Good baked and boiled.
Prairie Blush - Beautiful blush discovery with rich old-fashioned potato flavor. Exceptional roasted, fried or boiled.