Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Organic Gardening Tips

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Potatoes Under 7-Foot Row Cover

February 20, 2020

Last summer Jonathan Mitschele of New Gloucester, Maine, planted two rows of potatoes in a 4-foot-wide bed. That allowed him to use 7-foot row cover from planting to bloom, after which he removed it. His 180 row feet of potatoes yielded about 330 pounds, all with little or no scab and no leafhopper or potato beetle damage. Read more in the winter 2019-2020 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.

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Time to Think Storage

September 28, 2017

Despite the drought in many parts of Maine, gardens produced at least some crops abundantly, especially if gardeners were able to water. Pumpkins, squashes, potatoes, onions, carrots and more are ready or almost ready to be stored for winter. Read about storage techniques in The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, including Anneli Carter-Sundqvist's "How we store our year-round supply of produce," Cheryl Wixson's "Root Cellars: Safe and Secure from the Corporate Food Train," "A Dozen Storage Crops for Homegrown Food Security" and Adam Tomash's "Using a Bulkhead as a Root Cellar." For crops that did not do well in your garden this year, local farmers' markets and Community Supported Agriculture farms offer great options for affordable organic goods.

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Are your potatoes flowering?

June 18, 2015

Are your potatoes flowering? Not all varieties flower, but with those that do, flowering can remind you to pay special attention to watering, as plants start producing tubers around the time they begin to flower. Uniform soil moisture during tuber production will help grow a good crop. If rainfall is minimal and soil moisture is low, apply 1 to 2 inches of water per week, early in the day so that foliage dries quickly and is less susceptible to diseases. Later in the season, when leaves begin to die back, stop watering so that potatoes cure before harvest. Harvest new potatoes two to three weeks after the plants finish flowering by gently digging around the plants, removing enough new potatoes for a meal, and leaving the rest so that they continue to grow.

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Greensprouting Potatoes

April 30, 2015

Greensprouting potatoes – getting some well developed sprouts before planting seed potatoes in the ground – can lead to earlier and greater yields, or enable you to grow longer-season varieties. To greensprout, keep seed potatoes at 70 to 75 F in the dark for a week to break dormancy, and then keep them around 50 F and provide at least 12 hours of light for a few weeks so that sprouts emerge but stay short (about 3/4 inch). Read more in the article Greensprouting Potatoes and the article On-Farm Seed Production.

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