• Manisha Lath Gupta

Crops in Permaculture: Potatoes in Mounds

Updated: Apr 12

Every year, we plant potatoes at Aanandaa, but this year we have planted way more than ever before! On almost half an acre of land, we tilled the soil and created furrows. Given the pebbly nature of our soil, making mounds & furrows results in better quality potatoes than if we were to plant them straight into the ground.

After planting the potato seed (small potatoes from last year and some more from the seed market), we covered up the field with the remains of our maize and sesame crop. This slashed crop made for good mulch. The farm help was not too excited about following my direction on this, but decided to go ahead once they discovered it would save them de-weeding effort.

The plants sprung out nice and thick through the mulch, and with regular spraying of jeevamrut we have also seen a dramatic improvement in soil quality during this crop cycle.

Early December we had a disease scare with some leaves starting to curl indicating a fungal infection. We used Khatti Lassi and Paathi ka Pani to overcome this disease. We successfully contained the damage, and the crop went on to deliver a good harvest!

Its amazing how you find potatoes lying casually under the soil as you start harvesting the crop. So many good looking, healthy potatoes harvested - we have yet to weigh them all, but they are quite a lot! However, in this method we got a high percentage of green potatoes, which we could not consumer or take to market. This is because of the earth slipping away from the mounds in the event of heavy rainfall, exposing the potatoes to light. Remember potatoes are light sensitive, and should never be exposed to sunlight.

Update: We now grow potatoes in raised beds. You can read more about that here.

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