Raising Potatoes in Raised Beds

Eva Barker Beaule
by Eva Barker Beaule
I hate the backbreaking work of digging potatoes in a traditional garden. With our 4 ft. x 6 ft. x 12 in. raised beds filled with compost, it's so much easier. The following are the pictures I took in 2013. I wanted to share my "tater head" story with Hometalk to inspire others to try growing potatoes in raised bed gardens. Whether urban, suburban or in a rural environment, with a small amount of space and compost, anyone can raise their own potatoes in a raised bed.
The picture above is of my Yukon Gold Potatoes planted on Good Friday, 2013. This picture was taken before the plants bloomed. They soon bloomed and then the vines withered, and it was time to "dig" the potatoes. Here's the whole "Tater Head" story...starting with 48 seed potatoes (pictured below)
I laid the potatoes out (above). In the 4' x 6' x 12" beds, I placed 18 Yukon Gold seed potatoes in the beds. The beds are made out of hemlock which is a sustainable, rot-resistant resource. Cedar is a great choice, too, but in Southwest Virginia, hemlock is less expensive and readily availably at local sawmills. You can build your own raised beds or buy them already made at places like Sam's Club. In Mendota, Virginia we plant potatoes on Good Friday...an old Scotch-Irish tradition. New gardeners will want to check with their local garden center, feedstore or agricultural extension office to find the best planting time for their planting zone.
Four weeks after planting, the potatoes were looking fine. There were some that were smaller than others, but I left them alone.
They continued to grow. I can tell you that I was so happy each time I walked out to check on them.
I planted 48 seed potatoes in the three raised beds. The yield was four bushels. Although I did get a few potato bugs, we opted to not use any pesticides, so these potatoes were grown organically. Potatoes with rosemary, potato soup, potato salad...all with these yummy potatoes that I grew myself.
Frequently asked questions
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  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Feb 21, 2020

    How do you know when to dig the potatoes? Is the trellis system something you built and is that for the potatoes? Thanks!

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  • Ron Person Ron Person on Feb 22, 2015
    If you know someone that is replacing a deck that was 6 inch Trex I found that it makes a great raised bed and its bug proof.

  • Eva Barker Beaule Eva Barker Beaule on Feb 28, 2015
    Cool! Did you put the raised beds out last year? Did you get a lot of bounty?