Daniel Roy Greenfeld

Daniel Roy Greenfeld

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Growing Potatoes in Southern California

Southern California is known for its mediterranean-style climate. That means a few chilly months with lots of rain and then months of hot, dry days. This isn't the best climate to grow potatoes. Yet after 18 months of research and experimentation we've finally made it work.

Look, we grew these!

Harvest from July 3rd, 2021

Here's what we've learned:

Growing

  • Plant in the right season: January
  • Pick in the right season: June or July
  • Seed potatoes do best, but have to be ordered online
  • Pick fun varieties like Kennebec (used with In-and-Out fries)
  • Old store-bought potatoes with growing eyes can also work
  • Planting whole potatoes works better than cutting them
  • Use above-ground potato pots to avoid gophers
  • Keep potato pots to a manageable size for moving around to optimize shade and sunlight
  • Potatoes can grow in compost, but add some dirt from fertile soil. Even if just to the top after planting. This adds worms and promotes mycellial growth. Both help the proliferation of tubers
  • SoCal is hot. Arrange them so around 50% of the day the are in shade
  • Need watering daily, preferably by drip to keep usage down

Harvesting

  • Turn the pots over and break up the soil with your hands
  • The original seed potato is inedible, either replant for a next growing attempt, or toss in your compost system
  • Toss the mushy ones into your compost system
  • Toss anything smaller than a marble into your compost system
  • Brush off the growing medium, don't wash with water unless you plan to eat them quickly!

Eating

  • Taste best right after harvesting
  • Cook to your favorite recipe
  • Within 8-12 hours they will begin to lose that freshness
  • Within 24-36 hours they taste exactly like what you buy in the store

Tags: gardening recipe