Planting Potatoes in Hay or Leaves

Hey guys. Sharon Peterson here. I am out in my garden getting ready to plant some more potatoes. I have already planted potatoes in my usual fashion, which is just the old fashioned plant them in the ground in trenches method. As they grow, I’m going to hill them a little bit. I don’t do a lot of major hilling. I do usually hill them at least once, maybe twice.

If you want to see how to plant potatoes in a traditional in the ground garden here is a video of how I do it.

Today I want to try planting my potatoes in some mulch. I keep reading about Ruth Stout. I keep reading about planting in hay, planting in mulch, planting in hay bales, leaves. It sounds pretty darn easy, I need to give it a try. 🙂

Planting Potatoes in Hay or Mulch

This method involves laying your potatoes on the bare ground, covering them up, and then they grow up through the covering and then you don’t have to dig. It’s a no dig potatoes method. You don’t have to dig to get your harvest.

So I’m going to give it a shot. Today I’m planting potatoes in hay and leaves. I have also planted potatoes in a traditional in the ground potato patch in another part of the garden. This way if this new to me planting in mulch method doesn’t work, we’ll be sure and get a potato harvest.

Planting Red Potatoes.

So in my other garden, what I did was I planted a Yukon gold potato. This time I am planting some red potatoes. These are smaller and so I am choosing not to cut these up into pieces. Since this is a potato experiment, I don’t have a real big area here that I want to plant. Just a small area with a few potatoes.

We are just going to put these red potatoes in the ground whole because they’re kind of small. I’m just going to put them in the ground just like they are.

So if you want to, go ahead and cut them. If you choose to cut them, you’re going to cut them so that each potato piece has an eye. Then let them air dry for three or four days to dry. Then plant them. What this drying time does is it kind of dries that cut area and which protects the potato.

You can find more details on how to cut up seed potatoes here.

The Planting Bed

In this area where I am going to plant my potatoes, you can see I’ve got leaves on the ground already. I put leaves down in a row and then covered with this weed fabric, or this woven weed cover. It’s been covered like that since last fall.

If you dig underneath these leaves, the grass is mostly killed back. It is not completely killed back, but it is definitely looking like the leaves are doing their job. They’re getting rid of that grass. Back a few more feet was an area that had been covered longer and I had bare ground under the leaves.

Black weed cover row over leaves covering part of a row with old hay covering the rest of the row.

Planting Potatoes on Top of the Dirt and Covering with Hay and Leaves.

So I’m going to start planting where there’s dirt uncovered. Planting is just going to be; put the potato on the ground and cover it up with some leaves. And repeat with the next potato.

Put the potato on the ground and then cover it up with some leaves. Repeat.

I worked my way down just along in this area. Then I have some extra hay that I’m going to go ahead and throw on top and cover the whole thing.

That’s all I’m going to do. My potatoes are planted.

  • They’re just on top of the bare soil.
  • They’ve got leaves over the top.
  • I put another little layer of hay on the top.

As those potatoes grow through, I’ll go ahead and hill it most likely with more hay, maybe with more leaves. It just depends on what I have on hand at the time. I don’t have a lot of this old hay available, but I have tons of leaves. So we’ll just have to see what I have available when the time comes to cover up the growing potato plant.

Old hay covering a row in the garden.

I am looking forward to seeing if this works, because that was super easy. If the harvest is as easy as that, then I’m going to like it for sure.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve had luck with this method in your gardens.

And if you want to learn more about how to grow potatoes check this page for information from planting to harvest.

So hope you guys have a great day.

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How to Grow Potatoes in Your Garden. Everything you wanted to know about growing your own potatoes. What methods should you choose? Grow potatoes step by step!

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Pinterest image with a close up of hand holding red potato with the eyes beginning to grow and lower portion showing the weed fabric covering the row, title says Planting Potatoes in hay or leaves.

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One Comment

  1. Hay or leaf planting works superlatively between raised beds. It will deprive you of one walkway but will give you a great crop. If you are fallowing some beds, try this.

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