How do I "hill" my potato plants?

Maynard, MA

Hi Everyone,

This is my first year growing potatoes. I used organic seed potatoes (yellow finns) and they are growing gangbusters. After reading about how to grow them in the Vegetable Gardener's Bible, I decided to plant most of them in holes that I would later fill in, thinking it would be easier for me than traditional hills on top of the bed. However, I didn't realize that the foliage would be so large and abundant. Am I really supposed to cover all that greenery with loam??? I think the books say that when the plants are about 1 foot tall, cover them up so that only about 3" of foliage shows. I feel strange burying a plant's leaves. Is this really the right thing to do or have I misunderstood?

-Shayna, the potato newbie

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

You can use dirt, compost, leaves, or straw to pile up the stalk. Leave the top leaves showing.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Do what Stephanie suggested. That's the way my father used to do it.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Yep! That's hilling!

Maynard, MA


Here I go...

Harwinton, CT

We've been planting potatoes for years and we never cover up the leaves, just hill dirt up over the root area where the spuds are developing. We always get a good crop up here in CT.

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