Kennebec potatoes though not suitable for commercial farming are still loved by gardeners who love to grow their own potatoes. This potato is making such an impact in the culinary world of potato use. Finer restaurants are switching to Kennebec potatoes for many kinds of dishes and for a variety of reasons. Kennebec is a large potato that has a light tan skin of a uniform appearance. It does not have as many ‘eyes’ as many other potatoes and has a fleshy white inside. The skin is so thin and peels off fast, though you can cook it unpeeled. It has a nice oval shape that is attractive on the plate, unlike others that come in an irregular shape.
Kennebec is an easy growing potato type that produces a high yield of potatoes. It resists blight and other diseases during its growing time. It can also last long enough when stored well.
Let’s Learn How to Grow Kennebec Potatoes
Potatoes are easy to grow, but it is important to follow some steps in order to get the best out of your hard work. Here are a few steps to observe when growing these potatoes.
Sprouting. If you want to grow this type of potato, start by sprouting the seeds. This process of sprouting is called chitting. You will need to have sprouted Kennebec potato seeds for planting. Chitting helps you know which eyes have sprouted and which ones have not.
Cutting potato seeds. If your potato seeds are small to medium-sized, plant the whole potato. But if they are a large size, cut them in half or quarter them. Each cut section should have at least one or two ‘growth eyes’. After cutting, allow the surface callus before planting them.
Preparing the Land for Planting
Soil preparation. Kennebec potatoes grow in average soil so sol preparation is very critical. Add some compost or peat moss if available, either of these is very beneficial. Avoid using lime or fresh manure as it tends to cause scabs on the potatoes. You may add some fertilizer either 10-20-20 or 5-10-10 which is highly beneficial. Mix the fertilizer well before planting. Make planting rows with a depth of 10 to 12 inches. You are now ready to plant.
Planting. The best time to plant Kennebec potatoes is during spring. Select a sunny location and get it ready. Make sure the soil is well aerated and properly tilled. Prepare the planting rows to a depth of 10 to 12 inches. Place each sprouted potato seed in the rows prepared 4 to 6 inches deep. Cover them properly with soil and wait for them to start growing.
Read more about How Far Apart to Plant Potatoes
Spacing. If you have lots of space in our garden, you can space out the potato seeds a foot apart in rows. The rows can be spaced 2 to 3 feet apart to create enough room for hilling and growing.
Hilling. During planting, cover the potato seeds with about an inch of soil. As the potato plants grow, pull in extra soil to make sure the tubers are well covered throughout the growing season.
Watering. Water your potato plants to provide them with enough water during the growing period. Be sure not to wash the soil covering the tubers away. Irregular watering produces knobby potatoes or irregularly shaped potatoes. Overwatering produces black or hollow centers in potatoes. The proper way to water potatoes is to do it once or twice a week during the warmer summer weather.
Harvesting Ready Kennebec Potatoes
Harvesting. You can harvest the new young potatoes when the potatoes begin to flower or wait till they mature. You will know they are mature when the vines turn yellow or have died. When you harvest them fully matured, you will be able to store them for longer.
Storage. Make sure the potatoes are free from soil and keep them in the dark at about 40 degrees temperature.
Why Grow Kennebec Potatoes?
One of the bonuses of growing your own potatoes is because you can eat them when you want. You can choose to eat the young new potatoes with peas and gravy which is a popular delicacy. Or you can allow them to reach maturity, harvest, and store them for use throughout the winter.
After all the hard work of growing the Kennebec potatoes, go ahead and enjoy a plateful of fresh fries. You will notice the difference between these potatoes and the others. You can cook your potatoes in a different way and store them as long as you would like. Then, you will not only enjoy growing this staple food but enjoy eating them as well. What a wonderful potato journey. With this knowledge here, go start your own Kennebec potato farm!