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I'm trying something new this year by planting my potatoes in hay instead of in the ground the way I usually do. I am planting my Yukon Golds a couple of months early this year and have opted to dig a couple of 3" deep trenches to place my seed potatoes in and then cover them over with a few inches of hay from last year that I left out for the deer. Since I don't want the wind blowing the hay cover away and/or the deer getting at the seed potatoes, I covered the trenches with some sheets of 6x6 GWG wire sheets.
I've never tried this before so I am keeping my fingers crossed that it works. If I start seeing some green shoots from the potato plants I will cover them with cold frames to protect them from the frost.
Has anyone tried this method of growing potatoes instead of just planting them in the ground in May?

Surfpirate 9 Mar 28
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Great idea. I did that a couple of years ago and it worked great. The hay actually kept the underlying soil from getting too soggy. I leave my pot. out through the winter and dig them when I need them.

JackPedigo Level 9 Mar 28, 2020

This is the other reason I put down the 6x6 GWG wire sheets on top of the hay and seed potatoes. The deer were on it already and I only planted the potatoes a few hours ago. That heavy wire is a real deterrent otherwise I would find most of the hay and all of the potatoes gone come the morning.

Surfpirate Level 9 Mar 28, 2020

@MissKathleen Island deer are fierce and have no fear, the one in the foreground of the pic is right beside the potato bed. I can run out and try and scare them but that one in particular will let me get within 20 feet before she will start to edge away. The landscaping supply company in town told me that they had deer resistant plants until I told them I lived on the island and then they just laughed and said nothing is resistant to island deer. 😀

@Surfpirate We have a lot of deer on our Island as well.. the one at the International bridge at Massena/Cornwall Port of entry.

@AmmaRE007 We were down your way last month on our way to the big Bike Show in Montreal, stopped in at Upper Canada Village.

@Surfpirate Upper Canada Village is a lot of fun. I would like to try the barrel potatoes this year.. I would like to try some other crops in the hay..


I have used the barrel method and deep trench method both results vary, just like normal plantings.

glennlab Level 9 Mar 28, 2020

Interesting. I never considered hay. I just planted my first potatoes ever about a month ago. My soil is way too sense, so mine are in pots. Started low in the pots and am gradually adding compost as the stalks grow. But you have me considering hay now. Maybe next year.

I was thinking I should get straw so I didn't get a bunch of hay growing up in the garden but I planted this along the edge of the main garden and I get plenty of hay, grass and weeds in that area normally. I figured it couldn't hurt and I had read online that the hay stays in place better than the straw. Time will tell.


That's looking good....

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