Fall-planted Potatoes in Zone 5
After many years of finding a few hardy, vigorous, and productive volunteer potato plants popping up in the beds from which I tried to dig all of the tubers the year before, I have decided that this year I am going to plant a small experimental bed late in the fall in hopes of some extra-early potatoes to go with my peas come spring. I'll put 'em a few inches into the soil and mulch heavily with chopped leaves.
Has anyone else tried this? I know I may have a problem with field mice or similar critters since I am in a rural area, but at least some of those other tubers have survived, sooo...I could go to the trouble of lining the bed with hardware cloth, but that is a bit too much work to my way of thinking, not to mention that that stuff's too pricey for the quantity necessary. Thoughts, anyone?
BTW, my potatoes last year and this were started from the (relatively) new potato seed, not sets or tubers, and they did very well, indeed. Several cultivars are available from Harris and Nichols, and MUCH cheaper than sets. Of course, they do take more time and effort since they are started indoors early, but I have a nice set-up with lights in the basement so it was worth it for me. CK