Most years potatoes could and maybe even should have been planted before now, but the weather has been rainy and the garden has been soggy. That means anytime in the next week will work.

You plant potatoes by cutting up a potato that you could have eaten but didn’t. Usually people buy them from a seed company or local nursery, but it is OK to use any leftover potatoes in your root cellar.

The first step is to cut up the seed potato. If it is about a cubic inch – as are the Red Thumb potatoes we received – you can plant them whole. For larger potatoes – we have Kennebec, Adirondack Blue and the Maine-bred Caribou Russet – cut them into pieces of about a cubic inch with at least two eyes on the piece.

Some websites recommend letting the cut potatoes rest overnight before planting, and with the ground so wet that makes sense. If the soil is dry, it isn’t necessary.

Next dig a trench about four inches deep – in a waste of energy I get carried away and usually dig deeper – and plant the potato pieces eye-side-up about eight inches apart along the trench. The rows should be at least 30 inches feet apart.

When the potatoes sprout, hill up the plants until the potato plants blossom. You do this to keep potatoes away from sunlight, so they don’t turn green.

You can pull out new potatoes beginning around the Fourth of July. For the main harvest, I wait until the vines have died back.

While we will grill and boil potatoes through the summer, I’m already looking forward to the first potato-leek soup of the fall.

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