Mich. State Hort. Soc. 13: 346 (1884)

POTATOES THAT PAY

Alfred Rose of Yates county, New York, says in the New York Tribune:

I often obtain at the rate of from 400 to 600 bushels of potatoes per acre from selected seed of the best yielders. Generally four weeks before planting I cut tubers to single eyes, dust well with plaster and lime, spread on boards in the cellar and stir over often. A week before I plant I remove the seed into a warm upper room; here a strong, heavy bud starts. Now having previously ploughed my land ten inches deep, and sometimes subsoiled the same, I spread ten to twelve cords of well-rotted yard manure to the acre; harrow in thoroughly both ways; mark the rows three feet apart (thirty-three inches is enough for short growing vines), then with a one-horse plow open a furrow in each mark about seven inches deep, then grade the furrows to nearly one depth, about six inches. I now take the seed, which is well-budded, and drop two pieces of one bud each one foot apart in the rows, and cover two and a half to three inches deep. Furrows are now left open. In about ten days they will show sprouts all through. I now scatter in the furrows in and around the potatoes at the rate of 200 to 250 pounds of commercial manure to the acre, after mixing it with 150 pounds or more of plaster.

Soon as the sprouts are up three to four inches I cultivate well and fill up the furrows in and around the vines with a hoe. Potatoes will now form near the surface soil, and will get the benefit of a warm sun, and showers, if any, while the roots will be below in a moist soil. About ten days later (subject to weather) I cultivate again twice between the rows, the second time through widening out the cultivator so as to cultivate close up to the hills. I now scatter on the same amount of manure as before, this time on each side of the rows. I now hoe the soil up and around the vines, hilling up three to four inches, then hill up between the rows with a hiller set so that it will not throw the soil over on the vines. This leaves the potatoes in a trough to receive dew and rain; also it will keep the vines from falling down in the furrows; they should stand up straight to protect the soil and potatoes under the vines from the hot rays of the sun. I now dust the vines with soot and plaster, also at the first time hoeing. After this and before the vines get too large I cultivate and hill up again and pull up all weeds.