This is my first year trying to grow potatoes. Since our soil is clay I tried the method of hilling them in straw - but I had no success. Can someone tell me what I did wrong before I never try this method again? Below is what I did:
The potatoes were planted a month late due to insane amounts of rain this spring, couldn’t get into the garden. They were already sprouted several inches long before planting. I buried the tuber just under the soil and left the sprout above ground, then mounded with lots of straw and did this 3-4x over the summer until the plant was almost entirely buried.
I thought potatoes grew up the stem? Zero of my plants grew any potatoes up the stem, basically all of that straw was useless. I found maybe 2 baby potatoes per plant right at the soil surface, the only place that had any potatoes growing.
I had a mix of varieties, the German butterball performed the best but that could either be the variety or because this one variety had the smallest sprouts before planting (some of the others had gotten pretty long - most of these never grew above the straw and died).
Any idea what went wrong?