Hilling Potatoes

Hilling potatoes always makes me appreciate how much work a small tractor can get done in a short time.  The usual way to grow potatoes (although there are many alternative techniques) is to plant the seed pieces a couple of inches deep and then repeatedly mound or "hill" the soil up the growing plant. The reason to do this is that the tubers are formed along the stem above the seed. If they are exposed to light, they turn green and are inedible. Also, the stem has the ability to continue producing potatoes on any part in contact with the soil so continually burying it can stimulate a larger yield. If the seed were simply planted deep to begin with, the plant would expend too much energy reaching the surface, so hilling is a good solution. As an added benefit, it also prevents weeds from growing.

This would have been a back breaking amount of work to do by hand:

I'll be hilling a couple more times. Other than bug scouting, that's about it until I start checking for new potatoes, ideally in early August.