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POTATOES UNDER STRAW/LEAVES #5

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

We came from here! PART #4 http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1092018/#new

This thread follows our efforts to grow Potatoes under Straw/Leaves, and in various types of growing vessels from tires, to washing machine tubs, to raised beds, etc.

Please read through the previous 4 threads to catch up to the season, which is underway in the southern states!

Godspeed, and Good Harvest! ^^_^^

This message was edited Apr 6, 2011 1:50 PM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you! Here are more shots of my taters right now. I've noticed that the leaves are different on my Purple Vikings than on the Red Norlands.

Thumbnail by stephanietx
Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

LOL! I did not know about this link.. so I guess there is this page and the new!

2011 - Tater Time

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1170717/

Berne, IN

When I have grown potatoes under straw the Colorado potato beetle did not touch a leaf!!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I didn't see any Colorado potato beetles on my potato leaves last year when I tried growing them in a half wine barrel in leaves, either. But I didn't get any potatoes growing above the level of the soil I put in as my base.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

my potatoes are growing in my compost bin this year ... and never look so good !!

Thumbnail by drthor
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I have some of those, too!

Thumbnail by stephanietx
Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

I need more feed sacks!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

That's a good problem to have!

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

well, we got 4/10ths rain today.. much much much needed and praying for more...

no sings of tater life.. but its waaaay to early.

We have not had any beetles in this tater patch for years.. biggest problem is timely rain and potential of flooding too long.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

It took mine about a week to come up, but we'd pre-sprouted them.

Lombard, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi Gymgirl-

I was just reading an article about this last night-

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/7-ways-plant-potatoes

Hope it works out for you!

League City, TX(Zone 9a)

I have some Purple somethin' or anothers (from Lowe's) growing right now in a 15gal smart pot. It is not a big crop so I am thinking about planting more potatoes but is it too late for my zone? We plant on Feb. 14th in our area so it would seem so.

Still, I see lots of seed potato for sale at the BB stores and the local Farmer's Markets as well. Let the buyer beware??

I will be at the local FM tomorrow and one vendor has Yulon Gold (71-80 days), Purple Viking (81-90/ 91-100 days), Viking Red (100-110 days?), and Red Lasoda (91-100/ 101-110 days). The dates are per the PlantFiles. Anyway, I know it gets hot here so what is the risk if the tubers are underground?

Thanks for any advice.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

You could always try it and grow them in the shade or partial shade. I would think as long as they stayed relatively cool-ish you'd be okay.

Greeley, CO(Zone 5b)

John,
How many seed potatoes do you put in your 15 gal pots?

League City, TX(Zone 9a)

Good idea Stephanie. My local FM did not have them today, by chance, so I may or may not experiment at this point.

Onyx- I can't recall exactly how my seed potatoes I used. I would say about 7 - 8, though.

League City, TX(Zone 9a)

My potatoes...they might be packed in a little tight so we'll see how they turn out.

Thumbnail by JohnCrichton75
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

They're looking good!

I harvested my compost pile volunteer taters today because they were in the way. LOL Here's my little harvest!

Thumbnail by stephanietx
Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

stephanietx,
congrats on your potatoes. When did you plant them?

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Who knows! They volunteered in my compost pile! LOL

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Doncha just love them volunteer veggies! Im lookign for my volunteers in the cherry mater department and today I found a pot with a bunch of green pepper seed in it.. fingers crossed maybe I will get a pile to germ.

Greeley, CO(Zone 5b)

Thanks John. I just thought I could plant one per container. Wow, what a waste that would have been.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

Ha ha ha - I may have some taters to brag about after all... Discovered several growing in the compost pile today;o)

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Kelly!
Where've you been, girl???!!!

John,
That 15-gallon SmPot looks about right. I only did 4 in my bags last season, and wish I had planted about 6-8. Also, regarding missing the February 14th window, I'm so far out of potato planting compliance, it's outrageous! Ya'll know those spuds I ordered back in January? Well, they're still sitting on a plate under napkins, SPROUTED, dormant (I guess), waiting for me to put them into some dirt!

I'm not feeling too bad about it, 'cause after my research with the Potato Farm folks who explained about why we weren't getting the boutiful harvests in all those hills we made, I placed a second order (received and sprouting those) for LONG-SEASON (100+ dtm) potatoes to go out at the end of next month. So, expect another experiment in progress real soon.

John, I'm gonna try to keep my spuds content through the heat of the summer, probably by putting the container over in some shade as was suggested to you. The variety I got doesn't break dormancy for a long time, so that'll help too, if they don't decide to "come alive" until August or September. Then, they should take off! Hopefully they'll do their thing before any real freezes in November, and I can harvest by mid-November. We'll see.

Steph,
That's a pretty sneaky way to get a harvest of potatoes! But, I am totally stoked for you that it works! Those are beauties!

Blossombuddy,
This potato growing thread is in cycle #4, and has been going around since it started waaaaaaaay back before last year. There's really good info on the other threads (the links are included above), and many, many questions, tips, tricks, how to's, do's and don'ts are imbedded in those conversations.

I don't know how much conversation has started already on the thread you started, but the admins will be happy to remove it so folks can come find us over here. That way, there'd be less redundancy. Or, you could point them to this thread and they can catch up here (Just a gentle suggestion, and you're free to ignore it, and me!) I'm easy!

^^_^^

Linda


This message was edited Apr 14, 2011 12:13 PM

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I've got three half-barrels that I'm going to use for my potatoes this year, but I'm still not sure what to add to them once they start growing stalks. I guess I need to check their DTM, too...

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Hey Greenhouse_gal!
I don't think any of us added any fertilizer to the spuds! They just did their own thing. Too much nitrogen and you get beautiful leaves and very little spud. Just a general application of some organic at initial planting, then keep them moderately watered throughout the growing season, and keep hilling up around the stem(s).

Thas' about it!

^^_^^

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I will occasionally spray them with compost tea and fish emulsion when I'm doing my foliar feeding on all my veggies. That's all the fertilizing they get.

Here's my first potato bed. Ready for more hilling!

Thumbnail by stephanietx
League City, TX(Zone 9a)

Yeah, that was what I found most confusing of all when I first started researching how to grow potatoes. It seemed like every source I read said just to work-in good compost into the soil and then plant. That's it. No bone meal or any other fertilizers.

I thought maybe the potato seeds would need that "something extra" to grow more potatoes, you know? But I suppose not. Guess they get everything they need from the potato seed tuber + the compost. Oh, and plent of water.

Your potato bed looks fantastic, Stephanie. So you continue to hill? That's a lot of foliage, I guess you just have to do it carefully, huh?

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

When do you stop hilling the potato plants?

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, it takes both me and the husband to hill without breaking the tops off. We'll continue to hill until we don't feel like hilling anymore. LOL (We're very lackadaisical gardeners!)

Here's the 2nd bed, planted about a week -10 days after the first one with taters that had much more pre-growth. It's time to start hilling these. We use a mixture of compost and dirt to hill.

Thumbnail by stephanietx
Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

"We'll continue to hill until we don't feel like hilling anymore"

what do you mean?
do I stop to hill the potatoes when I see the flowers? or I keep bury them?

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Actually, I meant what material do you use to hill them. Last year I used leaves and I didn't think that did very well although it might have been a shorter season type of potato. Some websites talk about using sawdust, too. I was thinking maybe shredded leaves this time.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Last year, we used leaves then straw. Only had potatoes in the dirt layer. No potatoes in the leaves.

This year, we're using a combination of compost & dirt from our garden (already amended from previous years plantings) to hill. We probably will only get taters from the original dirt layer again.

I think the secret to getting potatoes as you hill is in growing longer DTM potatoes. In Texas, that's not always possible due to the heat of the late spring/early summer. Now, if you plant in the fall, you can probably use a potato with a longer DTM.

Drthor--I think once the flowers appear you can stop hilling.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks. I hope I will have some potatoes !

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I had a conversation with Ronniger Potato Farms about why we got no potatoes past the initial layer of seed potatoes. I was told the short season potato varieties we, in the South, generally plant, will onLy produce in the one layer.

To get that underground "tree" of spuds takes planting long-season varieties which Grow at least 100+ days. So, I'm gonna push the envelope. I ordered a long-season varIety (Carola?) that takes its time breaking dormancy. I'm rooting it for plantout @ the end of May. If it doesn't break Dormancy until late July or early Aug, I think I'll be home free.

As long as I can keep it happy thru June & July, I think I'll have a chance @ a bountiful harvest.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I checked and one of my potato varieties is "long," whatever that means, and the other is "medium to long." So I may be all right. What are you going to use to fill up your barrels or containers?

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

LINDA SAID ->>>

Blossombuddy,
This potato growing thread is in cycle #4, and has been going around since it started waaaaaaaay back before last year. There's really good info on the other threads (the links are included above), and many, many questions, tips, tricks, how to's, do's and don'ts are imbedded in those conversations.

I don't know how much conversation has started already on the thread you started, but the admins will be happy to remove it so folks can come find us over here. That way, there'd be less redundancy. Or, you could point them to this thread and they can catch up here (Just a gentle suggestion, and you're free to ignore it, and me!) I'm easy!

^^

Linda

_______


Um, I think we linked it back and forth... sorry dint know this thread was hopping when I started it..

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

GREAT! Have them come over and join us!

Symsonia, KY(Zone 6b)

I have learned soooo much reading this thread, tysm. This will be the third year for me growing potatoes. I do grow them in straw. They are so tasty! I bought a bag of assorted fingerlings that are sprouting now, so naturally I'm gonna plant them lol.

Stephanie, I opened up my compost bin the other day and there are some good size potato plants in there!! So funny. My potato garden is getting bigger and bigger.

Potatoes are the easiest thing ever for me to grow. And I only had ONE potato bug last year. WOW. I thought they would be eat up with bugs but nope. :D

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

As usual, Pandora has started something (smile) by setting the bar high on potato production, and with only ONE potato bug.

I guess we better get with it!

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