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Vegetable Gardening: POTATOES UNDER STRAW/LEAVES #5

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Gymgirl

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

April 6, 2011
12:44 PM

Post #8476270

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

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stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 6, 2011
4:24 PM

Post #8476704

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.

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 6, 2011
6:58 PM

Post #8477135

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/
Organic_Joe
Berne, IN

April 6, 2011
8:29 PM

Post #8477366

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

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 7, 2011
4:02 AM

Post #8477626

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.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 7, 2011
9:31 AM

Post #8478329

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

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stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 7, 2011
12:19 PM

Post #8478606

I have some of those, too!

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 7, 2011
12:26 PM

Post #8478618

I need more feed sacks!
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 7, 2011
12:47 PM

Post #8478642

That's a good problem to have!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2011
6:47 AM

Post #8480219

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.
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 8, 2011
6:48 AM

Post #8480220

It took mine about a week to come up, but we'd pre-sprouted them.
weasel71
Lombard, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2011
6:53 AM

Post #8480233

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!
JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 8, 2011
10:46 AM

Post #8480627

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.

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 8, 2011
11:05 AM

Post #8480659

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.
onyxwar
Greeley, CO
(Zone 5b)

April 9, 2011
3:44 PM

Post #8483437

John,
How many seed potatoes do you put in your 15 gal pots?
JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 9, 2011
4:40 PM

Post #8483548

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.
JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 10, 2011
5:48 PM

Post #8486003

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

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stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2011
5:54 PM

Post #8486020

They're looking good!

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

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drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2011
5:57 PM

Post #8486027

stephanietx,
congrats on your potatoes. When did you plant them?
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2011
6:01 PM

Post #8486038

Who knows! They volunteered in my compost pile! LOL
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 10, 2011
6:44 PM

Post #8486171

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.
onyxwar
Greeley, CO
(Zone 5b)

April 12, 2011
7:30 PM

Post #8491541

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

locakelly

locakelly
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9a)

April 12, 2011
8:23 PM

Post #8491671

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

Gymgirl

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

April 14, 2011
10:50 AM

Post #8495221

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

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 14, 2011
12:54 PM

Post #8495482

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...

Gymgirl

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

April 14, 2011
1:23 PM

Post #8495564

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!

^:-)^
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2011
1:35 PM

Post #8495592

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!

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JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 14, 2011
2:56 PM

Post #8495759

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?

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2011
3:07 PM

Post #8495782

When do you stop hilling the potato plants?
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2011
3:10 PM

Post #8495791

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.

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drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2011
3:14 PM

Post #8495796

"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?

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 14, 2011
3:48 PM

Post #8495842

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.
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2011
4:04 PM

Post #8495886

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.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2011
5:33 PM

Post #8496065

Thanks. I hope I will have some potatoes !

Gymgirl

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

April 14, 2011
9:11 PM

Post #8496744

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.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 15, 2011
4:53 AM

Post #8497011

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?
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 15, 2011
6:08 AM

Post #8497155

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..

Gymgirl

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

April 15, 2011
10:43 AM

Post #8497779

GREAT! Have them come over and join us!
pandora125
Symsonia, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 18, 2011
7:36 AM

Post #8503725

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

Gymgirl

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

April 18, 2011
10:40 AM

Post #8504066

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!
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 18, 2011
10:47 AM

Post #8504090

Last year, I had a problem with ants in the container where I was growing my taters. Those buggers ate through several stems before I got them under control. I don't remember any potato beetles, thank goodness! This year, I've had to contend with hail and high winds. So far, so good!!

Gymgirl

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

April 18, 2011
10:51 AM

Post #8504104

Steph,
That wind is giving me a fit. We're having upwards of 20mph today, too. Best thing I can say about it is it might actually be blowing the pollen around. I sure haven't seen a lot of bee activity...

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 18, 2011
11:12 AM

Post #8504150

Okay, so I got three pounds each of La Ratte and Rose Finn fingerlings and put them in five half barrels. I couldn't fit them all in so we may just eat the rest, since they're organic. They are in about six inches of topsoil and compost. When the tops start showing, I'm not sure what to add to them. Last year I used leaves but didn't get anything except at the lowest level. These are both mid to long maturity, so do you think I can use leaves again with better luck? We can shred the leaves and we do have plenty of them...I'd rather not do soil because we don't have a good source except to dig holes in our garden, and then you're left with dirty potatoes again!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 18, 2011
1:38 PM

Post #8504384

Well, my row cropped taters have sprouted. Have not checked the ones in the sacks yet..

Gymgirl

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

April 18, 2011
7:30 PM

Post #8505195

Gal,
I'd go ahead and shred and use the the leaves, especially since we now know it wasn't the covering that affected the yield, so much as it was the type of potato being grown.

But, before you go shredding, check in with Farmerdill or Horseshoe regarding using oak leaves. I vaguely recall a caution against using oak leaves on something or other!

Linda

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2011
3:39 AM

Post #8505722

Linda, thanks for the tip. I'll check into that!

Leslie
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 19, 2011
6:26 AM

Post #8506017

here are the potato sacks! We just took feed sacks and cut both ends open and folded them down. As the taters get goign we will rol the sleeves up and add more manure or dirt. We put the yukons inthe sacks and did kennebecs and pontiacs row cropped next to them.. we shall see how this goes. Right now the row croppers are sprouting adn we have temps in the 30's and rain. Hope it does not get much colder.

Thumbnail by BLOSSOMBUDDY
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stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2011
8:07 AM

Post #8506217

I am growing Rio Grande Russets, which is a longer DTM potato. I think it's something like 100 days, so we'll definitely hill those and see what we get!
LiseP
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 19, 2011
9:53 AM

Post #8506475

Not to be a downer, but my potatoes have grown terribly. Everything looked great -- or at least good and green -- until about a week ago. Foliage turned yellow, then brown, then chewed and non-existent. I dug up what had grown so far, and pretty much just got back the same amount of potatoes that I planted. Or less. Some plants seem to have disappeared completely and never produced anything. Of those that were left, each stalk seemed to produce one or maybe two small potatoes, although I did see a half dozen or some tiny (half a pea) sized potatoes sprouting from the base of one, so presumably I would have had several potatoes coming out if the stalk had not pretty much disintegrated.

So what happened? Like Stephanie's experience, I'm thinking ants. I know that one of the hills of potatoes was pretty much overrun by an ant hill, and I believe ants crawled up the drainage holes in the bottoms of my dog food bags, which was where the other potatoes were that died. Of course it could be something else, but I wouldn't know what. Haven't seen anything else, although some of the stalk did look squishy like I over-watered, although I tried to be pretty careful about that.

I do still have a couple plants left. One batch is in another hill but it's looking less good with each passing day -- more ants, I think. The only potatoes that seem to be surviving are those that I planted in a large pot -- the self-watering kind that doesn't have a drainage hole in the bottom. I guess creepy crawlies can't get in there.

Oh well! Lesson learned!
JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 19, 2011
11:06 AM

Post #8506606

I had ants invade my potato patch last spring and they damaged some of the stalks and some of the seed potatoes as well. I hilled with grass clippings, leaves and shredded newspapers and the ants *loved* it, especially when it rained.

I will make it a point to drive them out this time around. I will move my pot around to make sure they are not tunneling into my smart pot from underneath, plus disturb the top layers of soil to see if they are present. I bought an organic fire ant killer which contains spinosad and I will use it if I see them.

I used this fire ant killer once last weekend when the ants invaded my raised beds and it worked. Seems to be an effective bait.

This message was edited Apr 19, 2011 12:07 PM
JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 19, 2011
11:14 AM

Post #8506613

But I can see how spreading fire ant bait on top of straw can pose a challenge...

Gymgirl

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

April 19, 2011
11:25 AM

Post #8506628

I'm still laughing over the news report a week ago. Seems like a woman got zealous with the fertilizer in her garden, and it spontaneously BURST INTO FLAMES! Good thing she was home when her garden set itself on fire!

Ya'll be careful out there, yah hear?

ROTFLMBOLOL! ^:-)^
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 19, 2011
2:14 PM

Post #8506900

LiseP...bummer





Flames.. did you say flames? Oh my, do tell the URL to that story that ought to be a hit!

Thumbnail by BLOSSOMBUDDY
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Gymgirl

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

April 19, 2011
3:25 PM

Post #8507023

I'll try to find it and post it here!

http://www.khou.com/home/Houston-woman-says-flower-bed-spontaneously-combusted.html ^:-)^

This message was edited Apr 19, 2011 4:31 PM

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2011
3:53 PM

Post #8507097

Here how my potatoes growing in my compost bin are looking.
Do I need to bury them more?

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2011
5:07 PM

Post #8507279

Do you know what kind they are?

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2011
5:33 PM

Post #8507327

Some from the grocery store, some Yokon Gold and others I forgot (I bought them at NHG)
pandora125
Symsonia, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 20, 2011
11:38 AM

Post #8509012

LOL Gymgirl! I may have had only one tater bug but the squash bugs made up for it
JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 25, 2011
10:51 AM

Post #8519284

Well, I was humming right along and now the wheels are starting to fall off. My potatoes had some yellow leaves appear on the bottom of the stems one day last week. They just appeared out of nowhere, and when I went to feel the yellow leaves the whole stem just came out of the soil. I had this happen to about 6 or 7 stems. Not sure if this was a pest or a disease but I would be inclined to say disease. I saw no ants, and the stem did not appear eaten to me.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 25, 2011
11:16 AM

Post #8519341

Can you show us pix of your yellow leaves
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 25, 2011
2:21 PM

Post #8519714

Have the plants reached their maturity days yet?
LiseP
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2011
11:11 AM

Post #8521780

I feel your pain. Potatoes have not survived under my hand this year - at least not many. A couple plants are still hanging in there - we'll see -- but the rest pretty much disintegrated. Still not sure what the problem is/was.

It's too late to be of much immediate use, but I ran across this article on growing potatoes in Texas, so will share it here. Maybe we can glean some lessons from it for next year?
http://www.texasgardener.com/Newsletters/071226/

Gymgirl

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

April 27, 2011
4:12 PM

Post #8524795

Ok, I'm pushing the potato envelope.

TODAY, yes, to-day, I planted out my 1st wave of potatoes: Kennebecs, Yukon Golds, Purple Vikings, and an organic Sweet Potato purchased @ the local Whole Foods Store.

The cut potato pieces have been sitting on paper plates under paper towels for 2 months (ok, it's a VERY big envelope...). The sweeties are relatively fresh.

Anyway, I had a 25-gallon tub filled with decomp leaves, some dumped potting mix, and veggie garden blend soil, so I figured, "oh well," and did my thing. Oh, and since the leaves were kinda clumpy and damp, I added a bucketful of the too-large-for-my-eBucket-mix pine bark pieces that I had sifted out. This helped to aerate and lighten up the mixture.

I planted the pieces in 10-gallon containers and will work to keep the plants cool as possible in the next 90 days.

I'll post progress notes as the season moves along!

Linda
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 27, 2011
5:53 PM

Post #8525013

Good luck Linda, especially with that part "cool" in Texas!

We are wvery wet right now. Been raining almost all week..7 inches my guess, maybe more, i forgot to keep track, but no matter. My row croppers are doing ok.. but have not checked the sacks. maybe tomorrow I will take a peak.
Been busy with dahlias, marigolds and zinnias ant the rest of the things going here onthe ranch.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2011
6:35 PM

Post #8525112

"to-day, I planted out my 1st wave of potatoes: Kennebecs, Yukon Golds, Purple Vikings, and an organic Sweet Potato purchased @ the local Whole Foods Store. "

Linda, is there an "Irish" potato by the name "Sweet Potato" or are you referring to a sweetpotato? If so those aren't grown from pieces but are grown from slips grown then taken from the potato. Just to let you know what to expect.

Shoe, happily rolling along with taters that declared in only ten days. Yay!

Gymgirl

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

April 27, 2011
7:01 PM

Post #8525194

Uh, yes, that would be Sweet Potato plants amongst the mix of the Irish.

And, yes, there were slips planted, as well as two whole sweeties that had started to sprout "slips," which I didn't separate from the plant.

I figured I need to up the odds to get these plants thru Dante's Inferno without so much as the smell of smoke on them.

As it is, the weather is already considering cooperating with this plan. We'll wake up in the mid-50s for the next 3 mornings, and highs will only be in the 80s. Plus, we have a 40% chance of rain Sun-Mon. So, I only have 86 days to go!

Those of you who pray, remember me, please...
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 27, 2011
8:13 PM

Post #8525336

My Rio Grande Russets have started flowering.

Thumbnail by stephanietx
Click the image for an enlarged view.

BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 28, 2011
6:14 AM

Post #8525861

Could not get sweet potatoes here local..

we are so wet.. I need to "wade" ouit to the tater patch to check the sacks!
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

April 28, 2011
6:41 AM

Post #8525968

Wow...getting pounded by rains, thunder/lightning, and tornado watches here. I guess we're getting the storms that have been hitting all those states south and west of us, again.

My spuds are up and fortunately planted in an area of good drainage this year. Blossom Buddy, I hear ya on the flooding; hope your taters won't drown. I wonder if you can close the tops of the bags a little to keep excessive rain out...

Linda, your sweetpotato will love Dante's inferno. Guess you have a "this or that" situation, trying to keep the Irish spuds cool but yet wishing for heat for the other, eh? I bet you'll have success though. Last year was the highest recorded/longest period of time in years here and when I finally got around to digging spuds they were just fine. What a treasure.

Off to stare into the sky...
Shoe

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 28, 2011
6:56 AM

Post #8525992

Stephanie TX if the potatoes are flowering, does it mean they are ready?
Do I need to pull them out?
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

April 28, 2011
7:08 AM

Post #8526017

I got out and waded in and took some pox.. will post them ASAP.. I am behnid now and have to get out and get my hands dirty.. but yuppers the little spuds are 2 inches tall on the row croppers .. the sacks on the other hand are o signs of sprouts yeet, but they were put in later!@

Ok taters, later!

Catch ya when I have more time.. I have to hit my dahlias, sins, maters, marigolds and got tons of gardenng to do inspite of the flooding!

And YEAH the sun is up.

So meanwhile back at the ranch.. we are off and finally getting into gear and gardening!

Folks, if you can, and if you have room, get out and plant those extra rows for those that need! Texas, Arkansas, TN, NC... we got work to do.

Gymgirl

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

April 28, 2011
8:27 AM

Post #8526134

Steph,
It won't be long now!

Drthor,
When the potatoes start flowering, it means the spuds below ground have started to produce. The vine essentially has stopped growing and is concentrating its energy to the potatoes. Once the vines start turning brown, or wilting, or generally looking like they're dying back, the potato production has been completed, and you can start to harvest.

Actually, you can feel around carefully now for smaller, new potatoes. Otherwise, wait til the vines start to keel over, and the potatoes have reach full size.

Also, you can leave the potatoes underground, long as you're diligent to watch out for excess moisture that will cause rotting, and/or any underground varmints that decide they wanna start messing with your veggies -- and ants that will eat them, too. Our summer was so hot and dry last year, I left my spuds in the ground for 150 days. I figured I had enough air circulation to keep them cool enough, since I grew them in old washing maching tubs, hilled up with leaves. I had great drainage!

When I finally dumped the tubs, I had only one potato lost to the beginning of some rotting. The rest were beautiful and CLEAN!

Linda

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stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 28, 2011
8:51 AM

Post #8526168

What's funny about these potatoes is that they are my longest DTM potatoes. They're supposed to be 100 days or something like that. My others that I planted are shorter DTM varieties and while they have flower buds, none have opened up. The flowers remind me a lot of tomato flowers.

Gymgirl

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

April 28, 2011
8:55 AM

Post #8526172

Oh, and remember that not always will you even get flowers. My plants made about 3 fuzzy buds, but I never got flowers on a single vine...

I relied more on counting the (projected) days to maturity.

This message was edited Apr 28, 2011 10:55 AM

Gymgirl

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

May 10, 2011
7:37 AM

Post #8551942

IT'S TIME FOR MY REPORT!!!!

Ya'll remember that I cut up my sprouted seed potatoes 2 months before I finally was able to plant them out? The pieces sat on paper plates inside, wrapped in paper towels to keep buggies from laying eggs on em or doing just ugly stuff.

Well, I planted those pieces out on April 28th in my molasses tubs. There was only ONE piece that had totally rotted through, and the rest had sprouts thick as a straw!
Didn't know if they'd grow or not. Well...

Here are the Kennebecs...

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Gymgirl

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

May 10, 2011
7:37 AM

Post #8551946

And the Yukon Golds...

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Gymgirl

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

May 10, 2011
7:38 AM

Post #8551948

The Purple Vikings (a very pretty little vine...)...

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Gymgirl

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

May 10, 2011
7:39 AM

Post #8551951

and, the organic Sweet Potato slips.

Please tell me how to grow sweeties. Do I hill them up the same as the Irish Potatoes?

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Gymgirl

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

May 10, 2011
7:43 AM

Post #8551962

Finally, as ya'll may know, I intend to push the envelope by growing some late-season Carelas and Nicolas. They are still in the delivery box and, hopefully, have started sprouting already. The targeted plantout date will be the end of May. Since they have a long dormancy period before they take off, I'm praying they won't do so until around the beginning of August.

By then, I'll have a better chance of keeping them cool enough so they can start making the fruits into the cooler weather.

I'll keep posting progress pictures, so stay tuned!

Linda
JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

May 10, 2011
9:28 AM

Post #8552178

Very nice! I agree that the purple potatoes produce attractive plants.

RE: sweets, I do not think it is necessary to hill. The vines will grow like crazy depending on bush vs. non-bush. However, you need to make sure the dirt is well tilled and loose so the sweet potatoes can grow easily. Watering is key. I did not water as often as I should have last spring and my sweets were long and thin. Mix in plenty of compost. They will grow in bunches at the root of the slip, down and out at 45 deg angles.

Also, have you harvested any potatoes from your February/ March crop?
bjwilson
Kemp, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 10, 2011
12:59 PM

Post #8552619

I just found this thread and had to add my two cents. I grow my little red potatoes in a large tub. I harvested my potatoes the other day and replanted the same tub, using the same soil with bush beans. I do this every year, and get bumper crops of both beans and potatoes.
I plant my seed potatoes in the bucket in February. I plant them a bit closer than all the instructions I find say to... about 6" apart. I got about a bushel of potatoes this time, ranging from 2" to 3" in diameter. Perfect for boiling.
The day I harvest potatoes, I start my bush beans in the little plastic 6 pack trays you get annuals in at the garden center. Add a little compost to the soil from the potatoes, and clean my bucket. Just as the seedlings peep through, I plant them in the holes in the side of the bucket. Only takes about a week from setting the seeds to planting the bucket.
I plant this way for two reasons.
1. I plant potatoes in this same bucket, and the same soil. The beans replenish the nutrients and clean up any bad bacteria the potatoes leave behind, so I can reuse the soil again and again. I grew potatoes in the bucket in the early spring... just harvested them, and will grow bush beans in the same bucket all summer. Then, I'll grow another fall crop of potatoes... planting in September.
2. My garden space is rather small, and we love beans. So, when my pole beans (climbing my corn in the background of this picture) start producing, I like to start my next crop. Just makes sense to keep the bucket full of something to eat.

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Gymgirl

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

May 10, 2011
1:12 PM

Post #8552642

John,
This IS my Feb/March crop! The seed potatoes have been cut up since mid-March, waiting for me to plant them out. Got so busy with other gardening chores (starting from scratch, remember?), and I was kinda holding off to see how much soil mix I would have left after planting all my other containers, before I committed to filling 15-20-gallon molasses tubs. That's a lot of potting soil to lock up in the tubs for the return of potatoes we got last time.

But, now I know why. And, I'll be conducting my little LONG-SEASON potato experiment with the new Canela and Nicola seed potatoes that have been sitting in the delivery box for a month. Sure hope they're sprouting, cause plantout for them is the end of this month. If all goes well, I should get a FULL crop of spuds by mid-November.

I'll keep ya'll posted on the progress!

And, thanks again, BJ for that potato/bean rotation method. I feel much better about all that soil in all those containers, and what I would do next! I knew I could use some of it for my cole crops (I can, right?), but I love beans too, and have enough seeds to feed a small nation. Been trying to get the planting timeframe right for 2 years now. I think I'll follow along with you BJ, and go ahead and plant out the beans very, very soon.

Linda

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

May 10, 2011
2:16 PM

Post #8552764

How are the purples on taste? never tried raising them.

Well, taters in a sack report.. we have sprouted!

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Gymgirl

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

May 10, 2011
2:37 PM

Post #8552819

ALL homegrown potatoes taste FANTASTIC!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

May 11, 2011
4:00 AM

Post #8554033

Well, yes, but do the purples taste any different? like sweeter, bitter, or whatever???
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 11, 2011
5:22 AM

Post #8554151

The Purple Vikings are white inside and they taste just like a regular potato. I had some last year and they were great!

Gymgirl

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

May 11, 2011
8:54 AM

Post #8554588

All the potatoes I grow are the creamy varieties. I don't like mealy potatoes (like the Russets). Maybe it was because I grew them myself, but, I think they tasted sweeter, somehow!
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

May 11, 2011
10:25 AM

Post #8554764

Home grown taters taste better because they also have more moisture in them.. They have not lost it from storing

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 11, 2011
11:13 AM

Post #8554883

CONGRATULAYIONS y'all
I am flying home today, been away for 2 weeks.
I look forward to go check on my potatoes growing in my compost bin.
y'all let you know
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 12, 2011
11:18 AM

Post #8557946

Here is one of my potato beds on 4/28/11

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stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 12, 2011
11:21 AM

Post #8557949

This is what another one looked like this morning after yesterday's storms and very high winds.

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Gymgirl

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

May 12, 2011
12:33 PM

Post #8558108

Steph,
Are you NOT hilling up around the potato vines? I remember reading somewhere that if you don't hill up, the plant will stop doing its thing, prematurely...

Although, I'd LOVE to have you prove me wrong, so I don't have to hill up, too!!!

Keep me posted on your progress, please. Thanks!

Linda
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 12, 2011
1:05 PM

Post #8558223

I hilled. However, if you have short season varieties, they won't produce in the hilled area, just in the ground.
happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 20, 2011
10:23 AM

Post #8575801

Hi group... I've been so busy gardening this spring (46 different crops - OH MY!!!)... I haven't had a minute to do and "dave-ing"... but now I've got a problem.

I planted these Pontiac Red potatoes in early March - along with 4 other varieties. They are all doing beautifully, except I just noticed the leaves on one plant are doing this... any suggestions for an organic solution? What is going on?

Thanks!

This message was edited May 20, 2011 7:24 PM

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urbanveggies412
Pittsburgh, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 20, 2011
7:43 PM

Post #8576741

happygirl345:

Can you let us know if the leaves with these spots are new leaves or old leaves? Also, have you checked the underside of the leaves for bugs?
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2011
9:02 PM

Post #8576847

sack o taters here... the hub just put more "poo" in the bags and WOW!



...oops dint mean to barge in... as you guys were saying...

Thumbnail by BLOSSOMBUDDY
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happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 1, 2011
10:46 AM

Post #8601624

They were new leaves, and the undersides were fine.

I ended up harvesting that barrel - got 17 ounces. The rest of the plants are unaffected so far! (Pretty sure it was blight)

Gymgirl

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

June 1, 2011
1:18 PM

Post #8601903

My potatoes are blooming! It won't be long now.

Aside from daily watering, I've totally neglected these plants. I think it's because I now know what to expect in the way of harvest, for the types of spuds I planted. I've only hilled up two out of 6 containers, too.

With my track record on plant timing and following instructions, I'll probably have potatoes up to my ears!

Will post a pic on harvest day. Once the spuds are outta the containers, I plan on planting southern peas in their place. It'll be great if this rotation between potatoes and beans in the same soil/container works. Then I won't have to keep track of what went where, last!

Linda
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 1, 2011
2:31 PM

Post #8602073

I harvested Red Norlands and Purple Vikings today. I think there were a few Rio Grande Russets in there, too. I got much more than last year, so that's a success in my book! I'll post pics of my haul tomorrow after I've had time to sort and clean them off.

Gymgirl

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

June 1, 2011
2:39 PM

Post #8602099

Steph,
Congratulations on breaking last year's record! Did your spuds bloom this time? Mine are making little fuzzy blooms, but still haven't burst open just yet.

I'd like to chit the Nicolas and Canelas soon, and, I found my ASHES! Need to get them into the ground. But, actually, no rush, since they have a long dormancy which will work to my advantage. Hopefully, they won't "declare" until late July or early August, and start taking off as the weather starts to cool in late-Junvember!
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 1, 2011
8:57 PM

Post #8603071

The reds and purples didn't bloom at all, just fuzzy buds. The Rio Grande Russets have been blooming like CRAZY!!

Thumbnail by stephanietx
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Gymgirl

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

June 1, 2011
10:00 PM

Post #8603156

WOW!
I think I'm gonna go ahead and dump the spuds this weekend. I'll post pics. Truly not expecting much at all. It's time to move on to the peas. Been waiting a looooooong time to grow peas!

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 2, 2011
4:35 AM

Post #8603375

isn't to hot to grow peas now?

Gymgirl

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

June 2, 2011
12:00 PM

Post #8604173

Drthor,
I mean "southern" peas which = crowder peas, black-eyed peas, Lady Cream peas, Zipper peas, purple hull peas, etc., which = BEANS! ^:-)^

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 2, 2011
1:40 PM

Post #8604336

Ok, I have also planted cow peas for the first time this year.
Now that it is so hot here they have starting to take off.

This message was edited Jun 2, 2011 7:42 PM

Gymgirl

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

June 2, 2011
2:15 PM

Post #8604406

Which ones did you plant?

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 2, 2011
6:45 PM

Post #8605064

I needed a vining variety of Cow-Peas to climb on a A frame swing I have in the back.
Monkey Tail Cow Peas
http://rareseeds.com/vegetablesa-c/cowpeas/monkey-tail-cowpea.html

I dunno .. this is the first year I am trying those cow peas
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
4:32 AM

Post #8605621

my yukons in the sacks are doing outstanding while the row cropped pontiacs and kennebecks are puny... we have had so much rain.. the ones in the groudn are only less than a foot tall while the ones in teh manure sacks are opver a foot tall and beautiful.

I eanted to do peas.. but planting anything has been a challenge. I just finally got my peppers in pots...

Gymgirl

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

June 3, 2011
7:13 AM

Post #8605947

Blossombuddy,
Sounds like a drainage issue. I learned the value of drainage growing potatoes in old washing machine tubs. All those holes were perfect for the job!

Here's a pic I snapped on the way out this morning of the Yukon Gold blossoms. They're coming up tomorrow.

^:-)^

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Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 3, 2011
8:59 AM

Post #8606098

Pretty flowers, GG. But why pull your plants now? Flowering doesn't necessarily signify production has stopped; some spuds never flower at all. I think some folks are under the impression when they seed potato flowers it is time to harvest. Not so. You'll get a much bigger harvest waiting until the plants begin to wilt/fade.

If you are craving potatoes though you could reach in a pull a few, not disturbing the plant, and let it continue to let the others gain in size.

Shoe ( also craving "fresh dug french fries" soon! Yummy!)
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
9:30 AM

Post #8606128

LOL ROLLING ON THE FLOOR! Ya think its a drainage issue! I know its a drainage issue. My whole garden, nursery and yard and etc are saturated.. Doont mind what GOD puts out in the line of rain, its what stupid man is illegally pushing that irks the neighbors here. I swear some people dont care what or who they destroy. Its why we cant grow corn or crops or anything because of STUPID people.

This is 5/22/11 Im still wet, cant mow, the place is a freaking mosquito pit and then days later God rains, and the idiots follow.

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happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 3, 2011
10:20 AM

Post #8606183

I thought flowering meant new baby potatoes and wilting meant the plant was done and ready for harvest. That said, most of my plants never flower. I wait until they are big and tall, and then wait some more (until I just can't wait anymore), then I plow in. The first time a potato plant of mine died, I thought a virus had gotten to it... Until I found the most AMAZING bounty buried in the soil!

I LOVE harvesting potatoes... it's as good as Christmas morning when I was six.

Gymgirl

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

June 3, 2011
10:37 AM

Post #8606207

Hey Ubershoe!
Yeah, I know the potato routine, and that flowering doesn't signal I necessarily HAVE to pull the spuds. But, I'm getting the yard ready for the fall garden, and the potatoes are in containers I need to use to start some cowpeas (for the first time). I've got enough seeds to feed a small country, and never manage to get them planted for any beans.

I want beans! And, the newest experience of growing them.

So, tell me. What do I need to prepare in the way of growing cowpeas? Anything special? Trellising? I have tons of bamboo available for teepees.

Please lmk. Maybe I'll work on the seeds that have been fermenting in Ziplok baggies for the last three weeks...yeah, I know...

^:-)^
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 3, 2011
12:41 PM

Post #8606428

"LOL ROLLING ON THE FLOOR!"...says Blossombuddy...

Now you have me laughing. There is no doubt you have a drainage problem. What a picture! Shazaam! I'd say you need to grow rice, eh? *grin

On another note, I'm confused by your stating man is pushing something to keep you from growing corn, etc. Is your land flooded due to local damming of a watershed or something?

Happygirl, yep, flowering is sometimes a sign to start exploring the tater patch for new potatoes. And yep, some varieties just don't flower at all. And some years other varieties just don't flower no matter what. Personally I don't like to see potato plants flowering as I'd rather their energy continues into the potato growing, not into seed production.

"So, tell me. What do I need to prepare in the way of growing cowpeas? Anything special? Trellising? I have tons of bamboo available for teepee"

You need to do very little to grow cowpeas, they are probably the lowest maintenance plant in the veggie garden. No trellising is necessary unless you find a highly-vining variety like drthor above is growing. Most are bush types. What kind of seed did you buy?

As for fermenting seeds, I hope you're not fermenting cowpea seeds. Oooh, stinky poo! :>)

Shoe

Gymgirl

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

June 3, 2011
1:30 PM

Post #8606518

They're stinkin' PURDY! LOL!

I have Crowder peas, black-eyed peas, Lady Cream peas, Zipper peas, purple hull peas and some other names I forget. ^:-)^

As for my current potato patch, it has been largely neglected, short of watering it daily. I'm not holding out hope for anything special to magically appear. I didn't even hill up to the tops of the containers...

But. I have long-season Canelas and Nicolas to put down, as soon as I break open the packaging box (they've been in there for 2 months...)! The Potato Farm people told me these are the varieties grown in the north that make the underground potato "trees". So, I'm gonna push the envelope and see if I can successfully grow long-season spuds in a tight Texas window!

Linda
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
2:44 PM

Post #8606663

Hey, I will take all the rain GOD will put on me, but when the villiage idiot pumps water illegally, thats another story. The neighobors are all not liking it and some are to dumb to realize what stupid is doing. They just dont seem to get just what part of no trespassing means no. Must truly be HAROLD CAMPING SYNDRONE.. what else could it be? Drugs? Booze? Pleze dont make me vent any further. Please I am BEGGING YOU!

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stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 3, 2011
5:19 PM

Post #8606884

Have you considered growing rice?

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 3, 2011
6:08 PM

Post #8606999

this is funnuy !
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
7:52 PM

Post #8607241

Does the words long grain or short, brown, white or flied come to mind????

What am i bid for da rice paddy.. When I say the tide is in.. its in!
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 3, 2011
8:00 PM

Post #8607275

They grow rice in some parts of Arkansas.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 4, 2011
4:19 AM

Post #8607740

Gators too.
BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 4, 2011
4:30 AM

Post #8607751

hmmmmm i always did want a moat...

Gymgirl

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

June 4, 2011
10:03 AM

Post #8608287

As promised, I've dumped all the tomato tubs, and, good thing I did! No bumper crop as unexpected, but I discovered several huge rotting Kennebecs.

My 3-1-1 pine bark mix is staying too wet! Which is not a bad thing to know, since this was my first time growing in it, and I had no clue as to what was going on below the surface. Based on my findings in 2 out of 4 containers, I should a) decrease my watering frequency to every 3-5 days only, or b) adjust the mix to either 411 or 511.

Two containers were topped off with some aged horse blend. Two containers weren't even half full of the 311 mix. These two were very dry and were trying to yield. I got these three Yukon Golds from one dry one, and all the original seed potatoes intact on the vines from the other. I could've put these back in to continue, but I'm ready to move on to beans!

The 3 YG spuds were still attached to the vine and I had to rip them off. Hope I cand harden them off without maggots getting in them.

I still love the ease of just dumping the pot on a tarp to harvest.

This message was edited Jun 4, 2011 12:07 PM

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Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 4, 2011
10:33 AM

Post #8608341

Well, bummer. I know you were really getting excited about your tater harvest. Sorry to hear that. Glad you got your Yukon Golds though. As for "harden them off" I think you mean cure them for storage, right? If you let them cure on a screen out of the sun/excessive heat they should be fine from any maggots, hopefully there are no bruises and cuts in them.

I think you should cut them up, make french fries, sit down with your favorite beverage and a bottle of ketchup, a shaker of salt, and enjoy the moment.

Shoe

Gymgirl

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

June 4, 2011
1:35 PM

Post #8608650

Shoe,
We were on the same page until I bit into one 'a my home fries. It tasted awful! The potatoes were hard when I sliced them, and there were brown spots on the inside. I think they may all been getting rotten from too much water.

But, even though the spuds were inedible, I learned a lot about the 311 potting mix. Very valuable info for next growing season.

Linda
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 4, 2011
3:33 PM

Post #8608802

Aw darn, a double-bummer. Well, I know one year I had so much rain and water my spuds rotted. Smelled so terrible when I plowed them up I walked away. Ugh.

Better luck next time. I hope you find a good soil formula. I have grown them successfully in wooden boxes though with nothing but soil (ground soil) and straw. You might try that next time.

Shoe (Off to stare at his unhilled spuds, hoping for a good harvest)

Gymgirl

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

June 4, 2011
4:36 PM

Post #8608939

So I see I'm not the only one who didn't hill their potatoes!

The over-watering was my fault. I'm still learning how to work with the pine bark fines mix. This batch held a lot of water. I need to add more pine bark to it. I had too much MG potting mix (peat) in the formula, and it held too much water.

Linda
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 5, 2011
8:43 AM

Post #8610376

I dug up some of my Rio Grande russets today, just to see how big they were. This is what I got from the one plant I dug. Not really big, just about the small size you get in a 5-lb bag of taters.

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Gymgirl

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

June 5, 2011
10:29 AM

Post #8610578

Nice Steph!

My soil was 10x as wet as your pic. I drowned my spuds.
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 5, 2011
11:16 AM

Post #8610667

I'm not real impressed with them because they're so tiny. I bet all together they don't weigh a pound! LOL
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 5, 2011
1:49 PM

Post #8610960

Here's my haul!

I started with 3 lbs Red Norland and 2 lbs Purple Viking taters. My total haul of those 2 is about 11.5 pounds.

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stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 5, 2011
1:51 PM

Post #8610964

Purple Viking after washing. I think they are so pretty!

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BLOSSOMBUDDY

(Zone 5a)

June 5, 2011
2:58 PM

Post #8611089

Oh so jealous! LOL! Looking good there.

Gymgirl

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

June 5, 2011
3:16 PM

Post #8611117

Steph,
Those purples are gorgeous!

Did you do anything different than our first growing season? Any tips to pass on?

Congratulations!
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 5, 2011
3:25 PM

Post #8611136

I got my taters earlier this year and then life got in the way and I planted them later than normal. We planted them in raised beds with lots of amendments, mainly compost from our compost pile. I only hilled once, watered occasionally. That's about it. I didn't use leaves this year, just compost.

The purples make awesome mashed potatoes, too!
dividedsky
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 10, 2011
7:57 AM

Post #8622021

I planted my potatoes this year in a spot that we recently tilled from grass and amended with compost. Probably should've planted them in the older part of the garden, as lots of rain came, as others have noted, and I worry about drainage. The plants don't seem to be as vigorous as last year, and some didn't come up at all. If my notes are correct, it's the purple majesty (about a quarter to a half of what was planted) that didn't come up.

I do see some that seem to be flowering earlier or at a smaller size. And flea beetles are eating them up. I assume that I can safely ignore the flea beetles?

stephanie, your purple vikings are so pretty!

bjwilson, I like your bean and potato container.
happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 10, 2011
8:25 AM

Post #8622088

What do purple vikings taste like? I have such good luck with Pontiac Reds... are they similar?

I am about to harvest my yukon golds... can't wait!

Gymgirl

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

June 10, 2011
8:50 AM

Post #8622125

Purple Vikings are totally wonderful! They have a creamy consistency similar to, but not as dense as, the Yukons.

And, they are a very pretty plant to grow "just because!"

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stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 10, 2011
9:08 AM

Post #8622137

Purple Vikings don't do well if chopped and fried. They get too mushy. They DO taste great as mashed potatoes!!
jrtinker
Palmer, AK
(Zone 3b)

July 19, 2012
8:29 AM

Post #9211310

I grew potatoes in containers for the first time last summer. I grew four varieties; Peanut, Yukon Gold, All Blue, and Iditared. I grew them in four old, old, OLD half barrels, and had the best harvest I've ever had. Unfortunately, the barrels all started falling apart, so this year I started my spuds in large plastic tree pots, I don't know the sizes, but they are bigger than the half barrels.

I only started two varieties, because I kept seed potatoes from last years crop for the Iditared and the All Blue, (I ate all of the Peanut potatoes and the Yukon Gold) and I couldn't find the others at any local seed potato sources. They sold out fast this year! I put about 6 inches of soil in the bottom of each pot, placed my sprouting seed potatoes on top, and then added another 4 inches to bury them. I started them in early May, because we had a record snowfall last winter and a very late spring.

I have been hilling them by just adding more soil, and reached the top of the containers about a week ago. I am tempted to wrap them in plastic bird netting and add straw, but don't know if Alaska weather will give me a kind enough August to make it worth while, and I'm certain I am already getting a bumper crop of spuds. While everyone else has been having drought and heatwaves, we have had the coldest July on record. The cool temps have not seemed to bother the spuds, though. They are nearly 4 feet tall, and still have more than a month to grow.

Gymgirl

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

July 19, 2012
9:22 AM

Post #9211370

Great report! Thanks for posting and keeping the thread alive!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

July 19, 2012
10:46 AM

Post #9211433

Last year I got almost nothing with my La Ratte and Rose Finn fingerlings, grown in old half-barrels in soil and then topped up with leaves. There were some very small potatoes in each barrel, but that was it. So I decided not to bother trying any more. But interestingly, some of the fingerlings must have ended up in the compost, and they are sprouting in the leaves we put around the fig trees. So I'll be very curious to see what happens with those...
stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 19, 2012
11:18 AM

Post #9211462

I didn't grow potatoes this year due to some health issues my husband was having. I did plant some herbs in one of the boxes I had planted potatoes in 3 YEARS ago late this spring. (You know where this is going, right??) A couple of weeks ago, I saw a potato growing in the herb box! My husband wants to dig it up, but I told him to let it be and we'll see what we get! It's in the upper left corner of the box in this photo.

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Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

July 21, 2012
7:11 PM

Post #9213851

Thank you all for your wonderful photos and expertise/experience. This is my first year for growing potatoes (though I live in potato farming area). I'm growing Le Ratte, French Fingerlings, and Sangres, all organic. Planted in barley hay. Layers for the Le Ratte: chicken wire for moles, old dried out leaves, barley hay broken up, and Happy Frog soil conditioner on top. I've been hilling with the barley straw and some dirt/compost mix. The Sangres I planted in a bed of sandy dirt, leaves, and Happy Frog Soil Conditioner, hilling with mostly dirt. The French Fingerlings are in a bed of more sandy dirt/leaves, hilling with dirt/straw.
The Le Ratte and Sangres are blooming now, but the FF not yet. All the plants look beautiful to me, not much insect damage at all. I'm new to growing potatoes, but hope this bedding experiment, of sorts, will teach me more.
Thanks, again, for sharing your experiences. Great encouragement and reading.
1. Sangres about to bloom
2. French Fingerlings (next to my first garlic in tires and some asters running amok)
3. Le Rattes were the first to bloom
I realize, despite the big plants, there might be nothing under them. I continue to hope, though. :)

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greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

July 22, 2012
4:00 AM

Post #9214075

Solace, I'll be interested in hearing how you do with these. I did something similar with La Ratte and French Fingerling, in different years, although I found that they were better planted in earth rather than in hay or leaves. The tubers never extended up into the mulch material, though, and as I said, they were very small. I think I did better with the French Fingerlings than with La Ratte and Rose Finn.

I checked to see, and for some reason the name of that potato is LA Ratte, even though ratte is masculine in French. Who knows why...

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

July 22, 2012
10:46 AM

Post #9214410

Hmmm, maybe La Ratte is originally a Spanish word? Thank you for that correction. Though, if it were, it would be the masculine, too? El Ratte. I'm stumped on that one. As for the crops, I'm just hoping for the best, and will try again next year, Lord willing, if nothing makes this year. Thank you for sharing your own experiences with those spuds.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

July 22, 2012
11:08 AM

Post #9214426

Solace, I saw your "le" and went to check. Even on French pages it's La Ratte, and it's a traditional French variety dating back at least to 1872. Actually the word for "rat" is just "rat" in French, too.

I'll be curious to see how you do with those. I'm waiting to find out whether the potatoes that accidentally sowed themselves in my mulch do anything more than they did in the barrels.

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

July 22, 2012
8:11 PM

Post #9215072

arghhh...checked the Sangre bed this evening and noticed a plant turning yellow. I looked at the main stem and saw where some varmint had gnawed it like a beaver does a tree, right above the soil line. I hope whatever did that doesn't ruin or eat the potatoes. arghhh x 2 ;(

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2012
3:47 AM

Post #9215224

Could be sowbugs or cutworms. If it's one of those they won't eat the potatoes, but if the stem is severed it may not put forth any more.

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

July 23, 2012
11:36 AM

Post #9215772

Thank you, greenhouse_gal. I might just pull that one up, then. It's pretty dead anyway.

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