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Article: Tater Chitting: Preparing Your Seed Potatoes for Planting: Organic?

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Forum: Article: Tater Chitting: Preparing Your Seed Potatoes for PlantingReplies: 48, Views: 146
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Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

March 28, 2012
2:42 PM

Post #9060820


I loved your article;
It is all very much a family tradition - I had always rasied a garden but Dad always raised all our potatoes and liked doing it and before him my Grandmother raised all the potatoes for the family. No big deal right? Just get them planted on the Ides of March - have them cut and healed for a couple of days before the March the 15..

And then Dad got old and I was suppose to get them raised for the entire family . That was fine because - I am the gardener of the family and what is one more thing added on to what I raise for everyone.

I would like to say my first year was successful. I would like to say I rasie them organically. But no to both! AND I will add, I don't see how that is possible to raise them organically! I can well see, that a diet depending on the potatoe; is a famine waiting to happen- and it just is not a fungus problem either.

That first year ;
I raised my first crop of potatoes, I thought I would use a little sevin dust on them when the potatoe bugs started coming to feast. Oh my LORD! I have never has so many of those little potatoes larva and bugs. Sevin Dust was like I just sprinkled powdered sugar on it. I rechecked the sevin dust bag to make sure it was not powdered sugar. I was out there picking them off and - not enough hands here!!!!! Amazing numbers of bugs --- Too many.

Some people that rasie potatoes claim that they get chickens and guinea???? I don't believe that; even the guineas could have not been able to take care of that many!

I am sorry to say that I now I cut them up, let them callus and then spray them with nuprin and put them in the ground. I am successful with the help of a pesticide!!!!!!


It was so bad with out this pesticide that even the next spring I went out to the garden to plant some things (not potatoes, skipped that year because I was defeated) and there was all kinds of potatoe bugs waiting -- just sitting out in their lawn chairs, drinking beer, and waiting for the potatoes. The bugs were very disappointed that I did not plant potatoes, but they still go up and made an effort to be satisfied with my tomatoes. I had to fight them off of the tomatoes that entire summer just because of the disaster from the year before.

Another neighbor said that if I planted the potatoes much later not the 15 of March - that the bugs life cycle ends and out comes the potatoes too late for the bugs. I don't know???
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 28, 2012
2:52 PM

Post #9060835

No point to raising your own potatoes, if you cannot do them organically. Why bother? They are so cheap otherwise.

I have been growing mine organically for the past 3 years and will again this year. If I wanted to eat food sprinked with poison, I would not bother to buy it myself. There are plenty growers that will do that.

Why not check out the crop of your neighbor's and see the results for yourself? Maybe he/she has a point. It is never too late to learn something new.

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

March 28, 2012
4:01 PM

Post #9060945

Liquidambar2,
Every time we tried to raise a large crop of potatoes, we had problems with tater bugs, too. We dusted the plants with an old sock filled with flour laced with cayenne pepper that helped kill, or at least deter, the bugs. I usually hand-picked the little dickens off the plants and dropped them in a coffee can of bleach water to kill them.

The year before last I planted nasturtiums and marigolds in grow bags (Tater Totes, my next article coming up) along with the potatoes and had hardly a bug of any kind!! Plus, I got to harvest the nasturtium seed pods in the fall and made a few things with them (a two-fer). Needless to say I'm sold on companion planting!!

If I ever get to keep chickens, I'll certainly turn them loose in the garden after bugs, after the plants grow to a good size!! (Invite your neighbors chickens over for a bug blast!) Since there are different types of potatoes (earlies, mid-season, and long season), you might try growing at a different time like one of your neighbors suggested, too. Check what type he grows!! Where they's a will, there's a way!!!

We each have to do whatever is needed at times, but I have to agree with evelyn_inthegarden about just buying potatoes if you have to use such chemicals to grow them. It kinda defeats the purpose of raising them yourself.

I appreciate both of your posts which brought up issues we are all concerned with! Hang in there, and good luck growing your potatoes!
Thanks for reading,
--
Bev
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

March 28, 2012
4:58 PM

Post #9061013

Evelyn are you in Northern or Southern California? I have lived in Michigan and have found that cold winters makes a difference with pumpkins - no pumpkin stinky squash bug up there. I also think that is why Idahoe might be a good state to raise potatoes in?
But, new potatoes are very nice - with thin skins boiled up in the green beans; plus I raise kinds that are not usually found in the grocery stores - more colorful ones! So, they are worth it, but I do wish it was more organic because I worry.

Bev ;
Thank you for your thoughts on this;
The neighbor that told me that he had heard to plant later - heard it from some one else and he is not a gardner. He tried gardening for one year, I let him have some land close to his house and he hated doing it. (I can't relate to him at all - some kind of strange man- although he is a prolific reader) I don't know though I plant tomaotes at the very end of May and those potatoe bugs are around - I have seen them- even much later!.

As far as fowl -, I had geese that year and they did not touch them; at least in numbers that made a difference.
I now have chickens, and I have been told by others (people that may know what they are talking about ) with chickens and guineas they do make a difference. I might next year try a few un- treated potatoes and throw the chickens in there during the day. They are silkies and I don't want a red tail hawk to have them (they cost a lot).

I have asked around and guess what - every last neighbor/church member/ and so forth says to use nuprine it is the only way!
So , there are two schools of thought here in Kentucky. Chickens works (so I have been told) and Nuprine works (I have witnessed it as so).

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

March 28, 2012
5:14 PM

Post #9061026

Thanks Liquidambar2. I'll definitely try the chickens the first opportunity I get. Let me know if they worked out for you too!!
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

March 28, 2012
6:40 PM

Post #9061170

Bev;
I will. I have thought on it this evening and here is my plan. I will make my son pick some more up from Wal Mart tomorrow after his classes (goes to community college over there) and I will plant them in the chicken run and fence them off untill the bugs come and ohhhhhh they will come. We will see.
I will try to remember to come back and tell you about it sometime in July, and let you know how it went.
Of course these potatoes are not being planted on the Ides of March. I don't know that is an important date.

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

March 28, 2012
7:57 PM

Post #9061260

Please do come back to let us know, and post pics if you can! March 15th might be for the early potatoes! I'm planting mine the first opportunity I get.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 28, 2012
11:41 PM

Post #9061373

I live in northern CA in the Sierra foothills, about 3500' in elevation. Snow every winter, and hot for most of the summer. Last year we had a very wet winter, with blizzard-like conditions, and this year our winter was dry and mild, kinda-like spring. So now that it is spring, we have had snow and rain for most days, go figure!

This last winter, though warm and dry, is the first in a while that we have not had any stink bugs come indoors...YEAH! :-)

I have been recuperating from knee and shoulder surgery and the last couple of years have started back up gardening, as I was out of the loop for a couple of years, and boy was everything a mess!

Have you tried Neem oil? There are so many different organic solutions these days, compared to several years ago, it seems worthwhile to try them, would you not agree?

Thumbnail by evelyn_inthegarden
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2012
5:38 AM

Post #9061518

evelyn_inthegarden, We haven't seen too many stinkbugs so far this year either and hope they got frozen out with our wacky weather (warm days, then cold). I've never tried neem oil, but that's a good idea.

I hope you've mended well enough to get in a garden this year. Take it slow and easy, and good luck!

WOW, love the cabin!!!
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

March 29, 2012
8:08 AM

Post #9061710

What a pretty place!
What a cozy home, the whole scene it so pretty.
It looks like some painting instead of a real place.

Is that a wet snow?

It snows around here too, and then it warms up, and then gets cold-- back and forth.

In Michigan it gets cold and it stays that way untill the end of April. Our 17 year old cat died while up there and I naively went out to bury it. That did not happen in Michigan in Jan.

Okay - stinky bugs. I hope you are not thinking those pale green colored lady bugs. That was what the Michigan people were calling them (Stink bugs) when they suddenly showed up one year that we were living up there - - These vomit green colored lady bugs suddenly appeared down here in Kentucky the same summer too, my friends from Kentucky were complaining to me about them on the phone. Pecan growers had imported them in to eat aphids off pecan trees down south and their number exploded and took over all over the mid west in one summer!!!!. They do come in the house and congregate in one big bunch on the ceilings .. Kentucky and Michigan folks all --were complaining about them coming in the house. . The Michigan folks called them stink bugs -- (but I know better than that too -- a stink bug is a mottled grey -(steel gray when young) with a long snout -- also known as a squash beetle) Michigan folks had no idea what that was, and I raised pumpkins and squash up there without a care!.

The people of Michigan to my amusment also called these new invaders (the vomit green colored lady bugs) Japanese beetles!!! OHHHH NOOO- I had to try to educate them on that too. A sign of a good gardener is to live with them for 10 years and still have the joy of wanting to garden! Those Japaneses beetles are metallic green and I have been through 10 years of - of - of -- what do they call the swarms of locuss --but in this case they never leave? Then one day(after 10 years) it rained and the rain washed the beetles off the roof of our house into the house gutters and drains; dead. There were so many of them- dead, that it smelled bad enough to be a big dead cow, instead of millions of green metallic Japanese beetles. . After that there was not that many of them. Someone said they had imported mold spores or something to get rid of them.

Neem oil - I will check on that. I have heard of it before.

I need to do some research on how to handle all these pests around here, with less pesticides. . Starting with these potatoes.

I will try to send pictures back, but first I have to get ahold of some more potatoes, today. .
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 29, 2012
8:09 PM

Post #9062665

Today I planted some more potatoes. these were ones that were meant for eating, but they sprouted in their bag, and since they were Cal-Organic, I figured they would be safe to plant in the garden. (I never put any poisons in my veggie gardens, or the other ones either.) I planted the other one earlier. It is too early to plant corn. I have to wait until the soil warms up and rain is due tomorrow.

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

March 30, 2012
5:00 AM

Post #9062858

Evelyn, Sounds like you're well on your way to a good garden this year! I hope the weather cooperates for all of us!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 30, 2012
4:38 PM

Post #9063613

Thanks! That is not always predictable, as any gardener or farmer will claim! :-)

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

March 30, 2012
10:24 PM

Post #9063922

:-) so true!
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

March 31, 2012
12:50 PM

Post #9064426

Evelyn good luck with your garden.
I got some more potatoes called kennbeck - I think maybe it ws kenndeck - oh well- they have been cut up and dried and I planted them yesterday inside the chicken run and put a little fence up around them .
That was hard because all the chickens were in my holes I had dug scratching with utter excitment.

I promise I will take pictures - and we will see if chickens can indeed take care of potatoe bugs.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2012
9:33 PM

Post #9066233

That must have been a funny picture! The chickens in the holes that you dug...did they dig up the potatoes??
aulani61
Emporia, KS

April 2, 2012
4:38 AM

Post #9066375

What a pleasure to sit here and read your conversations this morning. Loved the picture of the cabin. It looks like a postcard.

I did not plant potatoes this year, but you inspire me with your talk of planting them, bugs and all. We had such a mild winter -- only one two-inch snowfall -- that I fear the bug population will be huge this year. I battle squash bugs on my favorite zucchini, but will plant anyway. I just know those little eggs are sitting there waiting to hatch. We have already had one 90 degree day yesterday.

I have no chickens, but the birds flock to my garden for two things, the birdbath and then they stroll around eating bugs. I have a large population of robins that hang around all day long. I am in eastern Kansas with a raised bed, square foot garden style that works pretty well for me. My only problem seems to be getting heirloom tomatoes to yield more heavily. Any hints? I love Cherokee Purple, but it just doesn't yield well. Otherwise, Jetstar does very well for me; it's an old standby here.

Thanks for all your enjoyable posts.
agia
Toledo, OH

April 2, 2012
4:54 AM

Post #9066398

Would using Seven on vegetable plants be consider non-organic? Thanks

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

April 2, 2012
7:28 AM

Post #9066622

aulani61,
Have you tried "straw bale" gardening? I started using hay bales a few years ago (with a trellis) and the tomatoes love it!! I'm growing heirloom 'Romas' and 'Ruth's Perfect' (med-sized red toms) and they out-produce anything else I've tried. Also, planting marigolds and nasturtiums seem to help a good bit in repelling the bugs. I have the occasional tomato hornworm and a few stinkbugs, but nothing I can't pick off a little each day.

I'm glad you enjoyed the article and hope you get to grow some taters. Thanks for reading and posting,
--
Bev

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

April 2, 2012
8:00 AM

Post #9066673

agia,
Seven dust is not organic!! I know people still use it out of desperation, but I absolutely refuse to use the stuff! Some folks consider "Seven" the lesser of the toxic chemicals, but they thought DDT was the ultimate chemical for decades, too!! In my opinion, the more chemicals one uses in the garden the more bad bugs arrive in the following years because the toxic chemical use also kills beneficial bugs (that kill the bad bugs). Nature is knocked off balance with the use of chemicals. When I do have moderate bad bug attacks, I see many more beneficial critters like toads and insects in the following years. Companion planting (especially with stinky flowers & plants) and simple organic home remedies have always helped my garden.

I wish you much success in your gardening and hope you can find an organic alternative for pest control! (((Sorry for my little rant.)))

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article,
--
Bev
agia
Toledo, OH

April 2, 2012
7:19 PM

Post #9067564

Bev,
Thank you so much for the info. I'm determend to keep my garden organic--no seven for me.

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

April 2, 2012
8:13 PM

Post #9067623

agia,
You're very welcome.
Good luck with your garden!!
--
Bev
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

April 2, 2012
8:14 PM

Post #9067624

Hi Evelyn;
Yes, they had dug up four. I went out this evening to check them and there standing in the fenced off area of the chicken run was a fat little silkie rooster. How such a thing with no wings got in there is a mystery to me. It must have been for him too - because he seemed to have no idea how to get back out. I redug the potatoes and tomorrow I will put a top on the fence which is going to make it hard to weed.

Sundowr this brings your idea of straw to mind. I think I will mulch the potatoes heavy with straw to keep the weeds down since I have to cage them up .

Hi Aulani61;
I am glad you are enjoying the article and this discussion. Tomatoes is the one thing that never requires any kind of pesticide. Yes, I too have trouble with leaves sometimes curling up at the bottom and dying, and yes there is the cut worms that gets them when they are young. A short tomatoe season is a terrible thing. I have found that heir loom tomatoes have a short production season. Yes, saddly they are all a short season thing and that includes Brandywine, Mr. Stripey, Beef Steak - all those heir looms. I ususally have three or four different varieties of heir looms - start them from seed at different times. I started some the first of March and today I started another bunch. But to really extend the season right on up to frost which here is Mid Oct - I buy Rutgers. They are a good tomato , very dependablle, and have a rather long production period. No they are not an heir loom but they are a good producer. Just think I need a rugged tomatoe "Rutgers" when you are ready to plant this summer.

Hi Agia; there are times that I do not use Sevin. That would be some summers that I think to myself if I have to pick another bean, if I have to break up another green bean, if I have to watch another leaky pressure cooker cranked up to 10 lbs for 35 minutes I will die - those are the years I don't use Sevin. But you are up in Ohio a little farther north - so that might not be a dependable prevention to keep from having to deal with green beans.
I am so sorry for you - some times pest are not bad things! : )

This message was edited Apr 2, 2012 10:18 PM

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

April 2, 2012
8:34 PM

Post #9067647

L2,
Make sure to keep adding the straw/hay around those potatoes as they grow! They'll keep coming through, just add more hay.. You need to keep the sun off the taters, so mulch 'em thickly and you won't have to hill them at all!

My Ruth's Perfect heirloom tomatoes don't mind the cold too much. I can plant them a little early and they'll keep producing until blight or frost takes them out. Even then the green tomatoes will still ripen on the vine if they don't get another frost. There is another Russian heirloom tomato that I can't remember the name of at the moment (can through my info if anyone is interested) that does even better in cooler zones, but too much heat will zap them. They're about the same size red toms as the Ruth's.
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

April 3, 2012
10:52 AM

Post #9068243

Sundowr; Thanks for the tip and I will do.

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

April 3, 2012
11:26 AM

Post #9068288

L2, Good luck with the taters and please post some pics of your chicken yard set up, if you can ;-)

The other cool weather hardy red tomato heirloom is the Russian 'Moskvich': [ http://www.reimerseeds.com/moskvich-tomato.aspx ].
Here's some brief info on 'Ruth's Perfect' : [ http://store.tomatofest.com/Ruths_Perfect_Tomato_Seeds_p/tf-0438.htm ]
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

April 3, 2012
4:44 PM

Post #9068578

I have not done pictures in forever. Darn I can't see those tiny little things
But this should be the chicken run.

Thumbnail by Liquidambar2
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

April 3, 2012
4:47 PM

Post #9068582

I put straw down on the potatoes.
And the little yellow house on the side is the home of one silkie hen that stubbornly tried to sit in Feb. We kept getting her off the nest and then Mar the 1st - surprise - she had hatch out one little chick that belongs to the polish hen. Not even hers. She must have hidden it under her wing.

Thumbnail by Liquidambar2
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

April 3, 2012
4:51 PM

Post #9068587

Here is the silkie hen and her adopted polish babe.
Darn, I have used my straw for my strawberries - on a bunch of potatoes and I will tell you the truth - I don't think those chickens can handle all the potatoe bugs. I really don't but I will give it a fair a chance as I can. Now I have to go back and get some more straw.

Thumbnail by Liquidambar2
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

April 3, 2012
6:33 PM

Post #9068714

While since I have been taking pictures - here are my heirloom tomatoes.
I have brandywine; it is my favorite.
I ordered Beef something -- and to tell the truth - I forgot why I picked it? Hmmm I wonder if I got it because it breeds true from seed like an heir loom is suppose too??? And all I labeled it was beef - like I would remember.
The other tomatoe; I received free bonus, from a seed company that I ordered. It is suppose to be the biggest tomatoe out there . I don't know if it is heirloom - it is called Delicious.
I will have to look at Mrs. Ruth and see what it is about. I have heard of Cherokee Purple and have been tempted to order them for a try.

Thumbnail by Liquidambar2
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

April 3, 2012
9:26 PM

Post #9068987

L2,
Love your chicken coop and yard!!!! Congrats on the Polish baby, and her adopted Silkie mom, lol. Those tomato babies are looking good, too!
thanks for the pics and keep us posted on the potato progress!
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

April 4, 2012
6:46 AM

Post #9069272

Okay;
I added this place to my favorites and I will keep you posted.
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

April 4, 2012
2:34 PM

Post #9069903

I am going a little bit further with it.
Every experiment needs a control.
So I am putting two more potatoes out in the geese lot (I already know for a fact the geese won't touch potatoe bugs )

Thumbnail by Liquidambar2
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

April 4, 2012
2:38 PM

Post #9069909

And one more experiment
Planting Nasturtium and marigolds around another potatoe and see if they work here.
July I imagine - we will know.
Good luck to all on your gardening season!

Thumbnail by Liquidambar2
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

April 4, 2012
8:59 PM

Post #9070329

Great idea, and anxious to hear your results!!
9hbeans
Augusta, ME

May 1, 2012
11:29 AM

Post #9105737

Great comments! Now a question if you don't mind. I've been organic gardening for quite a few years and now for the past 2 years i've had a really big problem with cucumber beetles devouring all of my cuke and related squash plants. What companion plants can i use? And what about row covers. I've heard abt them but have never used them and wouldn't even know when to put them on to control the bugs without harming the seed or seedling development. Any thoughts? I appreciate any comments that might help!

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

May 1, 2012
12:40 PM

Post #9105860

9hbeans, I have read that combined with beetle traps, companion planting, and the row covers, an increased cucumber yield is possible too, but I'm the wrong person to ask about cucumber beetles, lol. I've never been able to successfully grow cucumbers or melons since living here (poor growing environment). It's easier for me to buy them at the Farmer's Market (or get them from generous friends) when needed, and use my garden space for other veggies.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help,
--
Bev
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

May 1, 2012
1:23 PM

Post #9105921

9hbeans

cucucucucu numbers increase if you don't do deep tilling in the fall so when it gets cold, they have no where to hide, their eggs are thrown upon the surface and the vines are buried even deeper to smother them. Same with squash bugs. But sevin at an early stage, as soom as they come out of the ground doe - as soon as they come up works good for me. Cucumber bugs the same as the squash bugs.

Maine, right?
Ain't it cold up there enough to get rid of them?

Sundownr'
My potatoes are yet to come up.
But I searched the internet and found a long conversation of people that had actually bothered to pick the potatoe bugs off their plants at all stages and put it on a plate for their chickens -- and guess what they said???

They won't touch them, because potatoe bugs taste really bad - because they are eating on a plant (potatoe) solonium - night shade - that taste bad because it is probably poisonous .

It would have been easier for me to look this up instead of planning this big experiment - HAAA I should have know that someone thought it this first.

So the people that tells me chickens eats the bugs off the potatoes - some of my neighbors don't know what they are taking about. Well gooooo figure!

Still if these potatoes come up and if the chicks do eat them I will report back here. And if it don't work well -- then you will know how it turned out, if I never come back and report..

Evelyn of Grizzly Falls, nestled inside your very lovely cabin.
I just thought of something about what you said; That I might as well buy them if I was going to put a pesticide on them.
Well I agreed, but then thinking on it some more.
I go by the directions on the pesticide label and I know it. I know when I put the pesticide on and when I harvest -- the time period - when the stuff is suppose to be broken down and gone. And that is at least a little something - don't you think? I am not depending on that not being the case when I buy a potato in the store????

And when it comes to organic here in Kentucky:
I would like to know how the settlers and even my own parents survived without pesticides and trying to grow their own food. My Grandfather was the oldest of 12 kids, and he commented on a picture taken of his grandparents and their kids--- about how fat they were. He thought that they had plenty of game to eat. Where as he was hungrey a lot growing up since the game had all played out. Mom said it was just his mother would not cook???? But looking at the numbers on the potatoe bugs - Mom might be seeing her grandmother through her own mother's eyes (mother-in-laws) geeze!

Which brings my grandmother to mind. Little short thing that was plump even when thin. Her sisters and her complimented each other on how fat they were. Yes, at ever home coming I went too, same conversation ever time. I would be embarrassed and think - oh I got to lose, but her sisters would respond with "ME! Why I am poorer than a snake, but thanks anyway.


evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 2, 2012
9:07 AM

Post #9107123

I can usually get Cal-Organic potatoes, though when "hubby" goes shoping and I am not along, he will buy the cheapest, so it is a mixed bag. Still, I like to get organic produce whenever possible. I know I won't live forever, but I like to reduce the amount of chemicals in my body if possible, as well as not put any in the soil. Plants depend on microsopic life which is destroyed by many of the chemicals applied.

The colony collapse disorder in bees has been shown to be a result of chemicals killing them. I would not want to be in anyway associated with even a tiny contribution to this problem. I think it is a matter of mainly the "Round-Up ready" corn and the ever-increasing strength of the chemicals applied to the plants and soil. Still, for me, the less chemicals, the better. I know I cannot get away from them entirely, but what would happen if everyone did?
9hbeans
Augusta, ME

May 2, 2012
9:15 AM

Post #9107134

Bev and Liquidambar2, Thanks for the responses--and yes, Maine is the place. I'm hoping maybe someone else will chime in with some possible companion plants!!!

3 years ago i was one of those "generous friends" who had more cukes than i could eat, pickle or give away and then the past 2 years--no such luck as the cucumber beetles seemed to chew away at all the plants! Sevin is out for me as i'm in the all-organic, pesticide-free camp! One interesting tip i tried last year was to try another planting in a different area a few weeks after the first was up and growing. The theory was that the bugs would be so attached to the 1st group of cuke plants they were attacking and so they wouldn't bother to go looking for the next crop. It sounded crazy to me--but i actually got more cukes from my 2nd planting area than i did from the original--so who knows! I'd like to avoid planting the sacrificial crop--and maybe pretty-up my space with some neat companion plants. Anybody else got any ideas?

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

May 2, 2012
1:43 PM

Post #9107463

L2, I hate to hear that chickens don't like the tater bugs! That was going to be another excuse why I just have to have a few chickens, lol. Keep us posted!

evelyn_inthegarden, we have the very same philosophy about the organic vs chemical use! I agree with your bee colony collapse theory as well!

9hbeans, I was reading that planting cukes out of season (later than usual) does foil some of the bugs. I didn't want to post the link to the article as it was heavily technical, and that's about all I gleaned from the lengthy report, lol. They did also say that companion planting (not mentioning what plants) did help a little. The trap crops or lures worked to pull in the cuke beetles away from the crops where they could be killed.

This is what I was able to find on companion plants and organic remedies for cukes: radish seeds sown in the same hill at the same time as cukes & melons are supposed to deter both squash & cucumber beetles; nasturtiums are supposed to help repel them, too; wood ashes, hydrated lime, and/or Diatomaceous Earth (DE) are also suggested bug controls. I hope you get one of these remedies to work for you!
--
Bev
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 3, 2012
1:55 PM

Post #9109018

Sundownr wrote:

evelyn_inthegarden, we have the very same philosophy about the organic vs chemical use! I agree with your bee colony collapse theory as well!
Bev


Bev ~ Not my theory. There is a lot of information out there about this problem. One source is: http://www.organicconsumers.org I am sure you might find several if you were searching...



Sundownr wrote:
This is what I was able to find on companion plants and organic remedies for cukes: radish seeds sown in the same hill at the same time as cukes & melons are supposed to deter both squash & cucumber beetles; nasturtiums are supposed to help repel them, too; wood ashes, hydrated lime, and/or Diatomaceous Earth (DE) are also suggested bug controls. I hope you get one of these remedies to work for you!
--
Bev


Another organic solution to many problems in the garden is Neem oil. Here is just one link that might prove to be useful... http://www.discoverneem.com/neem-oil.html

Evelyn

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

May 3, 2012
2:31 PM

Post #9109060

evelyn_inthegarden, I didn't mean to give you all the credit for the the bee colony collapse theory, lol. I've read several articles the last few years, each with a different theory, but they have come around to pointing a finger directly at one chemical supplier. I doubt anything will be done about it for many reasons we cannot discuss here on DG. Thanks for the link!

I know a few folks that have used Neem oil, and have seen it referenced for pest problems, but I have no experience with it. I'll check the link to learn more. There's got to be something to rid us of these dern bugs!

Thanks again for the info links!!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 3, 2012
3:06 PM

Post #9109102

Yes, I understand. I do not want to carry on about it, either. It wears me out. Hard to fight the "big guys"!

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

May 3, 2012
4:02 PM

Post #9109162

Exactly!
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

June 3, 2012
7:44 PM

Post #9150934

Hi Bev;
Sorry about the big guys and the bees.

My duaghter's silkie hen has hatched out 9 more chicks, and this time two are polish and the rest silkies - maybe two are mixed.

She was a work today - she is a nurse - so I walked out there with my cup of coffee - lecturing myself that it is her job to get this hen out of the cage, fenced off from the rest and not me. She was so ready to come out - so I guiltly took my coffee and walked over to the garden to see how the rain did it all.

Potatoe bugs were going to town on my potatoes. The infestation was not as bad as it was the one year that I did not use stuff - but it is plain that the nuprine I used in March has worn off, and I will not spray more - for I plan on starting eating these in a month at least. So I got out a bowl of soapy dishwater and started picking them off. I have already tried the big juicy one to give to the chickhens but they refused.
But what about those bugs that are still tiny - tiny - tiny?????
I broke off the tips of the potatoes and took it to the chickens and they did pick at them (can't hardly see them - myself- but I think they ate them.

Okay - I fenced and moved the hen and her chickes out of the cage and checked on the potatoes inside the chicken run.

Thumbnail by Liquidambar2   Thumbnail by Liquidambar2   Thumbnail by Liquidambar2   Thumbnail by Liquidambar2   Thumbnail by Liquidambar2
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Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

June 3, 2012
7:56 PM

Post #9150967

The first picture is of the potatoes inside the chicken run - it does have tiny black bugs - but no evil potatoe bugs - but it could be they have not this potatoe yet.
Next I checked the one in the geese lot that I planted the nastruim and the marigolds around..
No potatoe bugs - but it could be that the bugs have yet to find them -- my controls by the way - did not make it.
Those marigolds and nastruim are really small - I bet the bugs have not found them. 2, 3, and 4 picture.
But still I hate to lose out on this possibility of chickens eating potatoe bugs if they are really small - so I put up a fence around the potatoe patch. picture number 5

Thumbnail by Liquidambar2   Thumbnail by Liquidambar2   Thumbnail by Liquidambar2   Thumbnail by Liquidambar2   Thumbnail by Liquidambar2
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Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

June 3, 2012
8:10 PM

Post #9150999

Rooster's bachelor pad set up in the potato patch.
They will either stomp it all down and not eat a bug or they may stomp it all down and eat the bugs.
I think I am going to lose either way.

This message was edited Jun 4, 2012 8:50 AM

Thumbnail by Liquidambar2   Thumbnail by Liquidambar2
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Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

June 4, 2012
9:20 AM

Post #9151597

L2, great pics!! Congrats on the new babies! Let's hope between the new chicken housing arrangements, the companion planted flowers, and your hand-picking the tater bug larva off the plants, that your bug issues will eventually be more manageable. Their numbers should decline in the future, too...oh such nasty buggers!

BTW, I'm so jealous of all the beautiful land you have to work with!!!!!

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Other Article: Tater Chitting: Preparing Your Seed Potatoes for Planting Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Good info, Bev Cville_Gardener 16 Mar 30, 2012 1:06 PM
Hooray FlaFlower 1 Apr 2, 2012 7:20 AM


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