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potato plant needs ?

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potato plant needs ?

Post  jimmy cee on Sun 9 Nov 2014 - 10:01

I am putting together a bed specifically for potato's.
Since I am in the building stages what are your thoughts about how deep my beds for them should be ?

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  boffer on Sun 9 Nov 2014 - 10:16

In my experience planting determinate potatoes, 6 inches of MM is enough as long as you can hill the plant to cover the potatoes without the MM falling out of the box.  6-12 inches of box height is fine.  

You can certainly plant indeterminate potatoes in 6 inches, as above, but to get maximum production from them, you would want to go with more height: like garbage can height or 4-5 stacked tires height.

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  jimmy cee on Sun 9 Nov 2014 - 10:23

Thanks Boffer
I'll do both 8 - 10 inch sides and barrels  also
I had good luck this season with wire cages 3 ft high
With weed barrier to keep the mix in.

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  camprn on Sun 9 Nov 2014 - 10:35

And don't use fresh compost as it seems to promote scab.

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  boffer on Sun 9 Nov 2014 - 10:44

+1 That's been my experience.

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  jimmy cee on Sun 9 Nov 2014 - 18:47

Some real good info here, thanks

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  sanderson on Sun 9 Nov 2014 - 20:45

Use Mix that has just had a crop harvested?

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  sanderson on Fri 30 Jan 2015 - 12:02

DH is building me a potato cage on a wheeled platform. I asked Nov 9 if used MM is good for potatoes or do I need to add fresh compost to it? I have 2 buckets with potatoes growing but would like a larger one that I can move with the sun movement. What if I planted sweet potatoes in it. Do they need fresh compost. Thanks.

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  Turan on Fri 30 Jan 2015 - 21:51

Potatoes would be happy with used MM that has had some bone meal added.  To get big harvests they do need a lot of nutrients but not a lot of nitrogen.  And they like it a bit acidic.  If there is too much nitrogen you get a lot of foliage and little tubers.

I am guessing that sweet potatoes would make all vine and small tubers in too rich a mix.

I hope that helps until some sweet potato master comes along

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  sanderson on Fri 30 Jan 2015 - 21:59

Thanks, Turan.

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  jimmy cee on Sat 31 Jan 2015 - 5:37

@Turan wrote:Potatoes would be happy with used MM that has had some bone meal added.  To get big harvests they do need a lot of nutrients but not a lot of nitrogen.  And they like it a bit acidic.  If there is too much nitrogen you get a lot of foliage and little tubers.

I am guessing that sweet potatoes would make all vine and small tubers in too rich a mix.

I hope that helps until some sweet potato master comes along
Thanks for that, I jotted it down to keep with my little notebook in the garden...

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  yolos on Sat 31 Jan 2015 - 6:59

I researched this last night and could not find a consensus.  The one answer I liked the best was to add organic matter in the fall and allow it to mellow.  Which is basically the same as using used MM.

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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on Tue 3 Feb 2015 - 9:30

My potatoes have done really growing in straw bales one year (you start the composting process in the bales for 2 weeks then plant in them. You simply force the potato seed down as far as you can reach and they'll grow like weeds.

Then they've done well with the left over semi-composted straw bales from when we cleaned up our straw bale gardens the past two years. I've gathered that up and piled it on the bed where my potatoes are growing. Mid-year I've simply added more straw on top any time I saw potatoes trying to peek out.

I'm no longer doing the Straw Bale gardening as I've increased my SFG and BTE garden spaces which produce better in the same space, but they were helpful for getting started.




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Re: potato plant needs ?

Post  sanderson on Tue 3 Feb 2015 - 9:41

Thanks, guys.

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