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Growing tower potatoes

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Growing tower potatoes

Post  Cropper2 on 2/6/2011, 11:21 am

Two questions:

Last year I planted one tower of Russets and one tower of Fingerings. I got 5 feet each of beautiful foliage and no potatoes. I'm told that I likely have two problems - therefore I have two questions.

1.) I may have been using varieties that won't grow in towers. I think this means that they don't keep sending out shoots that will grown more and more potatoes, but I'm not certain. Question 1. an anyone recommend a variety of potatoes that might be happy growing in a tower?

2.) My soil may be too "rich". Question 2. I'm using Mel's Mix, so how to do I "lighten" or "de-rich" my soil to try again this year.

I understand that I should not try using the exact same soil from late year this year to avoid soil borne disease, but I have tons and tons (OK, well maybe not literally tons) of other Mel's mix that I could "fix" and use for potatoes, if I can come up with a solution.

Thanks!!

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Re: Growing tower potatoes

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/6/2011, 11:46 am

I also have a question about this. Last year Justin, who doesn't seem to be around anymore, said something about potato towers and potato flowers. I don't remember what it was, but it seemed like an important clue to either stacking more straw/soil on the potatoes OR it was something about when to harvest. Know anything about what potato flowers tell me about what is going on underground? TIA
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Re: Growing tower potatoes

Post  LaFee on 2/6/2011, 1:21 pm

I was told that potato flowers are a signal that the plant is done making tubers, so I should pinch the flowers (which killed me; they're pretty!) until early fall (for my Charlottes). The message was that I should pinch the flowers and not dig the potatoes until the foliage all died.

That's what I did, and was rewarded with about 5-1/2 pounds of yummy taters.

(and I grew mine in a commercial mix that's pretty close to MM)

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Re: Growing tower potatoes

Post  jumiclads on 2/6/2011, 3:08 pm

@LaFee wrote:

(and I grew mine in a commercial mix that's pretty close to MM)

Come on then LaFee spill the beans. What is it.
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Re: Growing tower potatoes

Post  LaFee on 2/6/2011, 4:44 pm

uhhhhhh....if I could remember, I'd tell you!

It was a common brand -- if I see it again this spring (likely) I'll post it.

It wasn't MM exactly, but I didn't need enough for my potato bags to justify buying another enormous bag of vermiculite, so I decided to fudge it for the potatoes.

I'll be making MM again this year for my 2nd bed, so am going to *try* to make enough extra for my potatoes.

Watch this space to see if it all works to plan!

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Re: Growing tower potatoes

Post  Cropper2 on 2/6/2011, 4:57 pm

@Cropper2 wrote:Two questions:

Last year I planted one tower of Russets and one tower of Fingerings. I got 5 feet each of beautiful foliage and no potatoes. I'm told that I likely have two problems - therefore I have two questions.

1.) I may have been using varieties that won't grow in towers. I think this means that they don't keep sending out shoots that will grown more and more potatoes, but I'm not certain. Question 1. an anyone recommend a variety of potatoes that might be happy growing in a tower?

2.) My soil may be too "rich". Question 2. I'm using Mel's Mix, so how to do I "lighten" or "de-rich" my soil to try again this year.

I understand that I should not try using the exact same soil from late year this year to avoid soil borne disease, but I have tons and tons (OK, well maybe not literally tons) of other Mel's mix that I could "fix" and use for potatoes, if I can come up with a solution.

Thanks!!

Were the ones you planted last year in towers?

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