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planting SFG potatoes

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planting SFG potatoes

Post  Josh on 3/18/2011, 4:33 pm

I planted my potatoes yesterday ( St. Patrick's Day)
I planted 3 kinds,red pontiac, kennebec and yukon gold.


Here is a short video of how I planted them.


And here is last year when me and my dad harvested our 2010 SFG potatoes

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  NHGardener on 3/18/2011, 4:59 pm

Josh, where did you get your potatoes? Any special place? And when you cut your potatoes into fourths to plant them, did they have eyes? I couldn't tell. I thought you could only plant the sprouted eyes?

I'd like to do potatoes this year, but I don't know if I can use a grocery store potato or if I have to order seed potatoes.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Josh on 3/18/2011, 5:18 pm

My mom picked them up at one of our local garden center stores, last year Wal-Mart had several kinds of seed potatoes. I did grow some of the kind you buy at the grocery store to eat, the red ones, and they grew fine for me although I saw it posted they might not do well.

When I cut the potatoes in 4 pieces, they each had some dent places in them, that's an eye, some of the eyes had sprouts already growing some didn't, but those eyes that didn't have a sprout will sprout in the SFG. We got about 40 lbs of potatoes last year from the 3x6 SFG.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  boffer on 3/18/2011, 5:36 pm

@NHGardener wrote:I'd like to do potatoes this year, but I don't know if I can use a grocery store potato or if I have to order seed potatoes.

I will continue to say that there is a bit of marketing involved here, until someone shows me otherwise.

Two issues keep popping up. One, is the potatoes at the grocery store are sprayed with a growth inhibitor so that they will keep in storage longer. Two, grocery store potatoes can possibly introduce disease into your garden.

I would guess that we have all had potatoes start sprouting in their containers, wherever we keep them. If they sprout, they'll grow. I haven't seen anyone complaining about diseases from store bought potatoes. I plant a few store bought every year; I'm bad about not rotating; I haven't had any disease problems.

IMO the only reason to buy seed potatoes is to get varieties that aren't available at the grocery store. I highly recommend growing potatoes. The flavor difference compared with store bought, can be as dramatic as the difference between store bought tomatoes and home grown.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  NHGardener on 3/18/2011, 7:41 pm

Thank you, Josh & boffer. One hesitancy about ordering seed potatoes was price - at Johnny's Seeds, seed potatoes are $15-20. Youch. I assume that's before shipping charges.

I grew potatoes years ago in a garden and I do believe they were from store bought potatoes. It's a lot of fun digging for potatoes! Like treasure hunting.

I think I'll try it with some store bought, in a separate box away from everything, and see how it goes. I did see, boffer, that I believe you had some success with the potato towers, but not always -- it seems they work sometimes and don't work sometimes. Don't know if I'll go thru the trouble if they're not reliable.

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potatoes

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 3/18/2011, 9:03 pm

Speaking of unusual varieties, this year we are planting a truly unique variety: Makah Ozette, one of the very few potatoes to have come to States directly from Peru (without going to Europe first) over 200 years ago. Check it out here: https://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/store/product-info.php?pid1464.html The best thing about growing vegetables yourself is the chance to try unusual varieties not found at, say, Safeway Stores. Of course, we'll also have other favorites planted: Yukon Gold, an old-time Idaho Russett and the same small red potato we've grown so many years no one can remember its original name. We'll let y'all know how the Makah variety does.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/18/2011, 9:14 pm

So Josh, it looks like you don't worry about letting the cut edges scab? Is that how you usually do it or did that just happen for the video?

Also it looks like you don't worry about putting the eyes up. That works too?

Deborah....who wouldn't mind just sticking cut spuds into the ground.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  kimbertangleknot on 3/19/2011, 10:52 am

Thanks Josh, that planting video helped and actually makes sense. It's so much easier when you have a visual to go off of.

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growing potatoes

Post  ander217 on 3/20/2011, 7:38 am

Great post, Josh.

I planted half of our deep box of potatoes on St. Patrick's Day, too - it's traditional in my family. However, since the moon wasn't in the right sign, I'm waiting until next week to plant the remainder when the moon is right. That will be a good way to see if there's anything to the moon sign planting.

We plant ours pretty much like Josh. We cut them the day we plant, making certain each piece has at least two eyes if possible. We also don't worry if the eyes have sprouted yet, although I try to make sure the eyes point upward. This year we planted Kennebec and Red Pontiac because I couldn't find White Cobbler (my favorite) when I was ready to plant. I stayed away from Yukon Gold this year because last year's tubers developed hollow heart - apparently that is common in our area with that variety. It's not a disease but is caused by too rapid growth in cool weather, making large brown hollow areas in the center of the potato which must be cut out before use.

We always buy disease-free seed potatoes. Boffer, I know you've never had a problem with disease, but we have so many soil diseases in the southern US that I just won't take the chance. Many of the diseases that affect potatoes will also affect tomatoes - early and late blight, fusarium, verticillium wilts, etc. At least when planting in MM if one introduces a soil-borne disease it's only a matter of tossing the MM and buying new. If one introduces a blight or other disease into the soil of a raised bed, it's pretty much there forever and one then has to do heavy spraying each year to control it. The seed potatoes we buy at our local garden center are not that expensive, so we pay the extra for them.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Megan on 3/20/2011, 7:42 am

Oh, you've all got me so excited about potatoes now! I was in the farm store yesterday and they had bins full of lots of different types of seed potatoes. I want to try Yukons this year, plus I want to do a mid to late-season variety as well. (Plus 2 squares for the sweets!)

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Planting SFG potatoes

Post  graficow on 3/20/2011, 8:19 am

I bought a bag of potatoes at Walmart Garden Center
and the bag instructions said plant them 12" deep.
Seeing Josh's video makes me feel his system makes
more sense.
Ive not grown potatoes before, perhaps someone
can enlighten me.....please

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/20/2011, 8:57 am

Thanks Ander. I did wait two days to plant mine to make sure that they were scabbed over (that has to be the wrong word, they just dried and made a skin, scab is not a word I like to use when talking potatoes.)

Ray built two new 4x8x12 boxes for me a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday we filled them. What a job that was, but we used the plastic tarp method to mix the mix....so much easier that using a shovel and wading pool; maybe because I wasn't doing all the work myself. Those monster boxes really took loads of mix! I didn't have enough home grown compost for that much mix so we only put it on the top layer of the box we are going to use right away. Any how I stole mix from the 2nd box for my potato box (emptied out all the old mix first) and three huge plastic pots that Chris bought for me. (this is sort of for you graficow) I put roughly 6 inches of mix into the bottom of the pots and potato box, set my cut potatoes, eyes up, on the mix than covered them with about 3 more inches of mix. I probably did not need to put them on top of that much mix. I'll water them today (this was the first night in WEEKS that the PNW has not had at least a half inch of rain overnight). That was it, the pots were set aside. Next payday we will buy a bail of straw. When the potatoes get 5 to 10 inches tall we cover them with straw (because we have long season potatoes, I don't do that with short season potatoes).

Graficow I bet the instructions on your potato bag tell you to dig a 12 inch trench but to only cover them with 3 inches of soil and to fill the trench as the potatoes grow? It might not say that but that is the normal way row gardeners grow potatoes. You should watch Josh's video carefully as well as future video's (he is a video kind of guy) as he shows what happens at the next stage. His potatoes are beautiful.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  boffer on 3/20/2011, 2:45 pm

@ander217 wrote: Boffer, I know you've never had a problem with disease...
That's just Mother Nature's way of appeasing me because she doesn't give me the weather to grow red tomatoes every year!

I plant 60-80 seed potatoes every year. I don't wait for the cut ones to skin. Each piece has a couple eyes and get planted up. Last year was my first attempt at growing them in a SFG box with MM. I planted about half in the boxes and half in the ground as usual. Harvests were about the same.

I planted in one 6 inch box and in one 12 inch box. In the six incher, I started with a full box and stuck the potatoes in the middle of the MM. I did just enough mulching to keep the potatoes from turning green. In the twelve incher, I started with 5-6 inches of MM. My intent was to add mulch as the plant grew, but at the last minute I changed my mind and went with straw. I don't like the way the straw layed. It did nothing to encourage more potato development. I have since read that using straw on potatoes in the PNW can cause rotting problems. (I didn't have a rotting problem, even last year) I pulled a lot of the straw off that you see in the picture. I left just enough to keep the potatoes covered. Both boxes ended up with similar harvests.





I may put my potatoes back on the ground this year because: my wife thinks the MM is sticky on the potato skins, and they need to be scrubbed, scrubbed, and scrubbed some more to get them clean. I'm not as particular about that sort of thing as she is, but I agree that they were harder to get clean. It was an odd thing...YMMV?!


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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/20/2011, 3:23 pm

@Boffer wrote:It was an odd thing...YMMV?!

I don't understand YMMV

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Miss M on 3/20/2011, 3:54 pm

Your Mileage May Vary = You may have different results. Smile


Last edited by Miss M on 3/20/2011, 4:04 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/20/2011, 4:00 pm

Thanks Miss M. Just had a brain burp and couldn't figure it out.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Miss M on 3/20/2011, 4:05 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:Thanks Miss M. Just had a brain burp and couldn't figure it out.
LOL, that's fine... some of them I can't figure out, either. Have to resort to asking or looking them up! What a Face

I
bought some seed potatoes today. I didn't know if the grocery store
potatoes grown in Idaho would grow here, so I figured that was the
safest way to go. I doubt Idaho deals with 8-9 months of humid heat,
7-8 of it in the 90s daily, like we do. I'm not saying it doesn't get
that hot, because I'm sure it does, but it probably isn't as constant
and as long as it is here.

I got some purple potatoes for the kids!!! jocolor

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Planting SFG potatoes

Post  graficow on 3/20/2011, 4:22 pm

Thanks Debs, Josh and all.
I believe the potatoes I planted 2 days ago
will come up and be replanted in a more shallow
situation.
Josh your videos are wonderful.

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Wish I could see videos

Post  chexmix on 3/20/2011, 5:02 pm

For some reason I can't see the videos. It is only giving me a little red X in the corner. The picture is fine. Anyone got any ideas? I really want to see the videos.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Megan on 3/20/2011, 6:36 pm

Boffer, have you ever tried using dead leaves (not true leaf compost... just leaves, some of them semi decomposed) to grow potatoes in? I just became the proud owner of a LOT of leaves, far more than can fit into my composter....

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  boffer on 3/20/2011, 7:43 pm

It's recommended that the seed potatoes be planted in a soil medium to get 'um started. Your leaves would be good as a mulch to protect the potatoes from daylight. I don't think they would work as filler in a tower where you're trying to get multiple layers growing, but leaf compost would.


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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Megan on 3/20/2011, 7:47 pm

Thanks, Boffer. Sigh, I was afraid of that.... I was trying to cut down on the amount of MM needed for my backyard boxes. As best I can calculate, NOT including the potato boxes, I'm going to need to make around 2.75 yards. Ack! But, I can buy leaf compost cheaply... that will help. Thanks again!

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Josh on 3/21/2011, 7:28 pm

When I planted mine I planted the potatoes with the eyes pointed up, but I didn't let them dry out or anything, why would you need to do that? I planted them in the video just like tI did last year.

Potatoes grow pretty easy for me, the first potatoes I grew in my SFG were by accident, my mom had put some potato peels in the compost, and I used the compost for my Mels mix, the potato peels sprouted and I had my very first SFG potatoes.

You can see in last years video of me and my dad harvesting the potatoes that they come out pretty clean, I wonder boffer why yours were sticky? Would it be the difference in the compost we used?

When I added the 1x4 high rise as the potatoes grew taller, I just used decomposed leaves and straw and some compost to the the high rise, and there were more potatoes in the bottom 6 inches than the top, but I still had a lot of potatoes.

If you can't see the video, you might try watching it at youtube, search for theresagreene1 at youtube and it will bring up all my videos.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  boffer on 3/21/2011, 7:59 pm

I'm with you Josh, potatoes grow like weeds. In the compost pile, as leftover harvest ophans, or throw them over the fence into the woods, they try to grow.

The theory for giving a cut seed potato 24-48 hours to form a skin (scab) over the cut, is that it prevents the infiltration of soil diseases into the seed potato once it is planted. I don't know. I cut and plant, too, without problems.

Regarding the 'stickiness', I just don't know. I planted the same potato types in both MM and in the ground in mostly compost. The texture of the skin of the potatoes in the MM was completely different than what was in the ground that I'm used to seeing. I think I'll try one box of potatoes in MM this year to see if I can duplicate. It's just so odd, I probably shouldn't have said anything.


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Re: planting SFG potatoes

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/21/2011, 8:04 pm

Off subject, sorry. Josh's avatar and titles are showing up under his post rather than on the left side. Just commenting because it is different.

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Re: planting SFG potatoes

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