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Potato method?

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Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/30/2011, 9:55 am

Has anyone tried this before...



I had a guy tell me about used tires, which most of us know about. However, he kept stacking the tires and filling with leaf mulched by the mower. He kept going until he had about 6 or 7 tires stacked. He had three towers sort of leaning against each other in a pyramid of sorts for stability. And, he told me he probably got 50 lbs or more from 3 potato seeds. Can you imagine how easy it would be to harvest potatoes in leaf mulch?



If anyone has tried leaf mulch before, did your potatoes rot as you kept the leaves moist...and they started to decompose?

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Aub on 7/31/2011, 12:09 am

I'm doing mine in leaf mulch. So far so good. I put some in a pile behind my strawberries, others I put in a 2x2 box that I kept build up with more boards. It's about 4 feet high now.
I just pulled out the potatoes behind the strawberries, I didn't get a lot of them and they were still small, but the chickens have been using the area for scratching and taking dirt baths.
I'm going to shovel the rest of the leaf mulch on to Madam Heap, the compost pile, and let it do it's thing.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/2/2011, 5:05 pm

Has anyone tried to start potatoes in late summer for a fall harvest? I happen to have a few pieces of seed potato left (they got hidden in a box) The potato part is pretty dried out, but the sprouts seem flexible?

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Re: Potato method?

Post  littlesapphire on 8/2/2011, 5:40 pm

I just read a book that recommends using leaf mulch or grass clippings to pile onto your potatoes, so I bet it would work!

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/2/2011, 9:45 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:Has anyone tried to start potatoes in late summer for a fall harvest? I happen to have a few pieces of seed potato left (they got hidden in a box) The potato part is pretty dried out, but the sprouts seem flexible?



I'm in the same boat. I would love to hear from someone that had success before I lose my $2...lol. Actually, I just want some fall taters.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/2/2011, 9:51 pm

BBG let's both try them. what have we got to lose? In my case at least, I already have the pieces.



I will put them in a grow bag tomorrow.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/3/2011, 10:03 am

@Furbalsmom wrote:BBG let's both try them. what have we got to lose? In my case at least, I already have the pieces.



I will put them in a grow bag tomorrow.



Sounds good. And, we can update all others in a thread of our own...or just update here. I'm not much for tater-competitions though, so we can stick to the educational part instead of whipping out tape measures and standing on the roof, right?



I will cut some up and put some in somewhere. But, I also plan to stagger until our heat wave breaks over here. Still 95° today with lows in the upper 70s at night.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/3/2011, 12:39 pm

I wasn't intending a competition. Just an experiment to see if potatoes, normally planted in spring would do well (or at all) in the fall because I had not heard of anyone planting fall potatoes. Otherwise these pieces would go in the compost pile.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/3/2011, 1:47 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:I wasn't intending a competition. Just an experiment to see if potatoes, normally planted in spring would do well (or at all) in the fall because I had not heard of anyone planting fall potatoes. Otherwise these pieces would go in the compost pile.



I know, I know. It was more a "shot" at Boffer and Josh since I knew you had likely seen their carrot thread. Wink



When do you plan on planting? I may need to use a jackhammer to get into my MM because of this heat wave. (Just kidding....my MM is still as friable as ever because I NEVER let it dry out.....NEVER)

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/3/2011, 2:51 pm

Like everyone else, I have seen their thread, and more power to them. Big boys with their big toys. And may the biggest carrot win. I have to admit they are pretty funny though.

I am looking to find things that will grow here with our punk weather where there is no real summer. Our highs have been mid 60s and low 70s with night time lows in the 50s. Certainly not a good place to grow tomatoes, but maybe I have a chance with fall potatoes.

If I can get my bucket or grow bag filled with MM, (DH has to unbury the bag of premade, leftover MM that somehow was placed under the last couple of bags of purchased compost ) I will plant them this afternoon, tomorrow at the latest.


Last edited by Furbalsmom on 8/3/2011, 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clqarification I hope)

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/3/2011, 6:57 pm

Awesome. But, I thought the PNW was where potatoes grow best? But, then again, Idaho is a big state and not the same as Washington. I guess it's all relative.



Let me know when yours are in, and I'll do the same.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  boffer on 8/3/2011, 8:37 pm

I predict: FM won't get any new potatoes this fall, but the plants will die down and start growing again in March.

Oh heck, same for BBG. Potatoes can handle some frozen ground around here, but I don't know how your frozen ground will affect the potatoes. I'm guessing your ground is frozen deeper and longer than ours.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/4/2011, 10:57 am

Likely a solid (get it, "solid?") guess. Our footers for decks are supposed to poured down to 36 inches...just in case. We freeze more than a foot fairly often. My imagination is that you guys don't get down that far that often.



But, it's only a guess. I'm not in construction, nor do I go out in February to see how far down I can dig with a shovel.

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christmas potatoes

Post  jcpen on 8/4/2011, 11:34 am

I read several posts on another forum about summer planting potatoes to get crop by Christmas. not sure about the spacing used sorry if this violates rules separating
square foot and none square foot gardening.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/4/2011, 12:30 pm

@jcpen wrote:I read several posts on another forum about summer planting potatoes to get crop by Christmas. not sure about the spacing used sorry if this violates rules separating square foot and none square foot gardening.

Thanks for the input jcpen,

Just because something is done in a non square foot gardening method doesn't mean we can't convert it for our use following Mel's SFG methods. So, I appreciate your post.

As Boffer said, planting this late may not yield potatoes this fall, but they may come back in the spring. In my particular area, Coastal Oregon, we just don't get much in the way of hard freezes, so we don't deal with frozen ground or frozen Mel's Mix. We mostly get a few frosts, so my potatoes should survive the winter if they don't produce by this fall.

It is all an experiment and since I have the seed potatoes already, this is a good way to use them and learn more for future years.

By the way, jcpen, to the forum.


Last edited by Furbalsmom on 8/4/2011, 12:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Sorry, I did not catch that jcpen was a new mwmber)

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/4/2011, 2:08 pm

Here in St. Helens, OR, nearly every spring I find some volunteer potato plants sprouting from overlooked 'taters after late or early fall harvest. Often they pop up through the mulch placed on the raised beds. For those in a less temperate climate, would mulch help protect your potatoes through the winter? Nonna

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/4/2011, 2:16 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Here in St. Helens, OR, nearly every spring I find some volunteer potato plants sprouting from overlooked 'taters after late or early fall harvest. Often they pop up through the mulch placed on the raised beds. For those in a less temperate climate, would mulch help protect your potatoes through the winter? Nonna

I plan on using my hoops again to extend my season post-frost. So, I may get lucky with hoops, thermal mass, and mulch. We'll see. Either way, I'd better get started. It looks like our intense heat is over for the next few weeks. And, if anyone remembers from earlier, I figured once the heat wave broke up here (my north is relative to OK and TX), there won't be enough summer/direct sunlight left this year to threaten 100+ temps again. I think I have to gamble that it is over and get in the garden with some fall stuff....

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/4/2011, 6:39 pm

Well, Furbalsmom, I'm in. We got a nice break in the weather and it looks like our temps will return to normal for the foreseeable future. I planted the four squares I had set aside. However, my seeds were nothing short of dreadfull looking. They've been in the bag for 6 weeks or more, and they were starting to sprout then. So, this may be a real crapshoot for me.



Either way, I'm planted. Let's hope we get something to talk about!

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/4/2011, 6:46 pm

The last pieces of "All Blue" potatoes just went into the Mel's Mix this afternoon. Since I had 5 little pieces, I put three in an old seed sack, supported in a milk crate. The last two pieces went into an old black pot, about 3 gallon size I guess. I plan to check the smaller container, the black pot, around Thanksgiving or so, depending on how the plants look then. That is about 110 days from now. Based on those results, I plan to either harvest the seed sack of potatoes or let them sit and regenerate in the spring.

Like yours, my pieces were fairly awful looking too. I don't even remember how long ago I had cut these and set aside to let the ends calluse over. All 5 pieces had nice flexible sprouts, so something should grow.

Here is to trying something a bit different. Planting potatoes in summer for a late fall harvest.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Barkie on 8/5/2011, 5:37 am

I have some volunteers which might avoid getting blight if we get enough dry days but I may pull them out to use as they are in the way. I bunged a couple into large pots which I can put under cover by the south facing walls. One pot is showing green after covering the leaves for the first time. The forecast is for a snowy winter again so I'll have to see what makes it through in the hoop house.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/5/2011, 1:14 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:Here is to trying something a bit different. Planting potatoes in summer for a late fall harvest.



You can't see me, but I just raised a glass of soda to you in a toast. Cheers!



Barkie, by all means, keep us all updated. Anyone else that can join in would be welcomed, too.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/10/2011, 1:40 pm

FM, do you have sprouts yet? I just noticed, today, some greens popping up. I guess mine were still alive in that bag. Now, let's hope our 90° stuff is over for the most part. If so, I may just get some taters.

Hope you do, too!

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Re: Potato method?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/10/2011, 2:20 pm

I checked the potato bag and pot this morning, no sprouts yet, but I did put a good bit of MM on top of them (probably at least four inches) I still have hope because the potato cuttings had lots of sprouts that were flexible. Of course my highs have been mid sixties and low seventies this week, with lows in the upper forties.

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Re: Potato method?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/12/2011, 2:17 pm

Here is the first picture of the sprouts.




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Re: Potato method?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/13/2011, 1:48 pm

Just a reminder to those new to the forum. As an experiment, BBG and I decided to try to grow seed potatoes by planting in August, hoping for a late fall harvest. Normally you plant them between March and June. Plus we had the seed potatoes left over.

I have sprouts too. This is "All Blue" variety, so both the stems and leaves have a blue/purple tint. When the potatoes mature, they will have blue skins and blue flesh too.

Three potato cuttings in white grow bag

Two potato cuttings in black pot

We are both off to a good start.

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