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Potato Growing Methods

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  NorthWoodsFever on 1/13/2012, 9:15 pm

I've got a 2ft x 12ft section set aside for my potatos this year. Last year I did one "per square foot", I may try the 4 per square and see what happens this year.

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  camprn on 1/13/2012, 9:19 pm

@januaryX wrote:Gosh I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I was just trying to see if SFG would be feasible for growing the amount of potatoes I need to feed my family. I think I'll stick with rows for growing potatoes, and maybe try SFG for something else.
Actually, other folks I know have come to a similar conclusion. SFG works great for growing a lot of food in not a lot of space. At least it has for me. I think I am going to try potatoes and sweet potatoes in dedicated SFG boxes this summer.

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  llama momma on 1/13/2012, 9:31 pm

And it's no inconvenience at all. It is best to explore your options. Glad we could help.

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  llama momma on 1/22/2012, 9:10 am

Let's Recap and Streamline:

If you want to share your experience -- In the end please tell:

-the growing method used
-potato variety
-how many were planted
-how many taters did you get
-Mel's Mix used or not

Personal Note: I did not put this together as a competition to see what method is best. Many of us are new to growing taters so I want to emphasize the many methods used and make aware some of the many varieties to choose from, and get people thinking about growing the mighty little tater. OF course while we’re at it, we might as well count how many we get… it is interesting to know but let’s not get caught up in final numbers. Why? Because of variables this cannot satisfy as a scientific study. Not meant to be. So Plant away and enjoy! LlamaMomma

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/22/2012, 9:58 am

@Goosegirl wrote:After reading through the entire thread (finally!) I am going to put my 2 half barrels to use with taters. I think I will do a blue or purple in one barrel and my fave Yukon Gold's in another. Not sure it fits anywhere with the 'testing' but you have all given me a great idea!

GG


When you say half barrels how do you cut them? I have a steep sloop at the edge of the yard. I had hoped to terrace it for blueberries and herbs BUT the house next door is too close to mess with the soil SO we have decided to cut food grade drums (they smell like apples) in half lengthwise (the long way). We will set them on the hill supported by stakes to prevent them from rolling on down. The plan is to fill them with 6 inches or so of MM, set the eyes on that and add a couple more inches of MM. Straw and grass clippings will cover the sprouts as they grow.

I did not measure but got a surprising harvest of yellow, red and two different fingerling potatoes from tubs using the same MM-clippings and straw method. This year I have a scale that does measure more than a pound.

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  GWN on 1/22/2012, 11:15 am

I have done the half barrel thing, planting some at the bottom and continually adding more dirt and then more potato halves, then as the grow up, add more dirt etc etc etc
I did really well, I did not add up the amount of potatoes.
One method I have seen and wanted to try for a small lot
was to build a 3x3 box with 2x4s and to screw them in that way you can keep adding dirt at the top and unscrew the 2x4s at the bottom, taking potatoes from the bottom

So in essence stealing from the bottom, while you add to the top.
they said you could get a hundred lbs of potatoes in a 3x3 foot space ??

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/22/2012, 11:55 am

@GWN wrote:I have done the half barrel thing, planting some at the bottom and continually adding more dirt and then more potato halves, then as the grow up, add more dirt etc etc etc...snip...


But how did you cut the barrel?

I've done this in a tub style



But I want to try this in a side cut barrel, but maybe this isn't all that odd (I only have this in paint but I got the idea from Angel Farm Acers).



The barrels are sitting on the side of the house (the same kind of barrels Ray made into a rain collection system) I have a lot of 2x2's cut for uprights from an old deck for the steaks. Angel farms made a cradle for the barrels. She has them on the edge of her French Intensive Garden. They look pretty there.

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  quiltbea on 1/22/2012, 12:09 pm

GWN.....I never heard of "adding more dirt and then MORE potato halves." I've grown them before but its only the soil that I've filled in above them, not more seed taters. Can you elaborate?

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  Goosegirl on 1/22/2012, 2:23 pm

@Lavender Debs wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote:After reading through the entire thread (finally!) I am going to put my 2 half barrels to use with taters. I think I will do a blue or purple in one barrel and my fave Yukon Gold's in another. Not sure it fits anywhere with the 'testing' but you have all given me a great idea!

GG


When you say half barrels how do you cut them?

I did not cut them, I bought them that way. They are wine barrels cut in half across the middle so they look like 2 big wooden buckets.

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  GWN on 1/22/2012, 5:19 pm

GWN.....I never heard of "adding more dirt and then MORE potato halves." I've grown them before but its only the soil that I've filled in above them, not more seed taters. Can you elaborate?
Well it is a method to increase your yields. You start growing potatoes in the bottom of the barrel and then as they start to grow you add more dirt and plant more potatoes.
IT is an elaborate way of "hilling" in that you plant more potatoes at each level, so when you finally get to the top you have many potato plants, close together

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  Chopper on 1/22/2012, 5:57 pm

@GWN wrote:
GWN.....I never heard of "adding more dirt and then MORE potato halves." I've grown them before but its only the soil that I've filled in above them, not more seed taters. Can you elaborate?
Well it is a method to increase your yields. You start growing potatoes in the bottom of the barrel and then as they start to grow you add more dirt and plant more potatoes.
IT is an elaborate way of "hilling" in that you plant more potatoes at each level, so when you finally get to the top you have many potato plants, close together

Wow. I have never heard of that either. Very interesting...

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  plantoid on 1/22/2012, 7:40 pm

If you half or quarter the potato make sure you have an eye on each part .

Dabbing the cut faces in lime also helps stop slug and eel worm attack ( eel worm is a UK / European nematode )
Aditional plantings in a growing barrel as the growth medium depth is increased as the plants grow is quite common in the gardening circles that I play in..

.

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  GWN on 1/22/2012, 8:14 pm

my father in law..... (he was irish) said you needed at least 3 eyes in each piece you planted... Razz

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/22/2012, 8:36 pm

Did you know..... you can use GWN's layers (all planted at the same time) to do the same thing with bulbs....It looks Awesome and lasts longer than just daffodils or tulips. Mix up layers. Hadn't thought of doing it with potatoes though.

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  EatYourVeggies on 1/23/2012, 1:46 am

This is a decent video I found of Mel growing Potatoes in a bucket.


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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  GWN on 1/23/2012, 10:51 am

http://www.ehow.com/how_7369228_to_-build_as_you_grow-potato-bins.html

This is the closest reference to the planking one, no photos, but with this you build up the potato grower and then remove the plank at the bottom to harvest the potatoes

Here is another link with pictures
http://tipnut.com/grow-potatoes/

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  littlejo on 1/23/2012, 4:04 pm

I'm going to try to get the potato tower built, maybe utilizing some palets that I have. Haven't decided on variety of potato yet, but here is a note on a favorite, Yucon Gold, they don't do well in a tower for they are short season potatoes.

**NOTE - EDIT** Greg from Irish-Eyes Garden City Seeds let me know that Yukon Golds, and all early varieties set fruit once and do not do well in towers. You only get potatoes in the bottom 6 inches, which is what I got. Late season alternatives to yukon gold are Yellow Fin and Binjte.



Here is a link to the page with the potato tower.

http://sinfonians-garden.blogspot.com/p/2-build-as-you-grow-potato-bins.html

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  plantoid on 1/23/2012, 7:45 pm

GWN,
If you knock the supports into the ground and temporary brace the top from the inside so it stays the correct distances apart , then use simple unscrewed /unfixed boards for the bottom two lifts and hold them in place with ratchet tie down straps or rubber bungeees that way when you come to harvest you simply undo the straps or bungees and remove the timbers & can take any potatoes out , but I suspect it's not quite as easy doing it as it is supposed to be

I had thought of using a plastic trash can with the bottom removed and inverting it so that the contents esily slide out of the inverted cone shape. but you would stil have the likelyhood of unharvested potatoes in the middle of the column of the growth medium as the unsupported bits fell down .

Yesterday I selected my five seed potatoes and put them to chit in an expanded polyestyerene egg box on a north facing window cill in the spare bedroom

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  GWN on 1/23/2012, 7:57 pm

Isn't it a little bit early? OR how long do you leave them there?
I have potatoes on order, but I do not think that they will come until March Or April
I had a bag of potatoes that all had sprouts on them last week, I just hated to just peel them and compost the peels, but....
what zone are you in?

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  plantoid on 1/23/2012, 8:27 pm

I'm in the UK in South Wales it is a temperate climate with 46 inches or so or rain each year.
Last frost date for me supposed to be is around 7 th May but we do get a late May frost every few years . Some years the frost has stopped by the middle of March . So we tend to chance a few early crops of things .
Easter is a traditional spud planting time but it varies so much as it is a moveable religious calender event .

My spuds will be grown in my unheated glasshouse house in poly bags .
When the concrete floor was cast I got the guys to mix in three cans of jet black concrete dye in the hope that the black floor will absorb heat from the day and give some of it back at night , it appears to work .

At the end of Feb I will also chit up some more spuds for growing in bags out side .

You could try digging a hole in the compost heap next time you have sprouted spuds in the cupboard and plant them in the hole about a foot down .
Then if they do grow you have a bonus of new potatoes when you start to use the heap unless you turn your heap every 2 to 3 weeks .
If the tops get fosted they can often recover unless it is a really prolonged frost of a couple of days

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  GWN on 1/23/2012, 10:04 pm

what a great idea
I have compost piles all over the place.
I also have a tumbler.

So I COULD actually plant them in one of the
"other" compost piles.
I have been living in southern oregon for years and just planted all my potato peels all over the garden and then just went and dug them up when I wanted more.
Great thoughts Plantoid.
You clearly have experience.

thanks Janet

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Potato box

Post  littlejo on 2/3/2012, 1:02 pm

I'm glad to say I got the BH to build a potato box, with sides that screw on, so I can rob the bottom for 'new' potatoes. Bin is 2x2. I'll plant 'Red Pontiac' in 2 sq, and 'Kenebec' in the other 2 sq.






Also, in the above posted video, Mel talks about planting in a bucket, and says to put compost in for potatoes to grow in, and add compost as potatoes grow. What's up with that? Any ideas?

Jo


Last edited by littlejo on 2/3/2012, 1:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add pic.)

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  GWN on 2/3/2012, 1:41 pm


Also, in the above posted video, Mel talks about planting in a bucket, and says to put compost in for potatoes to grow in, and add compost as potatoes grow. What's up with that? Any ideas?

I am going to try just that in my greenhouse, it is being kept somewhat warm and I have some potatoes growing out of the cupboard here..
What a beautiful potato box, I think I might do the same......

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  obrdrln on 2/3/2012, 2:08 pm

I'm new at this SFG thing but am committed to giving it the good ole college try.

I read in another book a unique way of growing potatoes---and I will try one plant like this...

Bore a hole straight through a Yukon Gold.

Gently thread the roots of a tomato plant through the hole until they come out the other end.

Plant the tomato/potato until the potato is about 2" below the top of the soil.

After the tomatoes have been harvested---pull up the plant to reveal your potatoes.

Sounded fascinating to me. Anyone ever done this? Did it really work????? A potato box surely would be in order for this....I'm thinking a deep, square plastic planter in the front yard!!

Judy

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

Post  arla on 2/5/2012, 12:32 am

@littlejo wrote:Also, in the above posted video, Mel talks about planting in a bucket, and says to put compost in for potatoes to grow in, and add compost as potatoes grow. What's up with that? Any ideas?

While I don't know about Mel, I do know that this is the way my parents grow potatoes, in bags with a compost growing medium, nothing else.

Seems to work quite well, going for that this year, my 4 year old loves pouring the potatoes out of the grow bag and searching through the compost for those lovely potatoes.

Probably going to do that plus soil this year.

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Re: Potato Growing Methods

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