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GOT POTATOES!

Discussion in 'Gardening On Your Homestead' started by Lazy Gardener, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. Aug 15, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    With your potatoes, how long did you wait before dumping them? Was there lots of super lush top growth? Potatoes are heavy feeders, but too much N can delay blossom set. Generally, you should wait till the vines die back before harvesting, but can steal new baby potatoes from the base of the plant after they bloom.
     
  2. Aug 15, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    @Beekissed Bee, can you grow good beets? If not, I suggest that your soil just might be boron deficient. Likely... you are addressing that and then some this summer! Boron deficiency shows up especially with beets. I've avoided amending my soil b/c I fear an overload. I've not tested for deficiency. Supposedly, organic gardeners can not amend with boron unless a soil test shows deficiency.

    Here's a paragraph from the following article:
    https://homeguides.sfgate.com/borax-uses-vegetable-gardening-27721.html

    Fertilizer

    While borax in large doses kills unwanted plants, in small doses it can be a soil booster -- especially in sandy soils that may be mineral deficient. A large vegetable garden of 1,000 square feet can safely benefit from 6 to 7 tablespoons of borax mixed in at tilling, either directly or diluted in water. Fruit trees -- such as apples -- benefit from the effects of borax, which not only fertilizes but can assist in fighting off rot and fruit-pitting.

    Other issue with lush tops and no bottom growth may be N overload.

    Fall seeding and in the soil storage for winter eats would be a great option for you, if the mice and voles didn't get to them first. Even now, I have mice moving into my carrots and potatoes. Need to set out some traps. Your organic mouse/vole control (the furry kind) might make this a non issue for you. Generally for overwintered crops, at least here, they should be seeded in late July. B/c of shortening day length, growth slows down. Your carrots want to be full sized by the time cold weather ends your gardening season.
     
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  3. Aug 15, 2019
    creativetwinszoo

    creativetwinszoo Almost Self-Reliant

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    ! Glad I found this out now! I was gonna plant the whole tube when I get home from work lol

    There was good lush greenness, no blooms ever showed up and then the entire plant died. In honesty I thought I might've over watered it or the temp got too hot. They were being grown in a plastic tub with a homemade soil mix.
    1 pt perlite
    1 part vermiculite
    1 part manure
    2 part peat
    And a lil sprinkle of blood meal and lime (the stuff that turn hydrangeas pink) was the mix I used. It did get a lil splash of diluted fish/kelp meal bout halfway through its life cause I noticed the lushness was looking limpy. When I get home I'll check how long they were planted.
     
  4. Aug 15, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Potatoes don't like it hot. That may have been your problem. That plastic tub may have acted as a heat sink and overheated the soil. Do you have a place to grow them in the ground? Next go-round, I suggest that you grow them in the soil, and give them a good heavy mulch. I plant my seed potato in a trench, pull the soil over the pieces. Then, I wait till they sprout. As they sprout, I heap the mulch on. I use old hay, grass clippings. That mulch wants to be at least 6 to 8" thick by the time the plants bloom. Of course, I'm only familiar with growing potatoes in zone 4! Zone 9 is a whole other world! They can be planted here: 3 weeks before last expected frost. I suggest that you contact your county Agricultural cooperative exchange office. Usually associated with a State college system that has an agricultural program. You can do so on line by doing a google search. They will most likely have articles pertaining to growing potatoes (and any other crops!) in your planting zone. They will also have lots of articles regarding food preservation and animal husbandry. You can read them at your leisure on your computer! You can also get your soil tested (for a nominal fee) through them. Our tax dollars pay for this service, but few folks are aware of the many services they offer.

    Ask: what breeds excel in your zone, and when the optimum planting time is. There are also early, mid and late season spuds. I suggest you choose an early season spud, and plant it to take advantage of your cool growing season. They like it cool, yet the foliage absolutely can't tolerate a frost.
     
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  5. Aug 15, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    An other reason not to plant the whole sweet potato with slips intact: You'll end up with many vines in a tiny little area, each of them vying for space and nutrients. As your planted slips grow, don't let them take root along their length. You want them to only produce roots at the base of the slip. Otherwise, the plant will divert energy from growing nice big sweets at that point.
     
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  6. Aug 15, 2019
    wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Almost Self-Reliant

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    I grow potatoes in bags that I made from landscape fabric. I started that when I was in Wyoming and had no top-soil to grow in. They do great in bags, but it is hard to control the moisture level.
    I had 18" diameter bags that I planted 3 seed potatoes in, then placed a milk jug in the center of it for watering. The whole thing then got wrapped in a piece of fencing to keep the antelope from eating it down and a piece of plastic sheeting to keep the wind from whipping it to shreds. For watering, I poked about 3 small holes in the bottom of the milk jug and every morning, I fill the jug up with water. It took about 2 hours for the water to leak out. The water would leak out slow enough that the soil would stay moist, but not get waterlogged.
    My Grandpa always said "Potatoes do not like wet feet".
     
  7. Aug 16, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    The prettiest, biggest red potatoes I ever grew was in a big pile of leaves, mixed with horse manure and lime.
     
  8. Aug 16, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    @baymule Your post made me laugh, and I can't wipe the silly grin off my face. It's splitting my cheeks. You know how your cheeks hurt when you smile so much????

    They say: Never lime your potato bed. It causes scab.

    They say: Don't put manure in your potato bed. It causes scab.

    Reason being that potatoes like a specific pH, and lime or manure will send the pH out of that range. Apparently, you have shamed the "they say" crowd!!!!
     
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  9. Aug 17, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    Haha, I read in more than one place that manure causes scab, so lime the potatoes to keep the scab away! :lol:

    It must work, just look!

    IMG191.jpg
     
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  10. Sep 19, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    I havested some of my fingerling potatoes a couple days ago. AND, I'm impressed. First time I've grown fingerlings, and they've made a believer out of me! Magic Molly, picked up at health food store. Many of them were at least 5 oz. in size. (about the size of 2 large chicken eggs laid end to end) The hills produced MANY tubers. And these little buggers are TASTY.

    [​IMG]
     

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