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Potato Growing?????

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by tkhooper on May 09, 2005 12:17 PM
I would love to have potatoes in my garden. But the directions for growning them have me completely confused. (Not difficult to do, I know [Confused] )

Would someone be willing to give the growing potatoes for dummies directions to me, Please?

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by Meg on May 09, 2005 01:51 PM
TK, I'm taking a stab at potatoes myself this year. But, since my yard space is limited, I'm growing them in a half whiskey barrel! You must remember to put drainage holes in the bottom, and tho it didn't say so.. I put a few strategically placed rocks to help with draining. Some compost & topsoil, but not too much.. you want your barrel to be kinda low starting out. This is because as the potatoes grow, they will pop up from underneath the soil, and you need to keep adding more soil to keep them buried until they are ready. I used a couple of potatoes with a bunch of "eyes" on them, and cut them into a couple of sections, and just popped them in. This was all I was told I needed to do. Likely, I'm only going to grow more bugs.. but I hope to see something else there too..lol. The directions said to put about 5-6 pieces in with the eyes, and then the plants will multiply.. should get a good little bit for a little container. *fingers crossed*

Meg

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by tkhooper on May 09, 2005 02:55 PM
I got lost.

Do you mind if I ask some questions?

Do I just cut up the potato and stick it in the ground or do I need to let it dry out first?

How much compost to how much top soil? Ratio?

How deep should it be buried if the potato piece is one cubic inch is that 4 inches deep for sowing to begin with?

5 or 6 pieces of potato with the eyes on them in the same hole? or say within a couple of inches of one another?

I've seen beds of potatoes on t.v. programs, it shows them covered in straw. What is that all about?

How much water do they require?

I heard something and I can be very wrong. That if the plant gets light it won't produce potatoes? Am I off my rocker on that one?

And last but not least how do you know when they are ready to harvest?

Sorry I have so many questions.

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by Longy on May 09, 2005 02:59 PM
Spuds are great to grow. The amount of produce you get for the input can be huge. I planted 15 spuds a bit bigger than a squash ball last season and got just under 30 KG of potatoes in a bed about 8' x 5'. Bargain.
Here's a link to how to do it. Note the potatoes under straw method. I've used that too and it's a cracker.
http://home.vtown.com.au/dbellamy/vegetables/spuds1.html
Also note that while it's ok to use potatoes from the pantry, if you buy certified disease free seed potatoes you are gauranteed not to bring any new diseases into your garden with them. They cost roughly the same as regular eating potatoes and are normally available from produce or feed n grain stores at planting time for your area.
by tkhooper on May 09, 2005 03:13 PM
Thanks longy that is a great link. I definitely will be going with the soil/traditional method. Hope I haven't missed the growing season this year. But if so it just means I have more time to prepare the bed for next year. It's always good as a friend keeps telling me.

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by gardenmom32210 on May 09, 2005 04:13 PM
I decided to try potatoes this year and am amazed at how well they are growing [thumb] I have them growing in the dirt and have straw piled around them. They are 10-14 inches tall. It was driving Missy nuts wanting to dig them up so I let her dig one yesterday. Apparently they weren't ready cause we only had a few potatoes on it. She was tickled though and that's what counts [thumb] I'll be cooking them and my green beans I harvested tonight!

According to what I found out you don't harvest the potatoes until the top plant dies down. I can't wait to see how many we get when they are really ready to dig up!

G-Mom [grin]
by tkhooper on May 09, 2005 04:18 PM
I'm excited by the prospect now that I have the facts in hand. I think I may need to invest in a cow or horse with all the manure I need. [Big Grin]

Going to have to go on a diet to pay for it all. Food budget is going to be close to nil this spring.

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by Longy on May 09, 2005 04:56 PM
Hey TK. Don't invest in a cow or horse. (Unless you really want to). Invest in a cow or horse owner and tell 'em to give you a call when the stables have been cleaned out and they wanna get rid of it. People who have racehorses etc are often very happy to get rid of the stuff. A dairy nearby maybe?? When i was a kid my dad had a trailer parked at a local stables. The owner either gave him a call when it was full or towed it round and parked it in the backyard. Bewdy.
Dad fed a family of nine kids from his vege patch for many years.

I recently went to the ag show in the town i live in. I actually didn't go till the next day after it finished though and i filled a pickup with manure. It's all tucked in at home now composting away for when i get back to plant my potatoes. Yummo:)
by tkhooper on May 09, 2005 05:36 PM
God Bless you Longy,

...but I don't think the taxi drivers or my neighbors would put up with that. I live in the city and can't drive anymore. So I don't own a vehicle.

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by Longy on May 09, 2005 09:14 PM
So I don't own a vehicle.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

So is that why you wanna get a horse? Where you gonna put it?
by tkhooper on May 09, 2005 11:16 PM
It was just a joke. Everytime I turn around I'm buying potting soil because the local wal-mart (only store near by) doesn't carry compost at this location.

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by Fernie on May 10, 2005 04:24 AM
I think you just need to make friends with the owner of a manure producer. I have horses myself and 4 put out more than I need. While I don't have a rig to deliver to my friends (my b-i-l is using my beatup pickup while his is being fixed) and you live just a mite far away, maybe your soon to be friend would be able to deliver to you. Call around to some local stables or dairies....it doesn's hurt to ask that is for sure. The worst they can say is no.

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by Amigatec on May 11, 2005 05:12 AM
Let me add my 2 cent here.

When the potato plants start making flowers they are making potatos.

I don't plant mine to deep so the water can drain away. I normally plant them 4 inches deep, then as the plant grow take a hoe and rake the dirt onto the plants. Potatos will never grow deeper then where you planted them, but can grow higher, that is why I rake the dirt up on to the plants.

But it is a little late for potato planting the magic date is St. Patricks day. [Wink]

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by tkhooper on May 11, 2005 05:15 AM
Thank you for the time line. I need all the help I can get. That gives me lots of time to get the rest of the garden in good shape.

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by peppereater on May 13, 2005 08:03 PM
tk...I've been meaning to get back with you on the composting in containers idea, and now is the perfect time. I've heard of people getting a really late start with potatoes by planting in a big container, then adding leaves, clippings, straw or whatever as the plants grew. They were able to get a good harvest, and the material in the containers undoubtedly broke down a fair bit. They say never to plant potatoes in the same spot 2 years in a row, so after you harvest, you could use the stuff (with some fresh soil on top) for growing lettuce, spinach, whatever, and then next summer, peppers or whatever (not tomatoes, a nightshade like potatoes). I have some other ideas on making compost, let me know if you want me to keep rambling.
by phoenix on May 13, 2005 08:14 PM
can you start potatos just be sticking one that has "eyes" all over it in the dirt?

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"If you want to talk bollocks and discuss the meaning of life,you're better off downing a bottle of whiskey.That way you're drunk by the time you start to take yourself seriously"
by Longy on May 13, 2005 09:15 PM
Sure can Phoenix. In fact if there are enough eyes you can cut the spud up. Make sure each piece has at least 2 eyes. You could ven stick a single potato in a pot if lack of space was a factor.
by phoenix on May 13, 2005 09:23 PM
[thumb] thanx longy,
the ones i tried in the ground were rather small,a little smaller than an egg. i hope it works. i might have to move them (knowing it works) to a different spot i don't really like where i put them [Wink] thanx again

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y203/lilpuppolo/
"If you want to talk bollocks and discuss the meaning of life,you're better off downing a bottle of whiskey.That way you're drunk by the time you start to take yourself seriously"
by Bill on May 13, 2005 10:17 PM
by phoenix on May 13, 2005 11:06 PM
[Big Grin] thanks bill,
i don't know why,but i tell some of the "newbies" to use the forum search. [nutz] can't really rekon why i don't use it [nutz] [Big Grin]

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y203/lilpuppolo/
"If you want to talk bollocks and discuss the meaning of life,you're better off downing a bottle of whiskey.That way you're drunk by the time you start to take yourself seriously"
by tkhooper on May 14, 2005 12:19 PM
Hey Phoenix,

I do that time and time again. I'm not very good with search engines I guess that's why.
by Katb on May 15, 2005 03:27 PM
Are you useing potatos you buy at the store or seed planting ones the seed pototas are best they produce much better I grow them every year. [kitty]
by DaisyM on May 16, 2005 06:59 AM
LoL, I throw my dried up potatos that are starting to sprout (remove the sprouts) into the ground whole. Later I mound the dirt around them and that's all I do.

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