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I want to grow potatoes....

 
gardener
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My wife wants to grow potatoes, and that is making me want to grow potatoes.
I know not to expect magical potatoes towers filled with spuds, but I need help on almost everything else.

My impulse is to find varieties that are the most foolproof, tastiest ,highest yielding, most marketable, shortest seasoned as possible.
Obviously all of these things probably wont appear in the same spud.
I tend to grow several varieties early indeterminate tomatoes, with the idea that fresh is the tastiest and most marketable , and early + indeterminate is my best chance to get the greatest yields.
My wife likes red potatoes and fingerlings.
Based on the crazy ideas above, what varieties would your recommend?

My next question is about what to grow them in and where?
What is best, and what is good enough?
I have piles of rabbit bedding consisting of orchard grass hay and bunny poop.
I have fresh chicken bedding consisting of oak leaves and chook poop.
I have 55 gallon, 27 gallon and 5 gallon wicking containers filled primarily with peat moss, top dressed with bunny bedding.
The tomatoes seemed to like them(except the 5 gallon, its just too small)
I have sunny spots, though my southern exposure is limited  for many reasons(chickens, black berries, grape vines)
If I could get them past the seedling stage , the chooks wont tear them up, if tomatoes are any indication.
My northern exposure gets scorched, it's a terraced front yard, that really needs irrigation.
My wife is very interested in planting into nice neat beds in the front yard, but is unlikely to tend to the plants.
I love tending to plants, but I run out of time, thus I prefer my self watering containers.
I like building stuff, and pleasing my wife, so I'm cool with building new beds.
I'm concerned about the potatoes plants drying to death due to watering neglect unless they are in wicking containers, but I am also concerned about growing root veg in a wicking container.
I can imagine the constant moisture being a problem.

So, any suggestions will be most welcome.
Right now I'm leaning towards buying anything that seems nice, and planting multiple varieties in multiple ways.
If I could get them past the seedling stage , the chooks wont tear them up, if tomatoes are any indication.


 
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Go for it. Su Ba was my inspiration. Her Homesteading in Hawaii Blog is a great resource as well as her posts on Permies. Su has tried and documented many ways of growing potatoes.

My location is more like Su's - sub-tropical (but in Australia). Her posts got me interested in all-year potatoes. So far so good as we have not purchased potatoes for 7 months. I grow in ground because I have the space. Dutch Cream is my favourite variety but as I am in sub-tropical Australia the varieties will be of little interest to you. My main objective is to encourage you to grow a very satisfying crop and to acknowledge one of my Permies heroes - Su Ba.

Cheers
Druce
 
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It gets realy hot where I live, so I need to grow short season.  I like yukon gem and am trying norland red this year too.  I mulch heavily so that the ground stays moist and I water less, once we hit may or so I have to irrigate.  I grow in raised beds because the california pocket gopher would eat very potato, and that is not theory, I originally spent years trying grow without gopher proof raised beds.  The raised beds are 12 inches deep with wire on the bottom.

So, I loosen the soil, cover with 3 inches of goat stall cleanings ( alfalfa stems that have been peed on) and plant.  I used to plant closer, but now am doing about 1 ft apart, and about 6 inches deep ( I pull the mulch back a bit right over the planting spot) Your bunny cleanings might be similar.  I usually water with an over head sprinkler to save time, and I have done that on a simple timer, the kind where you have a dial between teh hose and spiigot and turn the dial to the desired time and then it will turn itself off when done.  That way I dont forget.  It is not too hard to remember to turn it on x times a week for me

Since I can grow them on my southern slope here, your northern slope should be alright if you put them in early and grow the early ones.

 
gardener
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William,

By all means, do the taters!  In my experience potatoes are really easy to grow and give a nice, satisfying crop yet don’t need a huge amount of soil amendments.

The basic, easy way to start is dig little trenches and plop the seed potatoes in, and cover into hills.  Over the growing period you can continue to pull soil up and around.

I did a little experiment last summer and tried planting in woodchips.  I didn’t plant too many potatoes as this was mostly an experiment.  I dug a deeper than normal trench in the slightly decomposed chips.  I then laid down a layer of bagged manure for plant food and covered with a heap of woodchips.  On a lark I also inoculated the patch with Stropharia.  By summer the potatoes grew nice tall and healthy.  When I went to harvest, I could almost just pull up on the base of the plant and haul the whole root mass up—almost.  Ultimately I just reached into the chips, picked potatoes and they came out incredibly clean!  

Potatoes are a really easy plant and give great yields without much fuss.

Eric
 
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Like Eric

I use lots of composting  material.... mostly straw and leaves.  I get all of the potatoes my wife and I need for the year.
 
William Bronson
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I'm trying something, here are some pictures:
IMG_20200311_124713.jpg
Chitted red potatoe pieces
Chitted red potatoe pieces
IMG_20200311_124725.jpg
This is the sub irrigated planter I'm planting into.It has an inverted bucket as a cloche.
This is the sub irrigated planter I'm planting into.It has an inverted bucket as a cloche.
IMG_20200311_124919.jpg
Rabbit bedding over the chitted potatoe pieces.
Rabbit bedding over the chitted potatoe pieces.
 
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Looks like you are double stacking the buckets? There seems to be a lot of thought that adding the extra bucket height hinders, rather than helps, the total crop produced. Would you be interested in doing half at double height and half with just one bucket? I would love to see the results!

EDIT- Or is that some type of wicking system?
 
William Bronson
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Good questions!
I have read that there is limit to how much depth/hilling can actually help, and I have also read that many potatoes will only produces at the level of the original seed potatoe.

Based on that,  my bottom buckets  just contain  wicking soil and a water reservoir.
The chitted potatoe pieces go on the top of that soil,  covered with rabbit bedding.
The bedding is orchard grass hay and rabbit poop.
The top bucket holds the bedding, allows for some light,  and it has a lid for cold weather.

My main concern is the container being too wet.
There are slits in the lid,  but that might not be enough.
Mold could be a problem.
I wonder,  would lactobacillus help stave that off?
I'm going to start a batch soon,  it probably won't hurt to spray the hay with it.

I could prepare a container that let's me plant two buckets deep,  but the reports on potato tower yeilds make me disinclined.

 
pollinator
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One little thought on your bucket there, 5 potatoes? I would think 2 or 3 sprouts total for a bucket that size. (one potato)
 
gardener
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My best potatoes in my climate was a variation on what Eric Hanson described. I went away in August and Hubby "forgot" the bag of potatoes he'd bought and it was trying to escape the closet. I had a wood-chip/okara compost pile that had duck-shit inoculated wood chips as a base. I dug a trench on either side, carefully moved the sprouted potatoes into the trenches, put some hoops over it followed by a white tarp, and figured that it would help mature the compost if nothing else. I got lots of sprouts, used some of the pile to mulch them once, and started digging new potatoes around Christmas - basically digging as I needed them. The windrow was only about 12 feet long, but I probably got about a meal per foot. Of course I missed some, so they started sprouting again in the spring. They would have mostly been wee little guys, so my fall crop wasn't as good and the bed's now being moved and changed, but for grocery store Russets, I figured it was a good score.

I also have a bin that's got some red potatoes and some whites that's larger than a 20 gallon bucket which is great for really early potatoes, as it's in a sunny protected spot. Last year, the hose I use in that area developed a drip, so I put it so the drip landed in that bin - the slow watering improved the production really well, so that suggests a wicking bucket should work. If it looks as if the dirt is getting too wet, I'd try to extend the time for filling the reservoir to give a little dry time. My bigger concern, is that you don't want green on the tubers. My bin is dark blue, but I would try to find a black bucket for the "grow" part of your system. If you can't, I'd consider surrounding the growing part with something opaque.
 
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Thanks for all the info everyone! I love growing potatoes in ground, but this year I'm trying in containers too (voles keep eating the ones in my garden). Does anyone have a link to Su Ba's threads?
 
William Bronson
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My wife didn't want to sacrifice any single potato but was fine with sacrificing the eyes.
She gave me twenty or so scraps with eyes on them, and I only had three buckets set up, so the other two have even more pieces in them.
I figured each scrap would have less energy to get started, so the more chances, the better.
I might thin them later, or maybe I will get smaller potatoes , but more of them?


I was thinking that the hay would be enough to keep the potatoes from greening, but maybe not.
Rather than modify some other buckets, I think I will paint or better yet, cover over the existing ones.
Cloth, foil,or tape all come to mind.

It's still cold and wet here, and last frost isn't till April 19, so I think I'm jumping the gun planting potatoes.
The reservoirs of water and the ability to close the containers might be enough protection.
I'm basically "winter sowing" the potatoes.
I have some front yard beds that might grow potatoes quite nicely.
They are on the north of the house, but they get a lot of sun.
My wife mighty even be persuaded to part with some whole potatoes, since she just bought 50 lbs of them...
The rabbit pop just keeps coming, so there should enough for at least one big bed.
Each bed has at least one woody perennial in it already, even if its just a mulberry that refuses to die.
Do you think the potatoes can thrive next to the shrubbery?

That reminds me of my blueberry bush.
It lives in a 55 gallon wicking barrel of peat moss.
I've tried to establish  strawberries around it, as they are said to not mind the acidic soil, but none have survived.
Other, weedy plants have survived. and I deal with them chop and drop style.
I wonder if I could add some potatoes to the barrel, along with their attendant manured straw.
I'm thinking they would get too tall, and block sun to the blueberry bush.

Front yard beds filled with potatoes and rabbit bedding are looking better and better.
I might need to water them during the hottest months, but it should be worth it.
I have good spot for rain barrels on the front porch, but I don't need any more trouble from the dept of making me sad.

Does anyone here inter-crop their potatoes with something to confuse the pests?
I have never had any tomato pests to speak of, but that might be due to the lizard population.


 
James Landreth
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I learned the hard way never to plant potatoes around perennials. Digging them disturbs the roots and you'll never get them all.


On another note, I have successfully transplanted potato plants.  Just be sure to water them enough to get them started
 
Jay Angler
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James Landreth wrote:I learned the hard way never to plant potatoes around perennials. Digging them disturbs the roots and you'll never get them all.

On another note, I have successfully transplanted potato plants.  Just be sure to water them enough to get them started

I agree - I like my potatoes separate so I can disturb the soil without concern. In particular, I've read that blueberries are loners  and don't like competition or disturbed roots, although the don't seem to mind a few bulbs as they die back before the blueberries really get going for the summer.
 
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Lots of good info here! Following since this is my first year to grow potatoes.

I'm trying different methods & varieties to see what works best in my environment. Most of my seed is red potatoes, but I also picked up 5lbs each of kennebec, Yukon gold, and russet when they went on sale at the farm & ranch store.
I planted some in the 30 gallon buckets that cow feed comes in, using leaf mold mixed with rabbit manure as a planting medium. Then I put some in the new lasagna keyhole bed by digging holes in the chips and putting them in a pocket of soil and pulling the mulch back over. I did the same with a hugel mound, but mulched with hay that's been soiled by rabbits & cattle. Then I put the rest in one of the garden beds, by raking back the wood chip mulch and laying the potatoes on the surface and covering with the chips. The majority of them were planted whole, but I did cut a few of the huge ones in half if they were sprouting on both ends.
After the last week of temps in the 70s- low 80s, I noticed the first batches planted are coming up. I checked the spots where none have sprouted and found they're putting out roots, so I hope to get a decent crop this year.
For companions, I think I'll put some bush beans around them, as I've read they help deter pests for each other, plus the potatoes can benefit from the nitrogen.
I've read in a few different threads on here that potatoes are good for building soil and helping OM break down, which would be great in the keyhole & hugel, where there's still a lot of material that hasn't fully decomposed.
 
John F Dean
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Thanks for the comment on Bush beans and potatoes. I will give it a try.
 
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A good rule of thumb is that you need 2/3 of a cubic foot of soil per seed piece.  Roughly 12"x12"x8".  A five gallon bucket can efficiently grow one seed piece.  You can put more in, but you will get smaller tubers.  In research operations, 19L pots are standard for single plants, because they allow the plants to produce an unrestricted yield.  And covering by more than six inches is always a waste of time and will delay emergence and produce a smaller yield in many cases.
 
pollinator
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The most fool proof and most prolific potato variety that I have found is the "purple potatoes".  Those things are crazy producers and seem easier to grow than any other type that I have grown.

As for growing potatoes, there must be a 1,000 different ways to grow them, they all work well, just find the find the way suits your situation the best...  In the end people literally grow potatoes in some p[laces by throwing them in old hay piles and they go nuts.  Generally speaking not a lot to growing potatoes, I mean you can get fancy and all that and I have seen some impressive yields, but starting out I advice keeping it relatively simple and easy...  With each year you learn more and keep experimenting until you find what you like the best and works for you.  Loads of information on growing potatoes on the internet, I have been growing them for 45 years and I still see new ideas that I have never heard of or thought of before commonly on the net.
 
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there must be a 1,000 different ways to grow them



One of the simplest ways is in a cardboard box! Take a box that’s about 12-16” square and about as tall. Put it on the ground and dump in 6” of good rich soil or compost. Place one eye in the center, and cover with 3-6” more of good soil. Once the plant is high enough, add a layer of mulch. When it’s time to harvest, the bottom of the box will have rotted (possibly the sides too, depending on how thick the material was) and you can just lift it up by the top edge and there’s a cube of soil full of potatoes and probably a few earthworms too!
 
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I'm in WV, so close to your climate. With a few decades experience, I say: YES to growing potatoes and lots of them. With unpredictable fallout from the coronavirus, you could be falling back on your own food stash; potatoes are among the easiest to store (especially if you have a root cellar--they need high moisture and temps as cold as possible above freezing). They have lots of calories, and can be cooked so many different ways. But NO to using any kind of fresh manure--this is supposed to be a no-no with potatoes and root crops generally--makes em hairy...and potatoes don't need real rich soil. I have no advice on growing in containers which I've never done--in the ground the critical thing is to get them several inches down (putting hay on top works but it probably will need replenished--potatoes exposed to light get green and are toxic). If the eye scrapes are too small they won't grow. But a viable chunk can be as little as nine inches from the next one and rows can be maybe 15 inches apart if you're hard up for space. They are said to like acid soil--this is because scab doesn't flourish in acidity. I have found they do very well in neutral soil in my garden, but I don't grow Yukon Gold which is prone to scab. You said your wife likes red ones--one of my favorites is Red Norland (sometimes called Dark Red Norland) which is an early, mostly round, highly scab-resistant potato that stores pretty well despite its earliness. When new the skin is bright red, the flesh white. Another favorite, always available, is Kennebec, which makes bigger plants and bigger potatoes and is an excellent keeper--I used the last one from last year a few days ago and it was sprouting but still smooth-skinned. They take much longer to bake or boil, however. You can plant a little before the last frost as it takes them a couple weeks to come aboveground--the sprouts will be damaged by frost but will try again if that happens. You can start harvesting when the plants are yellowing and lying on the ground, but you can also leave most of them in the ground well into winter if you don't have voles or such. I also recommend sweet potatoes, another plant that gives a big calorie and nutrient bang for your buck and keeps very well on a pantry shelf, all winter--I still have some but am mostly cutting off the tops to sprout this year's now. They will create a jungle of vines which shade out weeds--but they are wimps, must not be planted outside till well into May.
 
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I haven't grown potatoes in several years for lack of time to garden. However, this year I planned my veggie and flower garden early enough to organize it according to my work schedule.
I am growing some potatoes in containers. This is a new experience for me. Additionally, some chits will be planted in the backyard in an area that is just sunny enough and considered wasted space.
Three cultivars of seed potatoes were purchased at a close-by Tractor Supply store on February 1 and cut for callusing on Groundhog Day (My favorite holiday).
After they callused over for about 3 days, I allowed them to chit in a cool, but sunny area until around March 1.
Then I planted them into 15-gallon nursery pots. Each pot contained about 4 inches of seasoned compost (pure gold!). The chits were arranged on top of the compost and a layer of agricultural sulfur was sprinkled over the whole lot.
The chits were then covered with an additional 3 to 4 inches of the same compost and then watered in.
Here are some images from the process.
Peace, out


Blue-Potato_Bucket-Planting-1.jpg
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Potato-Varieties-2020.jpg
[Thumbnail for Potato-Varieties-2020.jpg]
Red-Norland-Potato_Planting-Bucket-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for Red-Norland-Potato_Planting-Bucket-1.jpg]
Blue-Potatoes_Chits-Resize.jpg
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Dexter-Knife_Seed-Potato-Resize_Edit.jpg
[Thumbnail for Dexter-Knife_Seed-Potato-Resize_Edit.jpg]
Kennebec-White-Potato_Chits-Resize.jpg
[Thumbnail for Kennebec-White-Potato_Chits-Resize.jpg]
Red-Norland-Potato_Chits-Resize.jpg
[Thumbnail for Red-Norland-Potato_Chits-Resize.jpg]
 
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Good thread!  I’ve also started the desire to grow potatoes.  I’ve been saving a bunch until the eyes begin to sprout, as suggested.  And then I’ll be planting in 3 and 5 gallon buckets!

I do have a question regarding sweet potatoes.  Specifically, Jersey white sweet potatoes. They don’t seem to form any “eyes” like regular tubers.  Can I use the same methods as regular potatoes to grow sweet potatoes?

Thanks!
 
Mary Cook
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Tod---No. Sweet potatoes aren't even related to regular potatoes. Regular potatoes tolerate cool wet conditions (why they were popular in Ireland) while sweet potatoes like it hot and tolerate some drought. They need a fairly long growing season. I start mine indoors as early as February--that's too early but the suckers are sprouting in my pantry, especially the purple ones, till I feel them importuning me to put them in water. I cut off the sprouting end and suspend it in a jar of water, sprouts up, suspended on a two or three little wires stuck into the sweet potato chunk. The sprouts should grow and turn into a vine, in a window; now I pluck them off the potato and discard it. Sometimes the roots are attached, sometimes they go with the sweet potato but either way I put the root ends in water and they grow some more. Hopefully they're still healthy when I can finally set them out (By then they've been living in my greenhouse a lot, for the extra sun and warmth) Here in zone 6 that's mid May or so. Water and mulch till they're established, then just get out of the way--they'll create a jungle of vines that prevent weeds. Before frost, dig them up. This is harder than with regular potatoes because they fan out below the plant (the orange ones) or worse, the purple ones dive and twist and slither under the mats I have covering my aisles, digging deep into hard clay. The purple ones I have sprout MUCH more vigorously than the orange, but yield about the same. They are a vivid deep purple all the way through, and have a similar flavor but are slightly denser baked, and aren't good for frying--they don't soften.  They all keep well on a shelf in a dark pantry, usually healing well even if you have cut through them. I don't know the variety you named.
I think the most important tip on both regular and sweet potatoes is this: DO plant some!
 
Todd Bud
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Thank you, Mary!!!

I live in Northern Arizona. While we are still in our cold spell, it does get quite warm up here.  Dry, not tropical.

I have a couple purple ones on hand too.  But the blonde(white interior) sweet potatoes are my favorite.

I pictured both.

Would you mind posting a picture of your “suspended” potatoes on wire?  I’m having trouble picturing that.
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
 
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James Landreth wrote:Thanks for all the info everyone! I love growing potatoes in ground, but this year I'm trying in containers too (voles keep eating the ones in my garden). Does anyone have a link to Su Ba's threads?


Su Bas bloghttp://kaufarmer.blogspot.com/
My experiments with growing potatoes in the winter for spring harvest have demonstrated that they will put their roots down into rich soil that is wicking  up water but will prefer to put the tuber roots in loos sand that is only slightly damp from wicking from the rich soil.
I think if the original poster gradually adds sand to his top bucket the potatoes will form in the sand just above the mulch. My experience is the vines will be protectd by the bucket from frost but will grow up out of the bucket and hang down. Good system so they don't cover the floor of your greenhouse.
I took pictures of my using the potato planting tube tool today but I did not think of taking a picture of the ones growing in the wicking barrel. One vine got too close to the top of the barrel and got frost nipped on the end.  It is about time to start adding sand so I will try to get a video of the process.
 
William Whitson
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Roots and stolons form on each sprout.  So the sprouts grow upward, sending roots downward and stolons out laterally.  Because of that, the tubers will always be at or just above the level of the seed piece, unless the stolons run into an obstacle that redirects them.
 
Mary Cook
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Todd asked me to post pictures of my sweet potatoes suspended in water. I am tech-challenged. With help from my husband I managed to use the phone to take some pictures.
IMG_20200324_094839018.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200324_094839018.jpg]
 
Mary Cook
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Okay. Tech Help figured out how to upload the photo too. You see a tray in my little attached greenhouse, with two orange sweet potatoes suspended over a jar of water on small copper wire pieces, with the bottom of the chunk in the water. In the front are a collection of sprouts pulled off their chunks and now in water making more roots. At the back you see one plan I planted in soil because it looked unhealthy. I guess it's helping. The challenge is always to keep these starts healthy until they can be set out when it's nice and warm.
 
Todd Bud
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Mary Wildfire wrote:Todd asked me to post pictures of my sweet potatoes suspended in water. I am tech-challenged. With help from my husband I managed to use the phone to take some pictures.




Beautiful!  Thank you Mary!  I’ve been watching YouTube videos and getting ready to start slips this weekend!
 
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Todd Bud I am in Northern Arizona as well.When do you usually plant your tatoes?I planted onions,cabbage,swiss chard already but didn't wanna jump the gun planting the potatoes.I was told wait by elders.
 
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Ben Skiba wrote:Todd Bud I am in Northern Arizona as well.When do you usually plant your tatoes?I planted onions,cabbage,swiss chard already but didn't wanna jump the gun planting the potatoes.I was told wait by elders.



Awesome!  Hello, fellow Arizonan!  I haven’t planted them yet either.  I just have some fresh ones stock piled to let sit to sprout.  Actually regular potatoes should be OK to start by now.  It’s the sweet potatoes that thrive in warmth.

I’ll probably get my regular potatoes going in the next two weeks(hopefully). And the sweet potatoes maybe first week of May?? I have to get slips produced from sweet potatoes I have.
 
William Bronson
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So the potatoes I planted in buckets have grown up and out of their buckets.
I filled the buckets with rabbit bedding as they grew.

Now I'm wondering if I could put 3 " of bedding into bottom of a single bucket, place my seed potatoes on that surface,  and immediately fill the rest of the bucket.
Would the seed potatoes grow up through the layers of bedding?
Would it grow potatoes?
I think I might try this.
 
Jay Angler
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William Bronson wrote:Now I'm wondering if I could put 3 " of bedding into bottom of a single bucket, place my seed potatoes on that surface,  and immediately fill the rest of the bucket.
Would the seed potatoes grow up through the layers of bedding?
Would it grow potatoes?  I think I might try this.

I've heard that potatoes won't grow through more than 4" of soil, so that would be an interesting experiment. My concern is if it was a small potato, it would run out of energy before reaching the surface. If you had a potato that had sprouted and was already many inches long and transplanted it carefully, that would make a difference also (like the ones I was chitting in the kitchen that were doing nothing, doing nothing, doing nothing, then all of a sudden, they're 5 inches tall!)
 
Sue Reeves
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I plant my potato starts 9 inches deep, and 12 inches apart in raised beds.  They absolutely will grow up thru that much dirt, but I do not think you hould go deeper, so put the potato start 6-9 inches deep.  At 9 inches deep I never have to add or hill up.  I have 150 sq feet of potatoes out in teh garden right now, all are up, one bed is more than a month along
 
William Bronson
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Thanks Sue, that's good news for an attention deficit type gardener like me!
I'm addicted to planting potatoes right now,  the more ways the better.
I have some tiny organic fingerlings I bought just for growing.
I wonder,  would putting them in a bag with a banana cause them them to sprout faster?

Here are the first spuds I planted:
IMG_20200507_220442.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200507_220442.jpg]
IMG_20200507_220517.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200507_220517.jpg]
IMG_20200507_220512.jpg
This one is lagging, probably because I didn't top up the water reservoir at planting time.
This one is lagging, probably because I didn't top up the water reservoir at planting time.
 
William Bronson
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OK, My potatoes have out grown their cloches, but we are due for a record low of 30 degrees F tonight.
Should I cover them, bring them inside or let them be?
 
Eric Hanson
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William,

Your taters look great!  Since you have them in buckets, I would say just pick them up and bring them inside.  Super easy to do.

Eric
 
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Sometimes it's hard to predict what's going to happen when you plant something. I was given some "already sprouting" potatoes, so I set up two containers starting Mar 25. The potatoes were not necessarily the same variety.
Potato-1-start-in-blue-2-starts-in-black-Mar-25.jpg
The blue bin is sitting in a rubber pan to hold a bit of water.
The blue bin is sitting in a rubber pan to hold a bit of water.
potato-7-weeks-fully-hilled-May-8.JPG
This one just suddenly took off - I think it's an early variety!
This one just suddenly took off - I think it's an early variety!
Potato-7-weeks-partly-hilled-May-8.JPG
The back one has started accelerating its growth, but both are slower than the other bin.
The back one has started accelerating its growth, but both are slower than the other bin.
 
William Bronson
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Jay, in that second picture,  what's that showing through the holes in the side of the blue barrel?
It looks kinda green, yet  you seem to be hilling the plants with brownnwoodchips mulch.
 
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William Bronson wrote:Jay, in that second picture,  what's that showing through the holes in the side of the blue barrel?

Those aren't actually holes, William, they're flowering grass beside the barrel. If you look very carefully, they're on very thin stalks. Don't know what type of "grass".

William Bronson wrote:It looks kinda green, yet  you seem to be hilling the plants with brownnwoodchips mulch.

That started off life wood chips mixed with Okara a friend needed to get rid of (if not mixed well with "browns", it gets really smelly, really fast), and then followed up over a year or so with veggie scraps, dead birds, etc. It takes a long time for wood to break down in a compost situation - I actually think they break down faster spread out on the ground with mushrooms and plants to help, but the wood chips were given to me when a company was hired to clear branches from the phone lines, so they were going to get chipped regardless and I figured I'd find a use for them. The version I used to hill the blue bin with, I actually put through a 1/4" hardware cloth sieve. If I was smart, I'd move a mushroom I spotted yesterday to that bin to help with further decomp!


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