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  #1  
Old 03/04/07, 12:23 AM
Hears The Water's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: S.W. MO
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Seed potato and wood ash questions.

Hi all, I have a couple of questions here. I have tried a search in here about my potato question, but to no avail. I was at my local Atwoods today and bought some seed potatoes. They were $.49 a lb. I was going to get a lot of them, and then I realized that it would be almost $5 for a 10 lb bag of them. I know that I can buy potatoes at Aldi's for much less than that, and if I put them in my laundry room, they will set eyes by the time I am ready to plant them. I read on another thread were several folks have been saving their potato peelings for seed, but I had also heard that grocery store potatoes are sprayed with something that makes them not grow in the garden. Which is it? I am on a super tight budget but would realy like to grow russett and red potatoes in my garden... I even have some nice fluffy, sandy soil ready and waiting for them.

Ok, on to my ash question. I read on another post about using wood ash with onion sets. I don't have a wood stove, by my neighbor does. I would imagine that if I ask him he would give me some, but I have noticed that sometimes he burns srap lumber including particle board and plywood. Is that ok? I sure do have a lot of downed limbs from the ice storm and in theory could get a burn barrel (city ordinance) and make my own ash, but if the neighbor's ash is ok, then I would rather invest my time elseware.

Ok, came up with one more question...in regards to manure. Another neighbor of mine offered me horse manure for my garden. Is that a good kind of manure? I know that the fresh stuff would be too hot right now for this year's garden, but if I can find some older manure would that be ok to work in? Is there any kind of manure that is not too hot to use right away? Thanks in advance for your help... I always learn so much from coming in here!
God bless you and yours
Debbie

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  #2  
Old 03/04/07, 12:34 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
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Don't add wood ash where you are planting potatoes. It can cause potato scab very easy. Asparagus loves wood ashes, and onions maybe just moderately won't hurt. I would want to use only the wood ash and not much ash from plywood that might have synthetic glues. I burn mostly hardwood poplar and use that ash freely in my garden broadcast and tilled in, EXCEPT the potato growing area.
Horse manure that is fresh will heat up, so I would let it rot longer, or use it in composting before using it. It can also have weed seeds possibly, so where you use it, you might need to weed more diligently.

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  #3  
Old 03/04/07, 12:56 AM
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Location: MS
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Yup, no wood ash with your potatos. I use horse manure for fertilizer and have good success with it. Also, grocery store potatos can be used in the garden. That's what I usually use and my mom has used them for years and years.

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  #4  
Old 03/04/07, 07:43 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Georgia
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I have used grocery store potatoes as well but have never tried actual seed potatoes to compare the yield between the two. As for the horse manure, it works well to get the compost pile cooking if it is not already composted. Around here, I have my own chicken and goat manure and my garden is thriving better than it ever has! I keep a compost pile going in the corner of the garden and pile up the straw and manure from the goat shed and chicken coop letting it decompose all winter. That stuff is like black gold now!

Sherry in GA

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  #5  
Old 03/04/07, 08:12 AM
north central Texas
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Texas
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I think all the questions have been answered except for any manure you can use fresh. The only one I know of is rabbit. If you know anyone with rabbits, they usually have lots of manure.

I always use seed potatoes and have very good success. I use the smaller potatoes and plant the whole potatoe. If I was planting a large area, I would cut up the large seed potatoes and dust them in charcoal. This was info I got from a man that raised lots of potatoes for market.

Good luck,

Bob

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  #6  
Old 03/04/07, 08:18 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
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I believe you can make a weak manure tea out of fresh stuff and it won't hurt the plants.

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  #7  
Old 03/04/07, 10:03 AM
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Location: S.W. MO
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Thank you kind folks for your help. I was asking about the wood ash for the onion sets to prevent root maggots, but I am VERY glad that you told me not to use it for the potatoes because who knows....I might have thought it was a good idea! *grin* One can never tell with me around! I did some googling about the grocery store potatoes, and the only thing I could find was that they warned about the store potatoes possibly having disease and not producing the same potatoes as what I had been eating, due to cross breeding. Now I am not sure. I just keep seeing the $.19 per lb vs. the $.49 per lb. and keep teetering back over to the store bought. Thanks again!
God bless you and yours
Debbie

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  #8  
Old 03/04/07, 11:18 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Central Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hears The Water
I did some googling about the grocery store potatoes, and the only thing I could find was that they warned about the store potatoes possibly having disease and not producing the same potatoes as what I had been eating, due to cross breeding.
Lots of myths abound when it comes to potatoes. Most are kept alive by people wanting to sell you their seed potatoes.

One is more apt to get diseased potato seed from someone selling organic spuds at your local farmers market than from the store. Commercial growers spend millions of dollars to keep their fields free of diseases.

If you buy a common commercial variety of potato from the supermarket, it's a 99% chance that it will produce sprouts and develop like any other potato. There are no sprays used by supermarkets to prevent potatoes from sprouting. Breaking dormancy is controlled by temperature. Stock rotation assures that the oldest is used first.

If you buy pre-packaged specialty potatoes, it's possibly 50% chance that the fields were treated with maleic hydrazide, MH-30. Anti-sprouting on the store shelves is not the primary reason for its use. Instead, it is to prevent volunteers. That in turn has two purposes, disease control and product control. It assures that every plant which comes up is from disease-free stock and is the variety intended for that field.

Don't know where the cross breeding thought came from since all potatoes are normally planted as clones. It's only when actual seed is planted that the end results are not the same. That's because all potatoes that we are normally dealing with are genetic hybrids and will not produce true to their parents, just like apples!

Martin
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  #9  
Old 03/04/07, 12:50 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: northcentral Montana
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"Commercial growers spend millions of dollars to keep their fields free of diseases."

Here Martin and I disagree. Montana has a HUGE seed potato industry (if you buy a grocery store potato grown in Idaho, more than likely the seed originally came from Montana) and the farmers do indeed have a vested interest in keeping blight and other diseases out of their fields. And the main way they do this is by ONLY planting certified seed. Certified by the state to have come from a facility that does not have problems in their labs or fields, so the seed is clean. Once blight is in the soil it is there to stay as it's very hard and expensive to get rid of, and it would ruin the field for potatoes. No more income . . . and the neighbors would really be upset as the infection can travel with soil in irrigation water, on feet and paws, culls, and of course, on machinery.

The state says that we may only sell certified seed in our greenhouse, and stores can only sell potatoes for planting from certified seed, not from their table stock displays. Since table stock comes from all over, there is no guarantee that it is disease free. We want to be good stewards of our agricultural lands so we never encourage people to plant anything but certified seed.

Please, be a good neighbor.

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  #10  
Old 03/04/07, 03:42 PM
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Location: Central S. C.
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Around here, you can buy certified seed potatoes at around $11-12 per 50#. I only use certified seed.

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  #11  
Old 03/04/07, 03:53 PM
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Location: NE Ohio
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We "sprinkle" our wood ashes around the yard and gardens so it doesn't "burn" anything...If I remember correctly, it is high in acids and okay for acid loving plants, but you still have to be careful. We also get horse manure. The wet stuff we mix into the compost, the dry we just work right into the garden.

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  #12  
Old 03/04/07, 04:29 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wisconsin
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Wood Ashes are a Base...Meaning the have a high PH...Not an acid...

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  #13  
Old 03/04/07, 04:38 PM
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They are high ph, also high potash. they are a good potash fretilizer if you watch the ph. Over use can raise your soil ph too high. Taters like slightly acidic soil.

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  #14  
Old 03/04/07, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GR8PMKN
Wood Ashes are a Base...Meaning the have a high PH...Not an acid...
Thank you for the correction.
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  #15  
Old 03/05/07, 03:10 PM
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if i live in the kansas city area, when can I plant out potato seeds?


Also, goat manure can be used immediatly in the garden, just like rabbit manure.

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  #16  
Old 03/05/07, 09:37 PM
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mil and fil always said by st pats day( near kc area)

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  #17  
Old 03/06/07, 08:20 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Debbie,
You would be planting a lot of potatoes if you bought 10 lbs. of seed potatoes. I like to use seed potatoes as I know they are not sprayed like some storebought potatoes are. Or I use my own homegrown potatoes left from last year. I always have some small ones that have sprouted on their own by this time of year. I have a root cellar I store mine in. I always cut my seed or homegrown potatoes into 4 pieces if they are pretty good size, just making sure that each piece has a couple eyes on it. You will get lots of potaoes from that if you do it that way.

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  #18  
Old 03/06/07, 09:05 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Southern CT
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Fresh manure

Hears the Water - You asked what manure could be used fresh without burning. I have used rabbit manure straight from the rabbit without any problems in my garden. Don't have any rabbits right now, but hope to get some soon.

I have planted store bought potatoes that started growing in my frig. They did as well as any seed potatoes that I grew. Never had huge harvests either way...

Peace - Cathryn

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  #19  
Old 03/06/07, 09:43 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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The problem around here is that the stores only carry certified potatoes for spring planting, so if I want storage potatoes, I've got to plant the grocery store potatoes sprouting in my root cellar.

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  #20  
Old 03/06/07, 09:50 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 500

HTW. Just to reinforce the point Chicken made whether you decide to use store potatos or certified seed potatos they're a very economical plant. If you cut each seed potato so it has 2 eyes on it and is about a 1-1/2-2 oz blocky piece you can get 3 or 4 or more plants from each seed potato. A yield of between 7 to 13 times the seed used should be pretty easy to achieve.

That's quite a lot of food for the price either way.

I always buy certified seed. If I were to buy by the pound it's $ 0.75 a pound but if I buy a whole 50# bag it drops to about $0.24 a pound at the local Agway

I usually buy by the pound since 50# is much more than I need of a variety. I ususally plant 20 or 30 pound total of seed in two varieties. It's about enough for my family of 4 with some to give away.

I still have some potatos stored from my harvest last year.

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  #21  
Old 03/06/07, 01:46 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: northcentral Montana
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Around here (northcentral plains), the best time to plant potatoes is when dandelions are blooming in open areas (not in sheltered ones!). They indicate the ground is warm enough, and we have never had a problem following their lead.

The problem with planting by calendar date is that the weather is not taken into account -- a big problem around here, where March and April weather are so variable.

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