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  #1  
Old 04/29/07, 11:17 AM
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No Till Potato Garden Planting (Photos)

The soil in this plot first was fortified with nutrients from a chicken coop that was made smaller, then covered over in deep grass clipping mulch last year.
This area has not been tilled or dug. It's designated as 'no dig- no till' potato patch for Yukon Gold and Norland potatoes.

First 2 photos show the seed potatoes cut into the right sized peices each haveing at least 3 eyes. First picture shows them fresh cut to dry and cure in the greenhouse. The 2nd picture shows them after drying and 'cured' ready to plant:





First step in planting was to mark a row with twine and pul aside the existing mulch, clean away any possible weed or grass root contaminating the mulch, which there was very little. Then scrape the loose bottom soil with a hoe lightly to have a place for the potatoes to take root.



Then the row is covered with the mulch and another row 2 feet adjacent is marked, and the step repeated.



Finally, 2 rows are covered in mulch, the 3rd row is marked and ready for the existing mulch pile to be moved so another 'trench' can be supplied for the next row, etc. The supervising dog is extra smug in all this.



If all goes well, what should happen now is the spuds will germinated through the mulch layer that is about 4 to 6 inches over the seed potatoes. Then more mulch will be added to the rows between and againse the growing potato tops. At harvest, there is 'no dig' as the spuds are pulled up through the fairly loose mulch.

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  #2  
Old 04/29/07, 11:25 AM
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I'm doing the majority of my gardening directly into straw bales this year but am planning on planting my potatoes in tires in loose straw. I've done this in the past with good results but it's been a long time and my memory is foggy.

My question is about fertilizing the straw before, during and after planting the spuds. It seems that there wouldn't be much in the way of nutrients just in the straw by itself.

I'm pre-treating my bales with ammonium nitrate and the directions I'm following then says to treat with a 10-10-10 fertilizer the day before planting. Should I do that with the straw/tire beds I'll be planting the potatoes in?

I'm not sure about taking chicken poop directly from the coop and adding to the potato straw because I'm thinking that may be too hot. How about goat poop? Nothing is composted down yet.

I do have a compost bin that all (vegetable, egg shells) my kitchen waste and rabbit poop/bedding goes into but I haven't been too good at keeping it turned so it may not be ready either.

Janis

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  #3  
Old 04/29/07, 11:28 AM
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oops. The first 2 photos should be these:

fresh seed potatoes:



cured:

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Old 04/29/07, 11:42 AM
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Ruth Stout would be very proud!

I'm betting that you'll end up with a killer crop.

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  #5  
Old 04/29/07, 02:40 PM
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I have some old tires and am going to try the tire method. I was wondering though, would fresh compost in it give the potatoes andy diseases??? I use shavings in my chicken house. Could I use a mix of shaving compost and reg. compost? 50/50? Moonwolf, I love your little helper Mine is a pug.

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Old 04/29/07, 04:02 PM
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moonwolf...looking good pal.i cant wait to watch them grow this summer...and see the harvest in the fall.keep up the good work and thanks for sharing pic's with us.

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  #7  
Old 04/29/07, 04:49 PM
 
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I planted mine 3 months ago in A pile of compost that was to large to go thru the 1/2 inch mesh of the sifter. The plants are 2 feet tall. The whole thing was on A bare earth spot. Best of All I only watered them twice.

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Old 04/29/07, 05:46 PM
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Hey Moon,
Explain why you cure seed potatoes........I have never done that......Is this a good thing to do? Thanks Scott

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Old 04/29/07, 05:47 PM
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thanks.
As for fertilizing, I'm planning to use a manure or compost tea and use that to water the plants at least once a week.
The first two picture bloops were photos of the day my tree swallows returned to the northland.
The mulch layer also should help protect from frost nights that will come up, as the last frost date here in zone 3 is around the last week of May.

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Old 04/29/07, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oletruckfarmer
Hey Moon,
Explain why you cure seed potatoes........I have never done that......Is this a good thing to do? Thanks Scott
'curing' is merely drying them in the sun for a day after cutting them in pieced before planting. It can help prevent some fungus problems and I believe it might help keep earthworms from trying to eat potatoes that are too fresh and moist. Another method I've used is to shake them in a bag of some sulfur powder before planting. Didn't have any sulfur around, so I dry cured them instead.
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  #11  
Old 04/29/07, 06:03 PM
 
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Hello moonwolf. Looks great. Hope you have a great crop. Nothing quite like new potatoes.

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Old 04/30/07, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for the photos and directions!

This year, we placed loads of composted horse manure on ground that had been covered with leaves and straw through the winter. (Why? Because that was the best place to pile it up. No other reason. )

Then, we put the cut spuds on the manure, covered the whole mess with spent/spoiled straw and hay. We'll see what happens.

Keep us posted on your potato adventure!

Pony!
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Old 04/30/07, 11:23 AM
 
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Moonwolf,

You read my mind. I bought a dehydrator this spring and naturally I have to plant something to dry. My time is limited in the summer so I'll be doing the potato under mulch method too.

Are there any types of potatoes better suited for this kind of growing?

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Old 04/30/07, 12:13 PM
 
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Looks great moonwolf! I ditto the Ruth Stout comment!

I'm doing potatoes for the first time this year up here. Pretty much the same method, too.

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  #15  
Old 05/03/07, 07:40 AM
 
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I planted seed potatoes in tires and covered them with aged shavings and chicken manure, and none of them has even sprouted.

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  #16  
Old 05/03/07, 11:27 AM
 
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My Grandmother said that when she was a kid her family was too poor to plant a whole potato. So they cut out the eyes and only planted them. So I am trying that this year. I have never grown potatoes before and don't know when to cover the sprouts with more mulch. My Grandmother can't remember either.

They are about 2 inches tall now. When do I cover them up? And how deep should I cover them.

Thanks

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Old 05/03/07, 11:49 AM
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Looks great, Moonwolf!

Are there any particular breeds you like best for PGDs (potato guard dogs)?

Is it important that the puppies be raised around potatoes or that the pup's parents have PGD experience?

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  #18  
Old 05/03/07, 11:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slfisher
I planted seed potatoes in tires and covered them with aged shavings and chicken manure, and none of them has even sprouted.
How long ago and how deep?
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  #19  
Old 05/03/07, 11:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessynae
My Grandmother said that when she was a kid her family was too poor to plant a whole potato. So they cut out the eyes and only planted them. So I am trying that this year. I have never grown potatoes before and don't know when to cover the sprouts with more mulch. My Grandmother can't remember either.

They are about 2 inches tall now. When do I cover them up? And how deep should I cover them.

Thanks
I'm with you. I never plant the whole potatoes(well I do on the very small ones). I would probably let them grow a bit more before I would cover them. I like to let them really get growing well before I mound or hill over them.
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  #20  
Old 05/03/07, 12:27 PM
 
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We have what would be equal to about a 100 foot row of potatoes that we planted only because our potato peelings grew in the compost heap and worm bins. All of them survived and are the best looking thing in my garden!! I don't think I'll ever buy seed potatos again!!

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  #21  
Old 05/03/07, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishhead
Moonwolf,

You read my mind. I bought a dehydrator this spring and naturally I have to plant something to dry. My time is limited in the summer so I'll be doing the potato under mulch method too.

Are there any types of potatoes better suited for this kind of growing?
fishead,

I beleive any type that you can grow for your area will work with the mulch method same as planting in soil. I've planted certified (Manitoba zone 3) Norland, Yukon Gold, and Superior. Since I didn't plant potatoes last year, I'll try and use some of the harvest for seed next year.
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Old 05/03/07, 02:21 PM
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I love that smug dog!

What is it with potato experimentation this year? Seems like a lot of folks are doing it. I have Yukon Gold planted in what was a compost hole (about 4'x4'). Shoveled in some loose dirt and placed my seed taters on top, covered with a few more shovelfuls of dirt. We placed rotting logs around it to make a raised bed border. As the potatoes grow we are filling in with rotten straw and dirt. They are growing like crazy and no potato bugs!

Also took a small section of fencing, made a cage and lined it with straw. Put some sprouted taters in it and am filling it with dirt as the sprouts grow.

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  #23  
Old 05/04/07, 08:18 PM
 
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i like that moonwolf. i will be doing mine like that next year.

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  #24  
Old 05/04/07, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slfisher
I planted seed potatoes in tires and covered them with aged shavings and chicken manure, and none of them has even sprouted.
i planted mine the last week of march and i just started seeing sprouts yesterday. i can't believe they took 5 + weeks to sprout. i did plant them fairly deep as my trenches filled in with all the rain we had a month ago.

last year i planted on the ground and mulched. it worked great, but i eventually ran out of mulch materials. i would do it again if i had free straw, or lots of leaves etc., but i will hill them up as high as i can this year and then mulch them. i have some 1 foot high flower bed fencing that i think i will use to contain my mulch this time. i think that will work better for me...we will see.
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  #25  
Old 05/04/07, 09:34 PM
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I planted mine where our chicken tractor was.I laid hay down.Spread the potatoes out.Then I put more hay on top.The hay was not spoiled.I took it off the round bale in sheets and laid it over the potatoes.The plants coming up are around the edges where the chickens scratched in the hay. Today I took the pitch fork and took some hay off the top so the others will come up. I think the layers were pack to tight for the potatoes to come through.We will see. This is my first time growing them like this.

Tammy

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  #26  
Old 05/05/07, 07:03 AM
 
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I planted them on St. Patrick's Day and there's maybe two-three inches of mulch on top of them. It isn't stopping the dandelions or the bindweed any.

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  #27  
Old 05/05/07, 11:19 AM
 
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All I can say about the PGD is NOT a Corgi. The "herd and dig" instinct is just too strong in them. I leave mine, much to her dismay, outside the garden gate. Very sad. I think probably a Bassett or some other sun-worshipping breed would be better. I don't know what breed Moonwolf's is, though.

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Old 05/05/07, 11:28 AM
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That little dog did all that digging. Now that's impressive. :baby04:

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  #29  
Old 05/05/07, 01:03 PM
 
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Moonwolf, that dog looks like a Schnauzer. Am I right?

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  #30  
Old 05/05/07, 01:27 PM
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well, I'm hoping not to have any potato bandit predators, but if something comes around my LGD big dog should take care of the situation. lol



We've been under extreme drought conditions, and luckily had a good dousing of rain overnight now. I'll be using the mower and sweeper to be collecting the much needed mulch over this, and the other garden.

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