Found some Potatoes

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by mpillow, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Checked my plants...well the ones I planted from leftover sprouting potatoes...planted June 15 about half dollar sized...I hoed up dirt once and used some grass clippings and old hay a couple other times

    Hubby planted same leftovers in tires....2 truck tires and a car tire high...as an experiment...he is using grower mix from Maine Organics....

    If HIS taters do good then we plan to use that method in the future only with black culvert (from his supply house) . The culvert is smooth on inside and 24in diameter....spaced correctly they could become the corner posts small cold frame....possibilities.....

    Our sq. in the composting poop piles is phenomenal....I have a buttercup that must be 10pounds!!! and many more coming....and summer sq. to the point of pig food!!!

    Now if the tomatoes would kick it up a notch :help:
     
  2. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    I'm really interested in hearing how the potatoes do in the tires vs. in the hay. Please let us know!
     

  3. Jim&Chele

    Jim&Chele Well-Known Member

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    Our tater in hay did really well I think,we planted two rows about 10' long used about 10 pounds of starts and pulled up about 35 to 40 pounds of new taters.We have decided to make the tater patch about 12' by 12' and using hay all the way.I am going to till under a bunch of old hay we have now then next year till it up and put about a foot of new hay down,scatter ABUNCH of tater starts then cover with about a foot of hay,when the plants poke thru putting another foot or so of hay and maybe do it a 3rd time.Hope it works the way I think it will,any thoughts or input to this would be greatly used and thankful.
     
  4. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    It's better for the soil if you let the hay decompose naturally on top of the ground. There are bunches and bunches of little critters in the soil whose purpose is to break down organic material into a form that plants can use for food. When you till something like that under, of course it will still decompose, but not nearly as efficiently because you've stirred up the natural order of the microbes. Lots of them actually die when they are mixed into different depths of soil than is ideal for them.
    Just make sure to keep the hay mulch deep enough that grass and weeds can't get a foothold.
     
  5. bugstabber

    bugstabber Chief cook & weed puller Supporter

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    I was worried about my potatoes with the dry weather. They couldn't stand the heat anymore and dried up. I dug a few up this morning and they're small but it's better than nothing! Who knows maybe the rest will be bigger.
     
  6. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    I've had some success this year with the straw potatoes, and plan to expand next year.

    Question for this year's straw:

    Should I compost the straw, or let it sit where it is to feed the soil for next year's spuds? My concern is that I don't want to leave any potentially damaging organisms in the soil for next year's crop.

    Thanks!

    Pony!
     
  7. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    How do you know when the potatos are ready to dig up? I planted the starts
    in May and we still have plenty of warm weather here this month - should i just leave them alone and let them get bigger?
     
  8. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    perennial - you leave the potatoes alone until the vines die. Then leave them alone another couple of weeks so the skins on the potatoes can toughen (makes them store longer). Then you dig them.

    You can dig them earlier but they'll be smaller and the skin will be really thin - thin enough to just scrub off. You can dig them as soon as the vines die if you want to can them with the tender skins on.
     
  9. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    From what I've read, you have to put the starts on the soil (or in the soil) so the roots can go down into dirt to get nutrients. I don't think it will work if you put your starts on a foot of new hay, but I could be wrong. I've not ever tried it myself.

    I added about a foot or two of straw to one section of my potato bed this year, just to see what it would do (the rest I just left alone). They're not ready to dig yet so I'm not sure if I got an increased yield with the straw or not. I did have problems with the straw spilling out into my path and potato vines growing out into the path between my beds. Next year I'm going to put boards or something down to restrain them. It's just about impossible to walk in that part of the garden now. :rolleyes: