potatoes

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by soapmakermom, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. soapmakermom

    soapmakermom Well-Known Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Hello,
    The last few years, I've been 'planting' my potatoes by tossing them on a bare spot on the lawn and covering them thoroughly with hay. I have to add more hay as it gets dampened down. I get lots of potatoes, but none of them are very large. Is this because I use small potatoes (I save the little ones and use them as seeds)? Is there a trick to growing larger sized potatoes?
    Thanks for the advice!
    Mary
     
  2. Idahofarmergal

    Idahofarmergal Well-Known Member

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    65
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Idaho
    Generally you get out of a plant what you put into it...
    Are you breaking up the soil under this "bare patch of lawn" so the potato plants roots can get into the soil? Are you adding compost to the soil so the potato roots get good food from the soil? If the potato plants have to compete with sod roots for nutrients and water, you are lucky to harvest anything.
     

  3. soapmakermom

    soapmakermom Well-Known Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Well, I guess you just answered my question. I was basically following the lasagna/Ruth Stout method of gardening. My soil is hard here because it was never worked and I live in a wooded area. But it is rich. The potato roots can dig in, but probably not as much as they should. It would be impossible to dig the ground unless I had a huge tractor tiller, which I don't.
    Mary
     
  4. 1farmgirl

    1farmgirl Well-Known Member

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    Oct 7, 2002
    Can you make your bed into a raised bed? That will work wonders for building up a difficult plot. If you build it up a foot or so, that should give you enough room for your roots to develop. Then you won't have to worry about deep tilling.

    Kathy
     
  5. soapmakermom

    soapmakermom Well-Known Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Yes, I can probably do that. Right now, I use a space nearby my raised beds. It was easier to just scatter them on the ground.
    Mary
     
  6. I began using the square foot gardening method (with a few personal adaptations :) ) for my plot and I have been really impressed. Matter of fact, my first items I planted were potatoes. I had trouble with my guineas uncovering my seed potatoes and eating them though. When they took off, they were really gorgeous, though. They produced pretty well too. I never could grow them very well before. That convinced me to do the SFG method for the rest of my garden. My neighbors all walked by my house last year looking (rather longingly) at my tomatoes (Yes, I did share!). My garden spot has hard soil in the summer-clay underneath. I have 2 foot wide beds going all the way around my garden and those two foot beds have those 16 foot wire panels running down the middle to make a fence. Then I have my tomatoes on each side. You can put 32 tomatoes on one wire panel. My garden was a lot easier to manage this year. Beats trying to till the snot out of it every week or so to try to keep down the weeds and grass. This year, I plan on putting old carpet down on my walkways so I don't have to weedeat so much. I certainly don't have to till anymore. :D :D

    Kathy
     
  7. That was 1farmgirl above, and here. For some reason, I cannot sign in, or stay signed in. It is driving me crazy!!!!

    Kathy
     
  8. RANDEL

    RANDEL Well-Known Member

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    Dec 10, 2003
    bare spots in the lawn presumably r getting foot traffic. stout method is recommended for already excellent soil, little or no compaction. but a lot of people grow potatoes in mulch (hay). like the other people said above....