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Potato planting question for farmerman

 
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 01:48 pm
I thought others might be interested too so I'm asking on the general board!

Last year you told me about how you planted potatoes but instead of covering the plants with dirt you covered them with straw.

I'd like to try that this year and I'm hoping you can give me more specific planting directions.

Like:

How big an area do I need?

Do I still need to dig a hole? How deep? How big around?

How many seed potatoes can go in each hole?

Do I wait for the plants to sprout before covering with straw?

What else do I need to know?

I'm planting: Yukon Gold, Red Pontiac, and All Blue

Thanks!
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 02:11 pm
@boomerang,
Cut your potatoes into chunks that , each of which has two or more "eyes"

Let em dry out in a box for a few days, or sprinkle themwith sulfur or a herbicide powder ofr taters (I just let mine dry out)

SDig a shallow trench so that each potato is about a foor apart.(Do this when the soil is beginning todry, just so its not really muddy.

Place your sections cut side down a foot apart and then cover with a generous amount of straw in each plant area. (A bale does about 30 ft row). Let em grow and keep an eye on them for any insecr damage.

PS, Never plant taters in the same area that you did last year. There are all sorts of diseases that carry over and this year early blight will, once again, attack solenaceous plants (taters, Tomatoes, Peppers, eggplant).
I think that dys had always planted his this way.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 02:13 pm
@farmerman,
Farmer, what's the advantage of the straw versus soil?
farmerman
 
  5  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 02:14 pm
@JTT,
You can pick little potatoes through the season without digging up the whole plant . Or you can just let them grow and youll hve nice clean taters for the most part at the harvest.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 02:17 pm
@farmerman,
Thank you so much!

I buy seed potatoes from the farm/ranch supply near my house. Do I still need to cut them in half?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 02:21 pm
@farmerman,
I see. Great idea. Thanks, FM.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 02:22 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I buy seed potatoes from the farm/ranch supply near my house.


Just use the seeds and throw away the potato or make a potato salad, Boomer. Smile
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 02:50 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Thank you so much!

I buy seed potatoes from the farm/ranch supply near my house. Do I still need to cut them in half?
I cut mine into wedges, 2 or 3 eyes to a wedge with plenty of tater meat behind the eyes, plant with the eyes up and lightly cover with soil, then as the plant emerges keep adding straw covering the plant as it grows thru. next year you can learn how to grow white italian celery.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 03:23 pm
@dyslexia,
The year after that, you can start a thread on a possible use for celery.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 03:46 pm
This method is also known as the "lazy bed"--a pejorative applied to the method by the English, mostly because the Irish thought of it. It produces more food per acre than any other crop. Some people do this in a large barrel, and continuously take taters our, putting more straw/mulch in, and it will keep producing taters all season.

However, that sounds like too much work to me, and defeats the purpose of the lazy bed.

Here's another description of the method.

Some people make raised beds, so that they don't have to stoop. This is an especially good method for small, urban back yards.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 03:47 pm
@roger,
cream of celery soup, celery sticks with cheeze whiz in the concave, the only thing that makes a Caesar any good, super addition to stews, ...
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 03:55 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
The year after that, you can start a thread on a possible use for celery.


Wait . . . Dys gets a celery . . . i thought he was retired . . .
farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 04:11 pm
@Setanta,
Just remember NEVER plant the damn things in the same area for two years in a row or youll learn another trick about Irish potato farming.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 04:15 pm
@farmerman,
Does that mean not in the same rows or the same 30 x 30 garden, FM?
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 04:28 pm
@JTT,
The same rows. Done plant any crops of tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, or peppers in the same rows. I usually move these to a separate bed exch year and then Ill rotate with something like peas beans, corn, or sunflowers the next year. )The three sister crops)
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 05:01 pm
@farmerman,
My grandfather would "march" his crops down the field (we had about a half an acre in "truck garden," not including the potatoes), so that it took five years for a plant to get back to the place in which it had started.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 05:02 pm
@farmerman,
My garden area is pretty small - about 40x5 - I had portatoes, tomatoes and peppers at one end last year. Would moving them to the other end far enough? Is there anything I can add to my soil to make it more hospitable?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 05:35 pm
@boomerang,
moving to the other end should help a lot .Were going to get hit with early blight again and it comes from raising plants that were mostly grown in the South.

Theres nothing you can really add .
0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 05:36 pm
With regards to potatoes and onions, I have never bothered because they are quite cheap to buy in the grocery store or at the farmers' market. Is there, in yalls' minds a quality/taste difference?
Tomatoes, corn etc are another matter, so that sort of "picked fresh" thing is big as far as I am concerned.
I have about a quarter acre of potential garden space. We tilled it deeply last year and then added leaves etc and tilled some more.
But we didn't plant. We needed fencing to ward off the deer and groundhogs.

Ah, Spring. Aint it great?
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 05:45 pm
@realjohnboy,
deep plowing, not sure what you mean by "deep" but it's generally regarded as harmful to the soil when you "deep" plow. you generally want to keep the good organic stuff in the top 4-6 inches.
the advantage of growing your own taters is harvesting the "new" ones which are wonderful.
 

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