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Need suggestions for potatoes, please! Empty Need suggestions for potatoes, please!

Post  garden girl on 5/27/2012, 12:07 pm

I absolutely love potatoes, so I was pleasantly surprised when my daughter asked to have potatoes in the garden this year. We picked out 3 kinds of potatoes to try: Adirondack Blue; Red Norland; and White Superior.

I have never successfully grown a potato plant, and I would really like to have these to eat this year. Would love to get some step-by-step instructions, with the essential hints that actually make them work. Yes, I have read instructions online, etc., but mine have never been successful. Do I need a separate square for them? Special watering instructions?

I live in a very hot, dry, and windy location. The amount of water usually recommended by Mel will be quickly evaporated and blown away here. Suggestions??

Thanks so much!!!
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Post  rowena___. on 5/27/2012, 12:53 pm

i have grown them in SFG blocks, in large containers, and in bags. i now use only containers and bags, simply because i have sorted out my use of areas in the yard for various best purposes.

growing potatoes is really simple, no matter how many steps a website breaks it into. Smile you can put a potato flat on the ground and cover it with soil and it will grow, or you can go all out and make a special hotel for them. LOL let them sprout, and periodically cover them until they begin to bloom. i let the stems grow about 6" then cover 4" or so. as often as needed. it doesn't really matter what you cover them with--it can be mel's mix, but i save that for things that need the nutrition. instead i use dry grass clippings, shredded dry leaves, straw, garden soil--nothing fancy, because you don't want them to go all leafy and forget to make potatoes.

when the flowers finish and the foliage starts to yellow you can start harvesting new potatoes. i leave them buried until i need them--they store very well that way here, but in your area you might want to dig them up and let them dry to store.
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Post  Turan on 5/27/2012, 2:00 pm

I know your area a little.... my kids count the dust devils as we drive along I-90.

There is a whole thread here on different strategies to growing potatoes. Potato Growing Methods The first post lines out 8 different strategies. You can blend them as well to fit your own particular circumstances.

Potatoes need water and a fertile ground that is not high in nitrogen. Bonemeal is a very good fertilizer for them.

My guess as to what would work for you in your area is a mixture of method 1 & 2. You don't need to make rows, but a bed that you can bury the potato pieces in a couple inches deep on a 1/sq. That will help insulate them from cold, heat, dry, and wind. Sprinkle bonemeal over the ground and mix it in as you plant the pieces. Then as the vines grow add mulch like Rowena explains. You might want to put a simple wind/crittur blocking fence. Like 2' chicken wire (or even mesh if mice are a problem). They need the amount of watering that your lawn does. I use an impact sprinkler on a tripod (does not clog from unfiltered ditch water) set for approximately half an hour every day most of the summer. Soaker hose would work too, under the straw I imagine but have not tryed. In my experience slugs like straw more than alfalfa hay and the hay is a mild fertilizer for the potatoes but watch out for hay with herbicides in it! That would kill or deeply stunt your plants.

I hope this is helpful and clearer than mud.....

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