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Post  Frenchbean on 5/31/2013, 4:57 am

Hi all,
Ive been thinking; some of you may have seen my 1st ever tabletop garden. Ive been thinking ahead for next year. I have oestoarthritis and can't bend... Well I can, but then I can't get up again rofl
Anyway this is not about what ales me.

I love potatoes, especially when Ive grown them myself. Why do people buy the tasteless ones in the shops thinking

I was thinking if I made a 4 foot inner box within my table top and it was 2 foot hight (so one foot in the tabletop and one foot above; are you with me?) I could grow my potatoes without loosing any. When I plant at ground level I always loose a few and of course they grow. It would be easier for me to harvest the whole crop without any stragglers. What do you think? wave smile

I am also worried about blight I had it last year. Here in England its wet and cold and its the end of May affraid So I am worried blight might strike again. That would ruin all my Mels mix and I would have to start again. Any thoughts or ideas would be gratefully appreciated Very Happy
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Post  boffer on 5/31/2013, 9:04 am

@Frenchbean wrote:...Why do people buy the tasteless ones in the shops thinking...
Homegrown are definitely better. Most folks don't realize that store-bought taters have been in storage for 6 months or more sometimes.

@Frenchbean wrote:...When I plant at ground level I always loose a few and of course they grow...
Yep! But my harvest orphans are the first thing to grow in late winter.

@Frenchbean wrote:I was thinking if I made a 4 foot inner box within my table top and it was 2 foot hight (so one foot in the tabletop and one foot above; are you with me?)
I understand the box within a box. I understand the inner box is 2 feet high. I'm not sure about 'a 4 foot inner box'...is that 4 feet square? 4 feet long?

No matter, Mel briefly describes a smaller box on page 61 of 2006 ANSFG. Does anybody know if there are more details elsewhere in the book or in the second edition? He just sits the smaller box on top of the MM that is already in the big box.

I'm growing potatoes in a tabletop that is 11 inches deep and has 7-8 inches of MM in it. When the plants were tall enough, I covered them with 3 inches of wood chips to simulate 'hilling' them. The plants are doing great. I'm real curious to see how the harvest will be.

I've grown potatoes in a 6 inch deep tabletop. The taters grew fine, but I ended up with a lot of green ones because I didn't cover them properly.

You're right: it is easier harvesting in MM. But I still miss a few!







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Post  Frenchbean on 5/31/2013, 9:56 am

Hi Boffer happy hi , I like the sound of your "harvest orphans" never thought of stray potatoes like that flower

Yes I meant a 4 foot inner box at the back of the box. So the potatoes are all in a line.
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Post  GWN on 5/31/2013, 10:16 am

This is my first year for stray potatoes. One was particularly impressive. On my walk ways I have thick black plastic down (because the weeds all just came through the fabric, even the industrial grade)..... Well the plastic has some holes in it to allow the water through.
And I noticed this little plant struggling to get through the little hole and it was a potato.
So I cut the plastic open and there was an entire large potato plant growing under the plastic.
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Post  boffer on 5/31/2013, 10:18 am

Gotcha! I think what you want is a top hat box. Mel talks about them somewhere in the book, but I can't seem to find it at the moment.

The box just sits on top of the MM in an existing box.
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Post  mschaef on 5/31/2013, 10:26 am

I have never grown potatoes as of yet, its on my list of things I want to grow but I keep running out of space. I think that your box within you box would be great to help keep the rest of you mel mix safe if you do get the potato blight again this year. Let me know how it works so when I do get more space I can know how to make sure to get them all.
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Post  boffer on 5/31/2013, 10:27 am

@GWN wrote:...So I cut the plastic open and there was an entire large potato plant growing under the plastic.

Was the plant white? I've had orphans push up black plastic that I cover the soil with during winter. When I look, I've found one foot tall white potato plants. Ugh! I'm glad plants are green!

I have a couple potato plants I can't get rid of. I planted them in soil right next to a shed's concrete slab. The potatoes are growing underneath the slab. The plant grows sideways under the slab until it clears the edge of the concrete.
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Post  gwennifer on 5/31/2013, 11:35 am

No frenchbean, you're not crazy. Mel addresses how to grow potatoes (and leeks and carrots) in a little paragraph on page 61 of the 2006 version of All New Square Foot Gardening. He has you just build a box out of any "thin type of lumber" to place on top of your bed full of MM so that you can have a deep planting area for the root crop vegetables. You can make it to cover as many squares as you like. I made a 1'x2'x6" one that covered two squares since it perfectly used a 6' fence board. Tell me if you think I'm crazy Carrot10
I'm doing carrots in the picture, so I filled the box up with more MM after placing it on the bed. But if were doing potatoes, I would plant the potatoes in the regular bed first, then when they sprouted I'd place the high rise on and use it to contain the additional MM I'd add as I hilled up the potatoes as they grew.

If you're wanting to keep the MM from your potatoes completely separate from the rest of the MM in your box because you're concerned about blight, then I guess making a deeper box that you can bury in the mix is the way to go.
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Post  drixnot on 5/31/2013, 11:57 am

Here's a thought for you.... why not make mesh potato bags and plant those.

Take a mesh bag with a thin nylon rope tied to it, line it with newspaper, then fill with your MM and seed potatoes.

Lower the bag into a tall container like a plastic garbage bin. Leave the rope hanging from the edge... like the string from a tea bag in a cup.

Repeat until there is a layer of bags (depends on how big the bags are) Cover each layer with MM and wait for the potatoes to put out some leaves and keep adding layers until the bin is full. To harvest you just pull up the bags one by one.

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Post  Frenchbean on 5/31/2013, 12:41 pm

Thank you one and all. Like the top hat box idea. and yes I was thinking of total confinement just in case of blight. Its so good to talk, text Tell me if you think I'm crazy 3085260134 Maybe I will extend my top hat box for the carrots as well. Thank you all for your thought Tell me if you think I'm crazy 998388915
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Post  plantoid on 5/31/2013, 4:20 pm

Bordeaux solution/mix ( a copper sulphate solution ) is a good preventative for blight in spuds and toms or any other related to that family plant .

It is allowed for by the organic gardening org UK groups as there is nowt else that works .
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Post  GWN on 5/31/2013, 5:25 pm

Boffer
Was the plant white?
The part that had squeeked through was green but the rest was white and mucky looking, and after I opened it up for a few days the entire thing turned green and it is beautiful now. Really demonstrates the photosynthesis part of it all.
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Post  yolos on 5/31/2013, 9:11 pm

@plantoid wrote:Bordeaux solution/mix ( a copper sulphate solution ) is a good preventative for blight in spuds and toms or any other related to that family plant .

It is allowed for by the organic gardening org UK groups as there is nowt else that works .

Pantoid - one of the remedies the county extension office recommeded for Downy Mildew was Bordeaux Mixture (hydrated lime/copper sulfate). They said lime added to copper sulfate increases the effectiveness of copper. Do you know if this can be purchased as a mix or do I have to mix it.
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Post  Pepper on 5/31/2013, 11:57 pm

I don't think you are crazy at all Frenchbean. I used a full sized "top hat"(4ft by 8ft by 12in deep same as bottom) to grow my taters in this year. I removed half of the MM and planted the cuttings. Then 'hilled' with the remaining MM. Then added the top hat and continued to hill with pine straw(needles). The harvest is yet to come as all plants have not died back as yet. I plan to let all die back before disturbing the bed.
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The straw if it works like I think may be better for you because it is light making it easier to remove and less weight on your TT.
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Post  Frenchbean on 6/1/2013, 12:22 pm

Pepper. Never thought of using the straw to earth up the potatoes, Think I used shredded paper one year. Straw would be better though
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Post  Pepper on 6/1/2013, 4:22 pm

I am hoping it works. It should be like straw(wheat) the main idea is to block the sun. With it being 11in thick it should work. This way NO seed is added. I will let you know in a few weeks when all are wilted down.
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