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Post  bigblue94 on 3/13/2017, 5:35 pm

Hello everyone,looking at growing potato plants in a 4' x 4' by 9 inch deep box. I've been reading and seems to be different opinions on how to grow them. i will be using Mel's mix in this box some questions i have are

how deep should the box be
do i start them in a few inches of soil and add more soil as they grow
also what are the best types of potatoes to grow and that put out a lot of potatoes

thank you for your help.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/14/2017, 10:09 am

Hi Bigblue94. First of all, I'm sorry I missed welcoming you to our group! I'm AtlantaMarie from... Atlanta, GA, lol.

My potato boxes are 2' deep. I use layers of MM & pine straw, starting with 6" of MM. Yes, start in a few inches then add as they grow.

Best type? Depends on your taste....

Hope this helps...
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Post  sanderson on 3/15/2017, 3:09 am

BigBlue,  I use 5-gal buckets for the smaller red potatoes.  I hope someone from your Region can help with varieties.

Here is the Rookie thread on potatoes.  http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t16841-rookie-topic-potatoes?highlight=rookie

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Post  ralitaco on 3/15/2017, 10:55 pm

Po-ta-toes...hmmm, I may have to add them to my plans this year. So glad you asked about them
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/15/2017, 11:08 pm

Hey, Big blue!  I would like to welcome you to the north and Central Midwest  section!   

Honestly in my opinion, potatoes do not need much of a base.  I have thrown them on the ground, covered them with dirt/straw, and had some of my best yields!

Grow what you like, my fave is Yukon Gold, but whatever you like is fine.

These are very not finicky plants.....

Update me on your plans on the regional thread!  N & C Midwest....bounce
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Post  sfg4uKim on 3/16/2017, 8:57 am

This will be my first year trying potatoes. Hubby wanted me to grow some so made a potato box for me. Since I only had a corner I asked him to make the box triangular to maximize space. We'll add a board as the potatoes grow and we cover them then with more Mel's Mix. Potato growing Potato10

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Post  GWN on 3/16/2017, 9:52 am

his will be my first year trying potatoes. Hubby wanted me to grow some so made a potato box for me. Since I only had a corner I asked him to make the box triangular to maximize space. We'll add a board as the potatoes grow and we cover them then with more Mel's Mix. 
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Now THAT IS a great looking potato bin, is that a hinge on the left side?  What a great idea. What type of potatoes are you going to grow in there, would it need an indeterminate type?  I am going to show my DH this one.
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Post  RC3291 on 3/16/2017, 11:39 am

Many people don't realize that there are determinate and indeterminate potatoes. Determinate potatoes such as Red Pontiacs, Chieftains and Yukon gold only grow tubers from just above where the "seed" is planted. Indeterminates such as Russet Nuggets, Nicholas, German Butterballs and Elba grow tubers anywhere along the stem that soil exists. Sounds like indeterminate potatoes are what you are trying to grow by adding boards to deepen the growing medium. There are also early, mid-season, and late season varieties. No I'm not Mr Potatoe Head, too many choices for me. I planted a couple of Yukon Golds that had sprouted from sitting too long on the counter and because I like them.
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Post  GWN on 3/16/2017, 11:56 am

Many people don't realize that there are determinate and indeterminate potatoes. Determinate potatoes such as Red Pontiacs, Chieftains and Yukon gold only grow tubers from just above where the "seed" is planted. Indeterminates such as Russet Nuggets, Nicholas, German Butterballs and Elba grow tubers anywhere along the stem that soil exists. Sounds like indeterminate potatoes are what you are trying to grow by adding boards to deepen the growing medium. There are also early, mid-season, and late season varieties. No I'm not Mr Potatoe Head, too many choices for me. I planted a couple of Yukon Golds that had sprouted from sitting too long on the counter and because I like them.

exactly.... so for this type of growing one NEEDS to use indeterminates...
Another POTATO thing I learned this year. I have a friend who has ankylosing spondylitis, a rheumatologic disorder of the spine (like rheumatoid arthritis, only specific to the back)  The rheumatologist suggested he eat red potatoes because they actually have anti inflammatory properties. OF NOTE this rheumatologist is very much by the book and not into alternatives, so for her to say this, I thought was pretty big. SO needless to say I am growing ALL red potatoes this year
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Post  sanderson on 3/17/2017, 2:40 pm

Kim, Thank you for sharing your new potato bin.

GWN, Interesting about the benefits of red potatoes.

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Post  bigblue94 on 3/17/2017, 4:45 pm

I didn't realize that there are determinate and indeterminate potatoes,can anyone help me with where i can order potatoes seeds online from have nothing locally.I know everyone has there favorites potatoes but what are some of the higher yielding types.

what is the difference between organic and non organic with potatoes
sorry if this sounds like a dumb questions this is all new to me just trying to learn

sfg4uKim i really like that box that design, will help protect them from high winds.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/17/2017, 7:50 pm

@bigblue94 wrote:I didn't realize that there are determinate and indeterminate potatoes,can anyone help me with where i can order potatoes seeds online from have nothing locally.I know everyone has there favorites potatoes but what are some of the higher yielding types.

what is the difference between organic and non organic with potatoes
sorry if this sounds like a dumb questions this is all new to me just trying to learn

sfg4uKim  i really like that box that design, will help protect them from high winds.
Big Blue, I just googled "seed potatoes online" and a whole bunch of hits came up, Territorial Seeds, Maine Potato Lady, and lots more!  Looks like lots of options!  They are really easy to grow.  I just grow them in my SFG boxes...but have grown them in a regular garden too.

I always opt for organic if possible.  That way you know there are no strange chemicals in there or on them.  Potatoes are one of the most "treated" vegetables.  They treat them with fungicides before planting, then dust for pests, chemically kill the vegetation, and douse upon harvest with stabilizers, etc.  NUTS!

That said, anything you grow yourself will be miles ahead of the grocery fare!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 3/17/2017, 7:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added last sentence!)
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Post  ralitaco on 3/17/2017, 9:34 pm

I've never grown potatoes either...I didn't realize you could start them from seeds Embarassed
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Post  yolos on 3/17/2017, 9:44 pm

@ralitaco wrote:I've never grown potatoes either...I didn't realize you could start them from seeds Embarassed
You can start them from seeds but almost nobody does.  I once bought some actual seeds but I never planted them.  What they normally buy are seed potatoes not seeds.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/17/2017, 10:17 pm

I was confused about that "seed potato" thing for awhile for myself.
(Some) Potatoes can form seeds, inside green vaguely tomato-like fruits that I assume are poisonous. But the seeds don't necessarily form tubers with the same characteristics of their parent(s). Since gardeners, and especially farmers, don't want to grow mystery spuds, almost everyone grows potatoes from "seed potatoes", creating clones that are exactly as expected. It looks like the term True Potato Seeds (TPS) is used too clarify when one means actual seed-seeds.
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Post  ralitaco on 3/17/2017, 11:11 pm

OOOOOHHHHHHH...Seed Potato NOT Potato seed
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Post  Turan on 5/2/2017, 3:07 pm

Here is a lovely reference chart I found.
I believe that the category for 'cage' is referring to what I would call tower, a way of growing potatoes to maximize yield, but is dependent of indeterminate type of plants.
I notice that all Xtra late season varieties are good for cages, as are many Late season varieties.  Naturally the exception to this they say is the French fingerling.  I think that is a typo because for me it does very well.  But next year I might try a different type on their list and see if it does better.

http://irisheyesgardenseeds.com/potato-quick-reference

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Post  yolos on 5/2/2017, 4:23 pm

@Turan wrote:Here is a lovely reference chart I found.
I believe that the category for 'cage' is referring to what I would call tower, a way of growing potatoes to maximize yield, but is dependent of indeterminate type of plants.
I notice that all Xtra late season varieties are good for cages, as are many Late season varieties.  Naturally the exception to this they say is the French fingerling.  I think that is a typo because for me it does very well.  But next year I might try a different type on their list and see if it does better.

http://irisheyesgardenseeds.com/potato-quick-reference
Thanks Turan, that was an excellent chart.
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Post  mlpii66 on 5/2/2017, 9:54 pm

I planted 100 SF of potatoes last year. Got through most and have seed potatoes for this year!

It doesn't make financial sense to grow them but MAN OH MAN! There is no comparison to the creamy texture of a homegrown to the grainy texture of a store bought tater!

Here's about half the harvest in my little garden tractor cart. Potato growing 2016po10
Here's me, (goofin' for my little sister) holding the biggest one.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 5/3/2017, 12:34 am

Argh. I'm still undecided about doing potatoes again this year and your description is affecting me, Mark! The small yield of potatoes last year tasted good, but they didn't do that well and there were flea beetles and some sort of leaf disease, and I think they needed more sun than the spot available had...  I guess I'll see if there are still any seed potatoes available at my favorite local farm market store and go from there...
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Post  mlpii66 on 5/3/2017, 7:05 pm

My tater patch was in good full sun and watered with a soaker hose. I was away on business about four week during mid summer and my boys didn't live up to their promise of caring for the garden.  By the time I got back, grass hoppers and weeds had decimated the patch, or so I thought.  You can see even after neglect the little fellas produced just fine!
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Post  mlpii66 on 5/3/2017, 7:07 pm

@sfg4uKim wrote:This will be my first year trying potatoes. Hubby wanted me to grow some so made a potato box for me. Since I only had a corner I asked him to make the box triangular to maximize space. We'll add a board as the potatoes grow and we cover them then with more Mel's Mix. Potato growing Potato10
I like that planter, great use of space!
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Post  countrynaturals on 5/3/2017, 8:32 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Argh. I'm still undecided about doing potatoes again this year and your description is affecting me, Mark! The small yield of potatoes last year tasted good, but they didn't do that well and there were flea beetles and some sort of leaf disease, and I think they needed more sun than the spot available had...  I guess I'll see if there are still any seed potatoes available at my favorite local farm market store and go from there...
According to Paul (BTE), any root crops we buy at the grocery store -- especially potatoes -- have very few nutrients because of the way they're grown commercially. Potatoes aren't even on our new "Eat to Live" diet, but if I can grow some healthful taters in the garden, I won't mind adding them back into our soups and stews. Cool
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Post  mlpii66 on 5/3/2017, 9:03 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Argh. I'm still undecided about doing potatoes again this year and your description is affecting me, Mark! The small yield of potatoes last year tasted good, but they didn't do that well and there were flea beetles and some sort of leaf disease, and I think they needed more sun than the spot available had...  I guess I'll see if there are still any seed potatoes available at my favorite local farm market store and go from there...
According to Paul (BTE), any root crops we buy at the grocery store -- especially potatoes -- have very few nutrients because of the way they're grown commercially. Potatoes aren't even on our new "Eat to Live" diet, but if I can grow some healthful taters in the garden, I won't mind adding them back into our soups and stews. Cool
I didn't really notice any weight gain and we went a little nuts after tasting the first few.  We're trying to stick to a lower carb diet but I advocate slow carbs, beans and such, and I don't shy away from my home grown potatoes.
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Post  Mimi2 on 5/3/2017, 10:24 pm

@GWN wrote:
Many people don't realize that there are determinate and indeterminate potatoes. Determinate potatoes such as Red Pontiacs, Chieftains and Yukon gold only grow tubers from just above where the "seed" is planted. Indeterminates such as Russet Nuggets, Nicholas, German Butterballs and Elba grow tubers anywhere along the stem that soil exists. Sounds like indeterminate potatoes are what you are trying to grow by adding boards to deepen the growing medium. There are also early, mid-season, and late season varieties. No I'm not Mr Potatoe Head, too many choices for me. I planted a couple of Yukon Golds that had sprouted from sitting too long on the counter and because I like them.

exactly.... so for this type of growing one NEEDS to use indeterminates...
Another POTATO thing I learned this year. I have a friend who has ankylosing spondylitis, a rheumatologic disorder of the spine (like rheumatoid arthritis, only specific to the back)  The rheumatologist suggested he eat red potatoes because they actually have anti inflammatory properties. OF NOTE this rheumatologist is very much by the book and not into alternatives, so for her to say this, I thought was pretty big. SO needless to say I am growing ALL red potatoes this year
Very interesting about the anti-inflammatory properties of red tomatoes. I have fes inflammatory conditions that I would like to off-set.
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