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Potatoes: Yes or No?

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Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  farmersgranddaughter on 2/25/2018, 7:50 pm

Does anyone plant potatoes in a square foot garden or container?  I planted some in a trash can a few years ago and, while I harvested some, I'm not sure the yield was worth the effort.  Maybe my expectations were too high.  Your thoughts?
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  farmersgranddaughter on 2/25/2018, 7:52 pm

Yikes!  I just realized that I posted this in "Introduce Yourself."  Is there a way to move it?  I'm still learning my way around the forum.
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  sanderson on 2/25/2018, 10:30 pm

A lot of us grow potatoes, in beds, buckets and other containers.  Very Happy   If you enter the word potatoes in the search box, you will see 214 threads.

Some potatoes produce in only one area. Others will produce all the way up the plant when buried higher.

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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  countrynaturals on 2/26/2018, 12:11 pm

I've tried them with moderate success, but they take so long, and aren't really that good for us (unless compared to a Snickers bar) so I don't give them any prime real estate. If you have room and aren't concerned with appearance, you can make a "planter" of hay bales, by just laying them out in a square. Lay the seed potatoes on the ground inside the frame of bales, then layer more hay or leaves to cover the potatoes about 2-3 inches and let them grow, adding more material as needed. I lost mine to grasshoppers last year, so you might need to cover the bed with bridal tulle.
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/26/2018, 6:43 pm

I have had great luck with them.  I love YukonGold, and they are easy, too.
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I grow potatoes in SFG.

Post  crankyoldman on 3/16/2018, 3:48 pm

I grow potatoes in my SFG beds, Small potatoes I plant 5 to a square, larger potatoes I plant 2 to 4 per square. I get small red potatoes in about 80 days, medium Russets take 90 to 100 days.

While potatoes do take a bit of time to grow they are like everything from the veggie garden, much better than store bought.
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  Turan on 3/16/2018, 4:14 pm

I do love to grow potatoes. I try to grow varieties that are super expensive in the stores, both for the fun of novelty and to tell myself that it is cost effective. So I grow fingerlings usually. This year DH petitioned for 'All Blue', they are a long season type. I am sorely tempted to over plant them with an early season like 'Yukon' just to see if it would work. I plant a big grower like French red fingerling 1 per sq. This double layer idea I would do the same, but at the first hilling plant the second layer. Maybe.

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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/16/2018, 8:54 pm

Yes, do that, Turan!  Super great idea,,,and keep us posted!!!

As for potatoes in general, ther are very happy in SFG!!!

I ❤️ Yukon gold.  Some varieties need depth, so you need to see what you want to grow.  Most can be grown comfortably in your standard SFG set up.  Loves me spuds.
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  farmersgranddaughter on 3/16/2018, 10:37 pm

Yesterday I read a preview of Mel's answer book.  There was a mention about growing potatoes in SFG with a box placed on top of the square so that you can add more soil as the plant grows.  Has anyone tried that?
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  farmersgranddaughter on 3/16/2018, 10:46 pm

Immediately after hitting "send" it occurred to me to use the Search feature.  I found some threads about the boxes (called top hats), including photos.  So just disregard my previous post.  I have so much to learn.
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/17/2018, 7:13 am

Just remember, FGD, it's all a process... Wink
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  Sunsanvil on 5/15/2018, 6:49 am

Old thread I know but rather than start a new one...

Our book is a few editions back, no mention of Potatoes. Can someone give me the CliffsNotes? Going to try one per square for fun. Just wondering how deep to plant/bury the seed potato and if we have to "build up" around it as it grows like the row-gardeners do. Also, is there anything we should avoid planting in adjacent squares?

Thx!
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  BlackjackWidow on 5/15/2018, 11:13 am

@Sunsanvil wrote:Old thread I know but rather than start a new one...

Our book is a few editions back, no mention of Potatoes. Can someone give me the CliffsNotes? Going to try one per square for fun. Just wondering how deep to plant/bury the seed potato and if we have to "build up" around it as it grows like the row-gardeners do. Also, is there anything we should avoid planting in adjacent squares?

Thx!

I can give you the Cliff's Notes version from 2nd edition ANSFG:

Location: Full sun Spacing: 4/square
Plant in spring when soil has warmed to 45F degrees. Use only certified disease-free seed potatoes, sprout a week before planting by placing in a tray where they will receive light (not sun) & temps around 65F degrees. A day or two before, cut into about 1-1/2" squares with at least one sprouted eye per section, to let them skin over on the cut side.
Remove most of the MM from the square so there's about an inch of soil. Plant the seed pieces with eyes up and barely cover. When sprouts appear, add enough MM to cover the leaves. Keep doing that until the hole is filled back up to the top.
For an extra harvest, build a "top hat" box (1'x1' thin-walled box either 6", 9" or 12" tall) to place over and keep filling. Harvest after plants finish flowering.
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  Sunsanvil on 5/15/2018, 11:23 am

Thanks for that.

What would happen if one didnt cut them up and just put a whole seed potato in the ground?
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  BlackjackWidow on 5/15/2018, 11:33 am

With all that being said, this is the first year I've tried potatoes in my SFG. I planted several squares this spring of Norland Red and Russet Burbank seed potatoes, and a square of store-bought reds that had sprouted in my pantry. I followed Mel's directions, and the seed potatoes have taken off and look great; the store-bought reds haven't come up yet. They were probably treated with something, but I thought since they had sprouted already, I'd have better success.

After I planted them, I found out (from reading the forum) that there are both determinate and indeterminate potatoes. So, the russets will apparently benefit from the mounding because they will grow potatoes all along the buried stem/vine as they're hilled. The reds will only produce potatoes in a single layer at the bottom, and since I planted them with only about an inch of soil underneath, I fear I may not have much of a harvest. Sad I'm just going to hill the red ones up as planned and see what happens, since it's already done. Maybe I can harvest a few little baby "new potatoes" at a time and get a few servings? At this point, it's another new learning experiment for me.

As far as what not to plant near them, I've heard not to plant tomatoes or other heavy feeders near potatoes (they're all from the same nightshade family). But it's also my understanding that SFG is supposed to eliminate those issues since you're replacing the nutrients fully every time you replant something. I'm sure there are others with a better understanding and more history who can help us both out with that.
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  BlackjackWidow on 5/15/2018, 11:37 am

@Sunsanvil wrote:Thanks for that.

What would happen if one didnt cut them up and just put a whole seed potato in the ground?

I think you just get a lot more plants at that spot. Maybe go with just 1/square in that case?
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  Turan on 5/15/2018, 11:39 am

Planting a whole potato gives a bushier denser planting there.  Though that depends on the size of the potato and how many eyes it has.

The business about 4/ square and harvesting after finishing flowering suggests new potato harvest  and only a couple eyes per plant.  It also suggests varieties known to be small plants like Yukon Gold.

We prefer the resurrection of old threads, rather than constantly making new threads asking the same questions.  Read back in this thread for more information and use the search engine. Here is another good thread to read through~
 http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t21361p50-potato-growing

I plant 1 per square and I select small seed potatoes to avoid cutting them.  I usually grow very rambunctious growers like French Fingerling that need at least that amount of space.  

What varieties are you planting?

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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  yolos on 5/15/2018, 12:06 pm

I also only plant one per square but I am predominately planting Russet Norkotaka (sp) which can get to fairly good enough baking size.  The more room you give them, the potential to grow bigger.  I have read that if you crowd them they will not grow as big but I do not know if that is true.  We get early diseases on our foliage so we plant them a little apart.
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Re: Potatoes: Yes or No?

Post  jimmy cee on 5/16/2018, 11:38 pm

I made a wired basket. stitched weed barrier to side and used it for yukon golds. Used all Mel's Mix and they came out fine, the next season I did them in a 4x4 bed and had nice potatoe's.







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