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Potatoes...Any idea what I did wrong?

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Post  middlemamma on 9/5/2010, 1:59 am

Well I set him straight...the 9 year old that is. Told him daddy got caught off guard. LOL...then set Daddy straight and told him the truth is always better than a fib even if its awkward! We'll get there...parenting is a lot like gardening. Living and learning! Except by the time we figure it out they will be gone...I can always grow another garden next spring. Smile
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Post  middlemamma on 9/5/2010, 2:03 am

Chocolatepop!!!! Let's race side by side! Smile
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Post  boffer on 9/5/2010, 10:14 am

@ribsyhuggins wrote:my square foot potato box produced 80 lbs of potatoes or so guess i must doing something right.

That's a great harvest, Ribsy. What variety of potato did you plant?

I'm beginning to think that species is the biggest factor in high-rise potato growing success. I've had several years where my potatoes in the ground did fine, and the same potatoes in a garbage can or stacked box did poorly.
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Post  chocolatepop on 9/5/2010, 10:16 am

@ribsyhuggins wrote:my square foot potato box produced 80 lbs of potatoes or so guess i must doing something right.

you mean a 4x4 right?
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Post  boffer on 9/5/2010, 10:28 am

oops...my bad...I had high rise on the brain.

My best year I got 70 potatoes out of a garbage can, but I didn't weigh them. And I'm not a conscientious note keeper so I don't know what kind they were. Sad
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Post  ribsyhuggins on 9/6/2010, 2:37 am

chocolatepop 4ft x4 ft is standard box

As for tips I would suggest two :
1.at least 5-10 gallons per day of oxidane at room temperature.
2. go beyond 6 inches in you soil depth in your box 5 to 6 the current soil recommendations.

I much prefer to use a more rich soil mix the standard mess mix for potatoes.
also i would suggest reading mel' update in organic gardening feb 1996
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Post  Megan on 9/6/2010, 12:28 pm

@ribsyhuggins wrote:
1.at least 5-10 gallons per day of oxidane at room temperature.

Wow, the Ribsy Method uses a lot of water for one potato plant! How do you keep them from floating away? :?:
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Post  Chopper on 9/6/2010, 1:18 pm

Seemed excessive to me too...?
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Post  chocolatepop on 9/6/2010, 2:38 pm

@ribsyhuggins wrote:chocolatepop 4ft x4 ft is standard box

As for tips I would suggest two :
1.at least 5-10 gallons per day of oxidane at room temperature.
2. go beyond 6 inches in you soil depth in your box 5 to 6 the current soil recommendations.

I much prefer to use a more rich soil mix the standard mess mix for potatoes.
also i would suggest reading mel' update in organic gardening feb 1996

yes I understand, but when you said a square foot potato box, i took it as your high rise box, which is solely a square foot, rather than 16 square feet Wink
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Post  Josh on 9/6/2010, 4:28 pm

wow middlemamam they look so good growing,I can't understand why you didn't get some potatoes Sad I hope you get some out of the pots you got left.
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Potatoes...Any idea what I did wrong? - Page 2 Empty I'm so sorry, but so happy that I'm not the only one!!!

Post  Cropper2 on 9/6/2010, 4:56 pm

In early May, I started a build as you go box - you know, you add a 2x6 as the plant grows. I used seed potatoes - one box for Fingerlings - one box for Russets. They grew like crazy. When the plants got to be 3" above the surface, I'd add more Mel's Mix. When each 2x6 section got full, I added another section. All in all the boxes got to be 4.5 feet tall. Then I decided that was more than enough. The foliage kept getting taller, though and finally stopped at about 2 feet above the top (to about 6.5 feet in all). I'd read that I should wait for the foliage to die, so today, as all of the Russet folliage and 99% of the Fingerling foliage was dead, I decided to harvest. I had a big ole 5 gallon bucket ready to cart off my bounty. NOTHING!!!! That is exactly what I got out of the Russet box. The whole thing. In truth, I did find two 2" potatoes. But come on!!

In the Fingerling box, I decided to start at the top. I have gone down about 3 boards worth and come up with 6 potatoes. My heart just wasn't in trying any more today.

Someone please tell me what I did wrong. These are the most expensive half a dozen potatoes on the face of the earth. My hope is to try again next year, but I need to figure out what to do differently. Please!!!!
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Post  Megan on 9/6/2010, 5:00 pm

Cropper, I feel for you, I really do. I don't know yet whether my potatoes prospered or failed. I am really sorry that your potatoes did not work out for you. This is my first year at SFG, but I did grow up on a small farm and sometimes crops just don't work out.... and this year seems to have been very weird on many levels as far as growing things goes. Please do try again. I am going to, no matter what happens. flower
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Post  chocolatepop on 9/6/2010, 5:40 pm

what did you guys use for the 6" of soil on the bottom? I used straight compost.
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Post  Cropper2 on 9/6/2010, 5:57 pm

I used Mel's mix the whole way. Is that wrong? Should I have used something less rich?
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Post  LaFee on 9/6/2010, 6:21 pm

I used a bagged mix I bought at the home center (like a Home Depot) -- it had compost, peat, and *something else* I can't recall right now to keep the soil light and airy -- and it worked great -- I pulled 4 pounds (just under 2kg) from just 3 potato grow bags (4 plants per bag)...about the same space as 4 double-stacked squares.
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Post  chocolatepop on 9/6/2010, 7:13 pm

IDk, i was just wondering. I prefer straight compost or close for my taters, then i cover with mels or straw.

So weird. Anyone contact one of the seed potato sellers?
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Post  Cropper2 on 9/6/2010, 7:49 pm

No. I haven't contacted the seed potato sellers. I just assumed it was my error/s. Can't hurt, though.
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Post  ribsyhuggins on 9/6/2010, 7:56 pm

the 5 gallons of water is for 16 square bed (4x4)

As for the potato problem the potato seller is not the problem.

the problem is herbicide contamination of the soil..
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Post  Cropper2 on 9/6/2010, 8:04 pm

Hmmmm. I'm not sure if that applies to me, as mine were all contained in boxes built on top of a triple layer of landscape fabric and I used only Mel's mix. No herbicides at all. Although I had one horrendous problem with most of my veggies this year - pest wise - the potatoes didn't suffer much. Also, as I didn't mention it before, I used a DripWorks drip line to keep them watered. I made a coil on the top that covered the perimeter, then looped again toward the middle, spaced every 4 inches or so, until the middle. The dripline had holes every 6 inches and it watered twice a day - once just as the sun was coming up and once at 3 pm. I figured it was OK to water at 3, since the water was going directly into the soil.

OK. I think that's about all I can come up with. Won't someone give me the magic answer? Pleeeeease?
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Post  ribsyhuggins on 9/6/2010, 9:29 pm

the contamination of herbicide is in compost that my have made it in the mix.
but it could also be due to the fact that pots overheated due to there black color.
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Post  Megan on 9/6/2010, 10:11 pm

Sorry to say, Cropper, there is probably not a magic answer. This has been a tough year for a lot of people.

I have watered a lot later than 3pm and have not seen any negative effects yet, but it's been beastly hot here.
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Post  Chopper on 9/6/2010, 10:15 pm

@ribsyhuggins wrote:the contamination of herbicide is in compost that my have made it in the mix.
but it could also be due to the fact that pots overheated due to there black color.

One would think that if it was an herbicide or heat problem the leaves would not look so healthy all along.
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Post  chocolatepop on 9/6/2010, 11:02 pm

+1

I was more suggesting contacting the seed potato sell asking questions about what would cause this, not really to blame. I'm sure they have much more experience Wink

For instance, I nervous about planting garlic, contacted wegrowgarlic.com and got a two page email back assuring me that in my zone most of the garlic would do fine, but if i have any questions to feel free and contact em. Customer service Wink
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Post  Megan on 9/6/2010, 11:33 pm

@chocolatepop wrote:+1

I was more suggesting contacting the seed potato sell asking questions about what would cause this, not really to blame. I'm sure they have much more experience Wink

For instance, I nervous about planting garlic, contacted wegrowgarlic.com and got a two page email back assuring me that in my zone most of the garlic would do fine, but if i have any questions to feel free and contact em. Customer service Wink

Gotta love it. I got a great email back from Baker Creek today (a holiday!) regarding a question of my own.
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Post  middlemamma on 9/10/2010, 9:37 pm

Well I dumped those other 3 containers and I had much better luck....I know they are not huge and I know there are not tons but for planting late and not having a clue...I am stoked!

Potatoes...Any idea what I did wrong? - Page 2 Img_7817

Potatoes...Any idea what I did wrong? - Page 2 Img_7818

I do have one question though...can you eat the little ones? Or would they be "not ripe"? Don't know what to call it....

LOL...I'm doing pretty good for being a total gardening imbecile! ROFL!
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