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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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cool idea for growing potatoes

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Post  jazzycat 4/30/2013, 7:51 pm

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Post  camprn 4/30/2013, 7:58 pm

Good post, Thanks. Very Happy I may choose to employ this idea because I am so far behind in rebuilding my beds. Rolling Eyes

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Post  cheyannarach 4/30/2013, 9:55 pm

That's very cool! Got my brain thinking now! I just might free up some extra SFG space this way!
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Post  littlejo 4/30/2013, 10:57 pm

The living fencepost is from a Sycamore tree. To get a straight row of trees, just make a fence of sycamore logs, they don't have to be direct off the tree. I don't think you can kill the life out of the tree.

I just don't think that potatoes grow very well for me, towers, boxes, beds. I may try 1 living fencepost, just to see if I can get it to work!
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Post  VJ72584 4/30/2013, 11:26 pm

I am trying something similar. I have planted three towers made the same way, but I have a double thickness of landscape fabric around the outside, not straw. They have grown over the top of the fence now but they haven't bloomed yet. I'm worried that it will soon get too hot here and that may affect the yield. I've never done this before. I only put in one layer of potatoes and then added dirt a couple times as they grew. Trial and error, but that's usually how I learn.
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Post  RoOsTeR 5/1/2013, 8:10 am

Hmm, I like it! I wasn't planning on doing potatoes this year, but I'm very interested in trying this out. I'll have to see if I can find some good seed taters now though. I did notice on Sunday when I bought my onion sets, the seed taters were slim pickins.

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Post  camprn 5/1/2013, 8:20 am

RoOsTeR wrote:Hmm, I like it! I wasn't planning on doing potatoes this year, but I'm very interested in trying this out. I'll have to see if I can find some good seed taters now though. I did notice on Sunday when I bought my onion sets, the seed taters were slim pickins.
Is the store going to get more seed taters?
I bought a few seed potatoes at the grocery store (yukon gold and blue something), but I have white potatoes in the pantry starting to put out eyes, I am going to plant those this year. May as well, eh? Wink

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  RoOsTeR 5/1/2013, 8:25 am

Is the store going to get more seed taters?
Don't know? That garden center is just down the road, and I have bought their potatoes in the past just cause they're certified, and I also found at last year, they come from a local place that I believe Havv turned me on to that I never knew existed here in Colorado.

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Post  cdedriver 5/1/2013, 2:53 pm

That link doesn't work for me? I get a page that indicates posterous is going away.... Sad
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Post  camprn 5/1/2013, 3:27 pm

cdedriver wrote:That link doesn't work for me? I get a page that indicates posterous is going away.... Sad
Oh BUMMER! it worked yesterday, here is alink that explains the use of the wire cage to grow potatoes in a somewhat vertical fashion. Not as nice as the phtos in the original link, but you get the idea.
http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Potatoes-in-a-Wire-Cage


http://artofnaturalliving.com/2011/05/01/the-lazy-persons-potato-garden/

http://www.hillgardens.com/potatoes.htm


Last edited by camprn on 5/1/2013, 3:34 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added links and correced spelling)

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  cdedriver 5/1/2013, 3:31 pm

Thanks, camprn!
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Post  camprn 5/1/2013, 3:33 pm

cdedriver wrote:Thanks, camprn!
I added a few more links how to growing potatoes in cages method.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



cool idea for growing potatoes WxBanner?bannertype=wu_clean2day_cond&airportcode=KEEN&ForcedCity=Keene&ForcedState=NH&zipcode=03431&language=EN
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Post  VJ72584 5/11/2013, 9:17 pm

The plants in my towers have finally started to bloom. Doesn't look like there will be a lot of blooms - at least not yet. Any idea how much longer it will be until I have potatoes ready?


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Post  SFGHQSTAFF 5/11/2013, 11:05 pm

I just wanted to let you guys know that I love that you think outside the box. Great idea!
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Post  Lavender Debs 5/12/2013, 9:40 am

cdedriver wrote:That link doesn't work for me? I get a page that indicates posterous is going away.... Sad
I got the same message. Did the picture look anything like this?
cool idea for growing potatoes Potato10
Saved it to my FB page back in March because I thought it was kewl. Just realized I did not use the idea when I planted.
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Post  jazzycat 5/12/2013, 7:54 pm

Bummer. Sorry about the link not working anymore. I don't know what happened to it. I'll see if I can't run it down somewhere else.
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Post  VJ72584 5/21/2013, 9:40 pm

I have a question since I never tried growing potatoes before. The potatoes in the towers have only had a couple blooms on them. I believe they have all been from one tower. The plants are still green and pretty as ever, but don't they have to bloom? I planted two squares in a top hat in the 4 x 8 bed and they have grown huge and have lots of blooms. It's starting to get hot here, maybe it's too hot now?
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Post  littlejo 5/21/2013, 10:48 pm

No, it's not too hot yet, but some shade would work well.
Supposedly, when the plant flowers, you can stick your hand(gently) in to the bottom of the plant, and get a few new potatoes. Try not to disturb too much. Leave the plants til they die down, then, you should have a crop of potatoes. I think it usually takes about 100 days even in the SC heat. I have had a few plants that never did flower.
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Post  clightowler 5/21/2013, 11:09 pm

I built a potato box a couple of years ago, but haven't had much success with it so far. Only about half a dozen potatoes each year! Shocked Going to try it again, this year, using MM instead of just regular soil. And I'm going to make sure I keep up with the watering this time!

For those that have done this, how tall should I let the plant get before I add more soil each time, and how much should I bury?

cool idea for growing potatoes Potato10
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Post  Pepper 5/22/2013, 12:04 am

Not all potatoes work in towers; their are indeterminate and determinant potatoes just like tomatoes. Finding which is which is the trick.

Potatoes will start to die back; start laying over getting yellow even dying. This is normal as the top dies back the tubers develop. When they die completely it is time to pick.
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Post  southern gardener 5/22/2013, 12:55 am

Pepper wrote:Not all potatoes work in towers; their are indeterminate and determinant potatoes just like tomatoes. Finding which is which is the trick.

Potatoes will start to die back; start laying over getting yellow even dying. This is normal as the top dies back the tubers develop. When they die completely it is time to pick.

I didn't know about determinate and indeterminate potatoes! how can you tell the difference? bounce bounce Learn something new every day!! cool idea for growing potatoes 3170584802
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Post  johnsonjlj 5/22/2013, 3:53 am

I've never tried it, but I read that the late season varieties are the type to do in the potato boxes in order to get a lot of potatoes. I saw a ton of videos on youtube where people had not been successful with it and it turns out they planted an early season variety which don't grow potatoes all the way up the stem.
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Post  VJ72584 5/22/2013, 8:33 am

I'm going to hang in there then and see what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'd probably try it again because it has been so easy. Next time I'll research the potato varieties a little more.

Clightowler - I let them get about 6-8 inches tall and then covered about half the plant in soil. I think I did that twice and finally I added pine straw. My fence was about 30 inches tall. I had a bag of "garden soil" in the shed and started with about 6 inches of that. When the plants had grown a little I had my Mel's Mix ready and finished with that.
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Post  GWN 5/22/2013, 9:32 am

VERY COOL WAY TO GROW POTATOES

This is a very cool video I saw on how to grow potatoes and at the same time get rid of an area of lawn, without having to dig it up. Keep in mind it is australia and so make necessary adjustments for MONTHS... Very Happy
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Post  Pepper 5/22/2013, 2:03 pm

+1 to what johnsonjlj said. I tried "tater tires" ( https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t11554-tater-tires?highlight=tater+tires ) last year without success. During my trials I ran across the "indeterminate and determinant potatoes just like tomatoes" analogy. I never did come across a definitive explanation nor positive variety classification; that I can remember. The consensus was as stated above "late season varieties" produce tubers above the immediate level as the 'seed' cutting.
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