Potato experiment.

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Every year we seem to have volunteer potato plants which have grown from potatoes we've missed when digging the previous year's crop. These volunteers always seem to produce a large healthy crop of tubers. Because of this, we've been meaning for several years to try some fall planted potatoes and finally, this year, we managed to plant several different varieties in about 50 feet of row. It'll be interesting to see how well they perform.
Ross. Southern Ontario, Canada. AgCanada Zone 5b 43Ί 17' 26.75" North 80Ί 13' 29.46" West
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snipped-for-privacy@forteinc.com wrote:

    I'd be interested in your results. How will you protect the foliage? When do you expect to harvest?     I'm in peninsular Florida, U.S.A. where normal potato-planting time is December, which makes obtaining seed potatoes a bit of a problem, and the biggest concern is not frostbite but the sudden early onset of warm temperatures in February and March.
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the Balvenieman
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On Mon, 16 Nov 2009 19:05:39 -0500, Balvenieman < snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net: wrote:

I will post whatever results we get next summer. We have covered the row where they are planted with shredded leaves. Other than that, we'll just leave them to their own devices, the same as the volunteers that we get every year. Since we planted some of each early, mid-season and late varieties, the harvest time will be somewhat extended. We'll harvest after the foliage dies off as usual. Referring to your email address, how'd you like to try this one from our provincial liquor control board? 72 BALVENIE VINTAGE CASK (WILLIAM GRANT&SONS VINTAGES 954917 | 700 mL bottle Price: $ 799.90
Ross. Southern Ontario, Canada. AgCanada Zone 5b 43Ί 17' 26.75" North 80Ί 13' 29.46" West
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snipped-for-privacy@forteinc.com wrote:

    Thanks! I'll screen for this thread's subject in order not to miss out.

    Oh, my.... Ironically, whisky doesn't necessarily improve in the bottle after about 20 years (some "experts" say even fewer). One wonders how much of that price is for the rare spirits and how much for exclusivity and ostentation: The "because I can" factor. I'll continue to settle for my ±$50.00 (US) off-the-shelf 12y/o, TYVM!
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the Balvenieman
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Balvenieman < snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net: wrote:

From http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS183 it would appear that you could get seed potatoes from your local store, or order potatoes that store well this Spring, and store or refrigerate until next Fall.
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"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the
poor have no food, they call you a communist."
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    Although, you've cited a valuable resource for Gulf Coast gardening, but one which must be taken with a grain of salt. Those folks do not garden year-to-year or routinely buy gardening supplies. They also are in Gainesville, ± 90 miles distant to my locale. "Certified seed can be obtained from a number of reputable garden supply stores" is a bit inexact. For example, my experience in actually locating black grapes that were purported by edis to be widely available makes me a little skeptical: The only nursery in the state that I found to be actually _selling_ the desired variety is near to, well, Gainesville and it does not ship. A 200-mile 'round trip for grape vines, which last a lifetime, is one thing but for potatoes, I don't know.... I'm in my 60's and don't remember ever actually seeing seed potatoes for sale in a garden supply store; not even in the bulk-seed "feed 'n seed" where I frequently shop for seeds, alfalfa, straw and the like. However, the 1960's did take their toll on my memory;-) I'm in a part of Florida in which cattle and citrus were the dominant agriculture. "Truck" farming never got much of a toe-hold and, as a result, a distribution system never developed. Nowadays, the major industry is burying dead old Yankees (and, of course, re-selling their houses) and not enough of those waiting to die garden to support much in the way of gardening supplies. Truth is, I've not made much effort to locate seed potatoes because DW&my staple preference is russet Burbank, which do not do too well in FL. For home-grown, I normally buy organic potatoes from "natural" or "health" food stores because they are not likely to have been treated to prevent sprouting. Neither are they treated to prevent fungii but that has (knock on wood) never been a problem in my sandy soil, even though, winters here can be very wet.

    That seems a good suggestion and one which I might try because it would offer me some selectivity among varieties instead of, "I don't know, they're just 'red' (or 'white') potatoes". Perhaps I can request late-season shipping if I order early.
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the Balvenieman
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wrote:

In a previous post, I mentioned that I planted potatoes in a garbage pail as an experiment. I had some russets that had started to sprout. I cut them with an eye on each piece (as my husband's grandfather did many years ago) and let the cut edges dry before I planted them. Is there any reason to buy "seed potatoes"? I would have had a decent crop fot what I had planted, had I not listened to a friend and dug them before the tops dried off.....Sharon in SW Ontario Canada
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wrote:
y

Varieties some are great keepers some more disease resistant some eatable traits that you like etc etc.
<http://potatoes.wsu.edu/varieties/
<http://www.umaine.edu/paa/var.htm
<http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=heirlom+potato&ie=UT F-8&oe=UTF-8>
Bill
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Billl Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA



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London ON here.
Well....
Table potatoes may be chemically treated or irradiated to inhibit sprouting.
I'd suggest googling the subject.
If you're in London ON, seed potatoes are available right now from the TSC stores.
-- I bought ours yesterday even before they put them out on the floor.
--I'm told they sell out very fast so move quickly.
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says...

Not in London, but near a TSC store elsewhere. Last year I used potatoes that were in my pantry and had started to sprout already. They would have produced a decent crop if I hadn't dug them up too soon. A friend said I could dig them before the tops turned brown....wrong.... I got some nice sized ones, but many little ones. I a lso planted them a month too late in the season. thanks for the reply....Sharon
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snipped-for-privacy@forteinc.com said:

*sigh* All this talk about potatoes. I decided to give them a pass this year because the previous two years running the mice/voles ended up eating more potatoes than we did.
Apparently keeping the garden safe from deer, racoons, possums, and woodchucks also ends up making it a haven for small rodents.
Picked a good year not to grow potatoes, what with the blight outbreak. (And with that, recommendations from the extension service -- which barely survived the state budget slashing -- not to let any potatoes overwinter in the field.)
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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Ross, I'm also in SW Ontario Canada. Last year I planted potatoes in a garbage pail. I harvested them too soon, on the advice of a friend (didn't wait until the tops died off). I want to do it again, but the cost of the soil is prohibitive and I've been told not to use the same soil over again. Have you any experience with this? Planting directly into a garden plot uses the same soil. Do you do anything to prepare the garden for it?...thanks...Sharon
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Hi Sharon,
The main reason for not using the same soil over again is to guard against the carry over of disease organisms. When planting directly into the garden, most gardeners practice crop rotation, i.e., don't plant the same crop in the same spot where it grew the year before. That being said, I don't think you'd have too much of a problem if you used the same soil over again for one more year, particularly if you started with certified seed potatoes last year. As far as soil preparation, we have our old faithful TroyBilt Horse tiller and the gardens get tilled and have compost worked in at the same time. Why do you want to plant in a container? No room for a small garden?
Ross.
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I planted in the container because we have really poor soil and I'm not able to cultivate. Containers work for me. I only grew the potatoes, but this year will do some radishes and carrots, also in containers. I have a selection of potted herbs on an outdoor table through the growing months. I'm not really much of a gardener, but use herbs for cooking and just wanted to experiment with the potatoes. I actually used russets from my pantry that had started to sprout. This year, I'll do yukon gold or some such. It's just a "dabble" into gardening. We are away a lot in the summer with our camper van so I don't get too involved. What is the difference between certified seed potatoes and what I used. My husband's grandfather always used last year's leftovers to plant a new crop. That was many years ago though...thanks...Sharon
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Containers work for many people including Gerry and I. She also grows herbs in a raised bed during the summer and moves some of them into the sunroom for the winter. I just thought that container growing potatoes would result in a rather small crop.

If the russet potatoes you used were Russet Burbank (Netted Gem) they are a very long season potato. You will probably have better luck with mid-season varieties like Yukon Gold and Kennebec, or one of the popular early varieties like Norland (red skin with white flesh). If you have access to straw, here's a method you may want to try: Partially fill your container with soil, lay your seed pieces on the soil and then cover with about 8 inches of clean straw. As the plants grow through you can add more straw. Several advantages, less watering, cleaner more evenly shaped spuds with no digging - just remove the straw. A word of warning though, don't substitute hay for the straw. Hay can be loaded with weed seeds. As to certified seed potatoes, they are grown under fairly strict conditions and are subject to regular inspections. They will by no means guarantee disease free planting stock but will substantially reduce the risk of introducing unwanted "stuff". Your husband's grandfather is certainly not alone in using some of the previous year's crop as next year's seed stock. That's pretty well the way agriculture used to function. We do it here as well but, every few years we do buy certified seed potatoes. Our garden is dedicated to open-pollinated and heirloom varieties where ever possible and we do save seed from tomatoes, beans, peppers, squash, etc.
Enjoy your garden.
Ross. Southern Ontario, Canada. AgCanada Zone 5b 43Ί 17' 26.75" North 80Ί 13' 29.46" West
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wrote:

Thanks Ross, the straw would cut the cost of buying new potting soil every couple of years. I can get some from local farmers we know. I'm not looking for a large harvest and originally did it just for fun. I'll try Now I'm interested in trying carrots and radishes. My arthritis prevents me from doing "real" gardening...lol......Sharon
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wrote:

PS...what is the right time to plant? Thanks again.....Sharon
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In your (our) area, last week of May should be relatively safe from a heavy frost and will still give you lots of time for a good harvest.
Ross.
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wrote:

Thanks again..Sharon
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Way back on Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:43:14 -0500, I wrote:

Well, the verdict is in and, even though we had the mildest winter in living memory, the experiment was a total failure. No sign of life in any of the potato rows. Dug up about 10 feet of row and there wasn't even any sign of the potatoes we planted last fall. I guess they were turned into worm fodder. Live and learn.
Ross Southern Ontario, Canada. AgCanada Zone 5b 43Ί 17' 26.75" North 80Ί 13' 29.46" West
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