Potato Planting

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Hello all: New at starting a garden here. I wanted to plant some potatoes; the person at home depot told me to put toothpicks in a potato, wait till they sprout, and then plant them. Is this true? And if so,
1. Do I take the toothpicks out after I "puncture" them and then the sprouts grow out of the holes, or do I leave the toothpicks in?
2. Do I bury the whole potato, sprouts and all or do I let the sprouts stick through the soil?
Thanks everyone!
Greg
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il Wed, 7 Apr 2004 12:34:59 -0700, "Greg" ha scritto:

Sounds like he's confusing potatoes with avocado kernals. Put a seed potato in light, it will start to sprout from the eyes. It can be subdivided but potatoes are cheap. So when sprouted a bit, plant it but leave the green bits in the light.
One can also use any old potato to grow from. 'Eyes' are the dark bits on a potato. Mine sprout if I keep them too long in the cupboard.
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Loki [ Brevity is the soul of wit. W.Shakespeare ]
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So do my onions. I keep them in the bottom of the 'frige now.
I never used to buy seed potatoes when I grew them. I liked the gold and red vareties from the grocery store.
I can't eat potatoes anymore so I don't grow them. :-( Am considering planting some yams tho' just because the vines are so pretty!
I've heard that they are in the morning glory family. Is that true?
K.
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il Wed, 07 Apr 2004 21:08:36 -0500, Katra ha scritto:

No room in mine for such an easy storer.

Yeah, not sure what the difference is between a 'seed' potato and any old one that's sprouted.

Not a clue. Morning Glory - isn't that convulvulous? a rampant pesty weed here.
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I've had to keep onions in the 'frige! Dad tends to forget we have plenty, and buys more. I just hate throwing food away... :-(

Same here!

Hee! Bindweed. Yah, but the wild morning glory seeds have value on ebay. To those in the know, they contain LSA's.
K.
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il Fri, 09 Apr 2004 00:01:52 -0500, Katra ha scritto:

LSA's?? I'm obviously not in the know.
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Lysergic Acid Amides...
Funny, it was my mom that told me about those many years ago one day when we were discussing drugs back when I was in high school. She was teaching me what to avoid. :-) Good mom.
The legislature briefly considered outlawing morning glories in gardens sometime back in the 70's.
Obviously it was decided that it was impractical. <G>
K.
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il Fri, 09 Apr 2004 01:50:16 -0500, Katra ha scritto:

Too true, I can't imagine convulvulous taking any notice of regulations. They'd just laugh as they undermined the garden soil... As for letting them flower and fruit! One would have to be mad. ;-)
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Especially the wild variety that grows all over here in Texas. ;-)
I weeded a BUNCH of it out last year prior to it blooming 'cause I did not want it in the tomato plants again...... and it's back in full force this year. <G>
K.
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il Sat, 10 Apr 2004 07:14:20 -0500, Katra ha scritto:

I don't like to use sprays but I have found it wonderful to be able to spray convulvulous and oxalis, because the hand method is never very good.
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I just hand pull it, but I generally leave Oxalis alone. It's not terribly invasive and, being a legume, it's a nitrogen fixer so good for the garden. ;-)
And it's pretty.
K.
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il Sat, 10 Apr 2004 20:50:18 -0500, Katra ha scritto:

Hah! Not in New Zealand. Something about our climate lets the plant lifes' 'inner Triffid' out. Gorse, possums, rabbits, oxalis, macrocarpas, madagascar vine, old man's beard, privet - all noxious weeds and pests here.
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New Zealand is rather tropical.....
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Remind me of that when our temperatures dip below zero C, which will be in a few days I believe. 'Temperate' is the word, with a maritime changeability. Up north is warmer though. :-)
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Piggyback ride...
poking holes in potatoes and putting them in water will most likely get you the foulest stinking mess you ever smelled!
Potatoes will grow all by themselves, no water necessary at first, the potato plant makes the tubers to provide food for the plant that will grow from it until it's established.
Best way is to get seed potatoes about the size of a hen's egg or a bit smaller, and "chit" them.. put them in a flat with the "rose" end of the potato up.. rose end is the one with the larger cluster of "eyes" and leave the potatoes in a bright area that is neither too hot or cold enough to freeze them. They will develop dark green short sprouts, rather than those ghostly white ones that develop when the potatoes start sprouting in the dark. They will sprout when the potatoes reach a temperature.. I *think* it was over 40f, but might be 50f. Once the seed potatoes have a nice cluster of dark green buds/sprouts that haven't actually leafed out too much, plant them in a trench or hole, sprout end up, or wherever you want to plant them, and cover them with an inch or two of soil. Enough to protect them from any late frosts (Good Friday is a date that many people use to guide them in when they should have their potatoes in the ground in zone 6 anyway). As the potato grows, and leaves appear, cover them with a bit more soil, and keep doing that until the trench or hole is filled, and then .. as they grow above ground hoe the soil from either side of the plant inward to "hill" them up .. leaving a small rosette of leaves protruding from the top of the hill. Do that about 3 times up until the plant starts forming flower buds I think.. check on that it's been a long time. You can also mulch the hills after you've finished hoeing the soil up to make sure it remains moist .. and also keeps erosion down and will cover any tubers that might protrude , in the shade. Green potatoes are bitter, and poisonous.. containing solanin.. Solenacea or Solinacea .. I think one might be spelled right.. being the family name. They are in the nightshade family..as are Tomatoes, and eggplants.
Just keep in mind, potatoes will not form tubers any deeper than the seed potato is planted. I've read articles about them being grown in old otherwise work out galvanized trash cans, tires (didn't work well for me just using a lot of mulch, as I have flood irrigation, needs more soil with the mulch and watering methods other than flooding.) I have some mounds of dirt in my yard from when I had someone dig out trenches of clay loam in order to replace it with sandy soil and peat moss, in order to plant blue berries. I need to get some more granulated sulfur out there, and more peat and other acidic products out there for mulch as my native soil is alkaline to "neutral" depending on where it is in the yard. Might use a post hole digger to spike the mound with seed potatoes and fill the holes as they grow, water the mound with a sprinkler and mulch it with grass clippings from the lawn around it, just to see if I can do it, as well as get some kennebeck potatoes! Maybe a few pontiacs or whatever looks good that can be had for seed.
You can cut up a larger potato, leaving an eye or two on each chunk, however, you'll get fewer, but larger potatoes that way. You'll likely bet more, but smaller ones with the whole small seed potato. That can be somewhat balanced out by rubbing all but a few of the largest sprouts off .. just before planting it. You have less chance of the seed potato rotting if it's a small whole one. If you go with cutting a large potato up .. make sure there's a good chunk of potato with each eye, and let them set around to dry awhile. .8 to 12 hours.
Ok... I've rattled on far too long.. happy potato planting.. oh.. almost forgot. Only potato growing in water that I know of is to take a sweet potato or "yam" (just a moister more orange variety of sweet potato really.. yam is a perennial tropical tuber that is irregularly shaped and grows about 3 feet deep) .. put the sweet potato into a jar where part of it is poking down into the water.. without toothpicks.. just make sure the jar mouth is small enough to keep the entire potato from falling in (or a big enough sweet potato). It will grow roots, and sprout up pretty leaves and grow a nice vine for ornamental oddity indoors, or you can break off the sprouts very close to the tuber when they have several leaves and stem that can then be "rooted" and then planted out in relatively poor soil, sandy preferably. Rich soil will just grow more vine. If you're interested in that, there are more folks who know more about it than me!
So NOW.. b'bye ;-)
Janice
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Thank You Janice! That was very helpful! I have grown Yukon golds for 5 years or so with success, always rotating, but last year the insects were horrible . . couldn't stay ahead of em. I'm here in Nampa, Idaho. What sort of insecticide regimine works?
wrote:

potatoes;
till
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On Fri, 16 Apr 2004 06:41:54 -0600, "Darwin Vander Stelt"

I just picked the bugs off of them myself, never sprayed. But you must LOOK for them early and often. What were they? colorado potato beetles.. striped ones? Or blister beetles..black narrower than they are long? They like to eat the flowers first.
Go out early or in the evening, and peer under the leaves for clusters of yellow eggs,..mash 'em if you find them, carry a can with a little gas in it and toss any adult beetles you find...or if you don't want to use gas, something with a lid so they don't just get out again. If it's morning, you can do slug patrol too! Put down boards around the garden and they'll hide under them!
How many plants are we talking about here? A couple or three rows 10 to 20 feet long? or 1/4 acre?
I like yukons, they're mealy like burbank russets. However for a nice all purpose and BIG potatoes, try some Kennebecs or kennebeck .. smooth whites that look like river rocks. ;-)
Janice

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In reference to picking the bugs off potato plants, last year was the first year I did potatoes in the east. My neighbor was horrified that she and her husband had no bugs on their potato plants to speak of. She went on & on about how each year they had to pick the bugs off their plants. I have six roaming guinea hens and it turns out they picked the bugs off of the entire neighborhood's potato plants. Now maybe everyone will quit compalining about their squawking and screeching.
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Reminds me of the arguement going on now in Albuquerque where the Rio Grande runs thru it. We have thousands of Salt Cedar trees that supposedly suck up to 200 gals of water a day (so its been reported anyway). The city is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to determine how to eradicate the trees. Area farmers, ranchers and others continue to advocate the use of goats, they leave behind matter that'll help new vegetation grow and can be had really cheap. FOr some reason the local Government is resisting it. Maybe they don't like the noise of goats either<sigh>............
Painted Hand Farm wrote:

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il Wed, 21 Apr 2004 18:30:09 -0600, Grandpa ha scritto:

Goats? they don't know when to stop eating.
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