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Old 08-14-2015, 04:49 PM   #41
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I plant potatoes every St. Patrick's Day. Tradition has it that it is good luck and will bring you great wealth throughout the year. So, for the last three years I have done this and the results have been pretty good. I harvest the potatoes over the 4th of July holiday. I had over 10 pounds this year. Two pots, that's it! We take potato seedling potatoes, cut them into half or quarter pieces depending on the size of the potato and how many EYES it has. The EYES are what you want on each piece as that is where the plant/roots come from. I dry the cut pieces for a week to 10 days on cookie sheets lined with parchment and keep them on the dining room table, away from drafts, cold, etc. When a harder 'skin' forms, you can plant them. A little soil, then the potato and enough soil to cover them. As they start to sprout, cover the plants with more soil. When you are about two inches from the top of the pot, stop covering them. I used coffee grounds and egg shells in the soil. I buy Black Gold and add the coffee grounds and crushed egg shells to the soil bag and mix it up. Don't use it until it has had time to release nutrients to the soil, about 2 weeks. Every week, add four more egg shells and about a cup of coffee grounds. If you don't drink coffee, Starbucks give the use grounds away for gardens...it's free! Remember after harvesting, DO NOT rinse the dirt off the potatoes, let them sit in a dark place for 10 days, then rinse and use. Delicious!
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:51 PM   #42
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I love those! I'm not very hand with tools and wood, so I use big, plastic or clay pots.
Where is Zone 4? I'm not sure what Zone we are in, Pacific Northwest area. I just plant them on St. Patrick's Day and they are ready in July. The plants start to dry off and you know the potatoes are ready.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:13 PM   #43
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facts and foobars....

potatoes like an acid pH - like 5.2 or less. this is not yer' pappy's garden soil - and,,,, acid soils inhibit availability of specific nutrients. there be pluses and there be minuses to growing potatoes.

oops! potatoes are subject to a number of 'diseases' - and this is the reason a serious gardener will only use 'certified' seed potatoes. the wonderful theory of just tossing any ole' potato you got that sprouted into the garden will work. but it may very likely introduce potato unfriendly pathogens that - put bluntly - you will never ever get out of the soil.

taketh thine choice - supermarket spoilt or certified disease free seed potatoes - and live with the consequences.

container potatoes - some people have stellar success, some people have abysmal failure. been there, done that, succeeded some, failed some.

here's my theory: potatoes do not like heat. if the 'container' is exposed to full sun and absorbs too much solar energy ( = heat) you get hot soil and a miserable potato crop.

once upon a last century dreary, my best ever potato harvests were on decent dirt, planted shallow, but instead of 'hilling up' around the plants, I used bunches and heaped 6 inches thick of "leaf mold" as 'mulch' - oak leaves/acid stuff - two-three years in a composting heap. had the added advantage of 'no dig' - just stick yo' hand in the mulch and search around for hard lumps - thems the taters.....

we're in USDA zone 7a. at elevation, so perhaps a bit less. but it's been a strange season - normally the potato vines die back to twigs mid-July. we're in mid-August and the vines/foliage is still going strong. we may have to eat our way out of this problem.....
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:32 PM   #44
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Zone 4 lowest temperatures -20 to -10 F
Zone 7 lowest temperatures 10 to 0 F

We used certified seed. One of the reasons we wanted to try these potato boxes, is where ever you put them (say a low spot in the yard) when you harvest them, you spread out the soil (to fill in the low spot) and start with fresh soil the next year. That way if you do end up with any unfriendly pathogens, you don't suffer it year to year.

Planting in March, harvest in July, 4 months. We planted in June and expect to harvest in October (we get our first freeze usually in the first two weeks of October).

If all else fails with the potato boxes, we think they look nice, and will probably use them as planting boxes for something else.

We also have some raised beds, which I love, close to the house, easy to water, not much bending, few weeds. This is our new raised bed strawberries this spring.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:39 PM   #45
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Oh and this raised bed has a top we keep on it in early spring and into winter as a cold frame, mostly lettuce, chard, and volunteer tomatoes.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:18 AM   #46
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Those are beautiful! I use clay and plastic pots for the tomatoes and have five plants in the ground.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:29 PM   #47
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Yesterday's harvest. The tomatillos are starting to come in.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:59 PM   #48
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writing down all these ideas for next year...need to find out what zone we are.

Ah...Zone 4B.
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:06 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Yesterday's harvest. The tomatillos are starting to come in.
Gorgeous stuff GG.
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:06 PM   #50
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Quote:
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Yesterday's harvest. The tomatillos are starting to come in.
GG, that's pretty as a picture.. I'm so enjoying this thread!
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