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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Lets make a potato planting thread to help people who considering getting started.

There are a lot of different ways to grow potatoes, such as in hay, tires, a box, and in the ground. Personally, I grow my potatoes in the ground.

Not only are potatoes easy to grow, but they also store well, are easy to cook with, and any remaining potatoes at the end of the year can be replanted for next years crop.

Unlike a lot of crops that require special storage, such as canning and/or drying, just keep potatoes dry and in a cool dark place and they will store for close to a year.

Small potatoes can be eaten straight out of the ground. Larger ones can be baked, boiled, mashed, or made into a soup.

Potatoes grow well in loose soil free from rocks, sticks, tree roots and other obstructions. Work the soil with a tiller, plow, disk,,, something that will break the soil up. Make the rows, add fertilizer, I like to mix the fertilizer into the soil using a tiller, then plant the seed potatoes. Plant the seed potatoes about 3 inches deep and about 12 - 18 inches apart.

I will space the rows about 30 - 36 inches apart.



Use a fertilizer such as 10-20-10, or 13-13-13. Do not use a nitrogen rich fertilizer such as 21-0-0 or 16-6-12. Nitrogen rich fertilizers will cause the potato plant to be large, but will grow few tubers. Potatoes need phosphorus to grow the tubers and some nitrogen to grow the tops.

Natural sources of phosphorus include:
  • Manure
  • Bonemeal
  • Cottonseed meal

When I first plant my potatoes I do not make mounds, that comes later. I use a tiller to break up the soil, fertilize with something like 13-13-13, work the fertilizer in with the tiller.

Use a hoe to make a small hole about 3 inches deep. Drop the seed potato into the hole with the eye up. The cover with loose soil.

When the sprout breaks the top of the soil and gets a few icnhes tall, I will side dress with something like bonemeal and/or 10-20-10 and pull dirt up to the sprout.

I only add extra fertilizer that one time.

After a few times of pulling dirt up around the top of the plant there will be nice rows in place.

Recommended books to help get you started:



 

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Peas and Carrots!
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This is perfect timing. I've grown potatoes in a huge compost pile in the past, just gone around and stuck the cut potatoes in the compost a few inches. It tied up my compost pile for the better part of the spring each year if I didn't pull enough out before the potatoes were put in. :xeye:

This is the first time I'm trying them in the ground in rows. I planted the first half of them yesterday and will do the other half in about 10 days. I got them in the ground yesterday and then thought, now what?

I'm excited even though my potatoes have never gotten very big. Some woman who looks just like me seems to scrabble out most of them when they are small... I'm not sure about her. The hope this year is there will be more potatoes than I can rob and some will actually get some size to them.

I'm planting about half La Sodas and I'm trying the other half fingerlings because they will come in before the steamy rains start. Both of those are supposed to be good in my area.
 

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Ours are in the ground and we get manure from a farm up the road. Just weed every now and then and let 'em grow. Come harvest, we hook up the fourwheeler and take a turn plow to skim the dirt off the top so I can walk the rows barefoot and pick them up.
 

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prepared for life & death
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I plant mine in the ground. Since moving from a neighborhood to our new place I tripled the amount I planted this year. I figure with almost 2 acres I can have a much larger garden. I have always planted mine in mid February here since hot temps roll in about the mid to end of April. They seem to do better that way. Need to find a good way to store them though. I barely have enough last till August for a small fall crop.Planted red, yellow and trying some blue ones this year. Will see how they do. I Usually mulch them with newspaper and hay to keep the weeds down and moisture in but may not this year.
 

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The 5 Will Survive
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I'm attempting my first crop of potatoes this year.

I'm trying bucket potatoes, all I have done is ventilate the bottom of a 5 Gal. bucket, and add some small rocks to the bottom, and cover the bottom with dirt and add my potatoes.

With the weather the way it has been, I'm thankful for having a greenhouse.
 

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Grevcon 10
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We're planning to do some form of above ground potatoes this year. We're doing concrete block raised beds for the rest of our veggies and will probably go with a climbing block bed, and then just start removing blocks when harvest time comes.
 

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patriarch
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I usually plant 5-6 lbs of seed potatoes each year just for good eating and new potatoes. At the dinner table, we were having baked sweet potatoes. I mentioned I was going to raise a few if my slips grew? The subject of sweet potato verses the white potato for your health came up? My wife related what she had seen on TV that day. The white potato is most toxic vegetable that we eat due to the chemicals that are sprayed on the ground, vines, and on the potatoes themselves. Herbicides to keep the potato patch free from grass & weeds, insecticides to keep the bugs away. Potato tuber absorbs all these chemicals while it is growing. Then they spray the tuber to keep it from sprouting while in storage!
Then, they sell them to us to eat, chemicals and all. I am a meat & potato guy. Wonder why we are all sick? Just makes me want to enlarge my potato patch!
 

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?
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I grow mine in a couple of old trashcans. a foot or so of dirt, potatoes, more dirt. As they grow, throw more dirt on top. Get a good crop every year. I already started Yukon and Red last week. Have some more reds going in this weekend.
I had never heard of putting dirt on top of them as they grow until reading the comments for a youtube video yesterday.

Comments are by 'John C' He gets 100 lbs out of a 12x12 box using a couple of pounds seed potatoes ...Pasting comments below. Now I've got another new thing to try! :upsidedown:

....

"I have been planting potatoes for 20 years and I am telling you that you get more and bigger potatoes if you mound the rows! I get around 100 lbs out of a 12 x 12 box."

"A couple pounds cut carefully will do a 12x12 box nicely! I make three rows hilled up and plant in top of the hill about 3 inches deep. As they start coming up I hill them again. Digging them from hilled up rows is so much easier!"

"What I do is make a real nice mounted row and then I stick the seed potato in the top of the mound about 3 to 4 inches deep. As they come up I will remound them but I don't worry about covering the plant if it happens or not that's ok what I do worry about is making sure any potato that might break thru is covered. Putting them in the top of the mound allows them to grow down into the mound making really big potatoes and more than normal. I have gotten 10 and 12 to one plant instead of the normal 5 to 7. Some of them are so big I can't get my hand around them. Remound after each rain."
 

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Bad Dog
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I am starting to worry about my first 100 ft row of taters, planted feb 17, that's 19 days
no sprouts yet, we had temp down to 16 one or two nights and sleet that looked like snow

should I be worried ???

I planted 2 more 100 ft rows on march 1,they also got the sleet/temp

1 more thing
I did not plant with the eyes up, just dropped in the row and covered up
 

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I grow mine in a couple of old trashcans. a foot or so of dirt, potatoes, more dirt. As they grow, throw more dirt on top. Get a good crop every year. I already started Yukon and Red last week. Have some more reds going in this weekend.
I tried this on a smaller scale and found only taters on bottom of container. From what I gather nobody really has luck with the tower taters.
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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I am starting to worry about my first 100 ft row of taters, planted feb 17, that's 19 days
no sprouts yet, we had temp down to 16 one or two nights and sleet that looked like snow

should I be worried ???

I planted 2 more 100 ft rows on march 1,they also got the sleet/temp

1 more thing
I did not plant with the eyes up, just dropped in the row and covered up
I had potatoes in a few tire planters from last fall. It was an experiment because nothing says ******* like a pile of tires in the side yard. :xeye: We had the coldest winter in years this year, of course they died. We had an ice storm in late January, with temps down to 15 degrees and days of nothing above 25 degrees. My assumption was everything was dead.

So, imagine my surprise when I went to dump out my empty, abandoned tire stacks a few days ago since I am row planting potatoes this year, and the potatoes that had died in December are about 6 inches high with several shoots off of each potato planted.

I wouldn't count your potatoes out yet if I were you. They may have just gotten a slow start. Nothing in my garden is coming up this year like it usually does. We finished February bouncing between 25 and 79 degrees. Nothing knows whether to germinate, bolt, or freeze it seems. :xeye:
 

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The only thing that I do that hasn't already been mentioned is use a bulb planting auger in a 1/2" electric drill (more torque than a 3/8" drill) to dig the holes. The auger works well for transplants like tomatoes, too.
 
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