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Prepping Your Garden Space Early
#41
Lib, know all about being sick and still thinking about gardening.  Still too cold here for even the hardy crops, but soon it will be time and still have the left over lung crap from the flu.  Shortness of breath makes it difficult to think about gardening, lol.

I don't have old tires but am wondering if any one has had any luck planting potatoes in the boxes that seem popular?  Want to try potatoes this year, it will be my first attempt and just don't have the room to plant in ground.  Everything is raised beds, and DH will be building me two more of these.  Any and all help about potatoes would be appreciated. 

Guess I need to get to the store to get some jiffy plugs for starting my tomatoes, chilies, melons and a few other things that I can't direct sow.  Had planned to get the little pot maker but alas, sickness put a lot of things on hold or just forgotten.
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#42
@Whiteangel
You will be fine growing potatoes in bags or potato planters. My mum does this as she doesn't have much space and it always seems to work out well for her. Also, every village summer show around here has a bucket potato growing competition so it seems they aren't too fussy where they will grow!

If you can buy proper seed potatoes from a garden centre or online store. You can chit and grow on from the ones you buy in the supermarket to eat, but these will be less disease resistant than the proper seed potatoes and you are likely to get less of them. http://jbaseedpotatoes.co.uk/info/help-a...s-in-bags/ This link goes to a guide for growing them - in bags or pots (select from the menu on the left). It's a UK site though so you will need to find somewhere else to buy the seedstock from.

If you don't want to get the jiffy plugs for the other things then any old container will do to start them off in as long as it's clean and not too deep (wastes compost). We grow things in cut down pop bottles, ice cream tubs, anything really. Also, garden centres over here give away old pots and trays that are too tatty (but still functional) for them to want to use. We've got loads of things that way and it cuts down on costs. Our little paper pot maker has been working hard the past couple of weeks. The kids have a little production line going while they sit watching a film if the weather is too bad to go out for long lol
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#43
I got seed potatoes last year, Kennebeck ... got 9 bushels out of three rows.  Still have 6 bushels ... they are sprouting, so I plan to use some of them to replant this year.  They get planted on St. Patty's Day.  I need to take the sprouts off the ones I am not planning to plant, so they are good through the spring.  So far, they are doing really well. 

I also put an order for a 50 pound bag of Red Pontiac Seed Potatoes in with the local feed store a few weeks ago. 

I looked at Gurney's and some other on line stores for potatoes ... woe ... they wanted like $16.99 for 4 pounds of seed potatoes.  I am getting 50 pounds from the local Southern States Feed Store for about $28.00 ... and I don't have to pay shipping.

If you want them, now is the time to be contacting the feed stores.  If you wait around, when they come in, they get picked over really bad, plus if it is a really popular type, they sell out really quickly.
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#44
An alternative to the paper pot maker is using a suitably sized item to roll your newspaper around and staple one end closed.  don't make them too deep (found out the hard way).  place tubes in a container together so they will stand up and you can water from the bottom by pouring water in container and paper will wick up the water.  fill the tubes with soil and voila instant mini pot.
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#45
Okay, with all those potatoes that are left over at the end of the year, those you aren't using to start new beds, what do you do with them?  Dehydrate?  Freeze?  What?

I have been watching and just keeping a mental eye on it to figure out how many potatoes we go through for a year.  Came up with about 150 to 200 lbs, this includes the quick stuff I buy at the grocer, fries, tater tots, hash browns, etc.  So, if I want to get about 200-250 lbs of potatoes, how much seed do I need?  Yes, these will be in bags or cheaply made boxes. 

Don't have the room at this point to worry about the expense of getting a thing or two of jiffy pellets - the ones you soak in water and they triple in size.  Maybe next year I will have more room.  One of the raised beds DH is going to make will be for herbs and medicinal.  I want to grow a few things that would be good for this old woman's lungs!!
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#46
(02-05-2013, 04:26 PM)Whiteangel Wrote: Okay, with all those potatoes that are left over at the end of the year, those you aren't using to start new beds, what do you do with them?  Dehydrate?  Freeze?  What?

I have been watching and just keeping a mental eye on it to figure out how many potatoes we go through for a year.  Came up with about 150 to 200 lbs, this includes the quick stuff I buy at the grocer, fries, tater tots, hash browns, etc.  So, if I want to get about 200-250 lbs of potatoes, how much seed do I need?  Yes, these will be in bags or cheaply made boxes. 

Don't have the room at this point to worry about the expense of getting a thing or two of jiffy pellets - the ones you soak in water and they triple in size.  Maybe next year I will have more room.  One of the raised beds DH is going to make will be for herbs and medicinal.  I want to grow a few things that would be good for this old woman's lungs!!

We planted 3 rows (50 foot long) of the Kennebeck and got around 200-250 pounds.  I also planted a row of Russet Potatoes that I had gotten from the store.  I usually would buy 5-6 bags of Russets when they went on sale around Christmas.  Last year I had a couple of 10 pound bags left that were really sprouting, so I figured, why not.  Put them in the garden and got about 3 Bushels of the Russets.  They weren't as big as the ones in the store, but they baked real fine.

In the next few days, I need to go down in the garage and repack the potato bushels.  I figure I will save the small ones to plant with the single sprout on them.  For the larger ones, I will pull the sprouts off them, throw out any that have bad places starting on them and repack the rest back into the layers of straw.

When you put the potatoes up for the season, first you need to let them dry a little and brush all the dirt off.  DO NOT LET THEM SIT IN THE SUNLIGHT ... IT WILL CAUSE THEM TO TURN GREEN AND NOT GOOD!  I usually put them under the carport for the night on cardboard.  The next morning, the remaining dirt will have dried.  I put a pair of leather work gloves on, and I rough them up to get the rest of the dried dirt off.  DON'T WASH THEM OR GET THEM WET ... IT WILL CAUSE THEM TO ROT!  Then I put a layer of straw in the bottom of a bushel basket, put a layer of potatoes in ... making sure none of the potatoes touch each other.  That way, if one starts going bad, it isn't going to ruin the one next to it.  Add another layer of straw, more taters, more straw, etc.  Finish the top with straw.  I sit the bushel baskets on wood to raise them up off the garage floor, which allows air to circulate. 

I figure we can keep the taters we have for at least 2 more months, maybe longer.  I am hoping they will last until this year's crop is ready, but I might be a month or two short.  If that happens, I will probably either dehydrate them or can them.
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#47
We never used to grow potatoes other than a few new potatoes for Xmas, as they were so cheap to buy, but with all the food prices going up we will be growing lots this year. I plan on storing them in hessian sacks, but if we have another wet summer I know that I'm going to have to tip the whole lot out once a month to check for slugs as no matter how carefully you check them before bagging one or two will always make it into the bag! 

I believe that if you grow a mixture of first early, second early, maincrop and late season varieties you should be able to eat and store enough to get you between the seasons. That's what I'm hoping for anyway!
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#48
It is mid-July and I was curious as to what could still be planted at this time of year.  Most people think you only start your garden in Spring and then that is it.  Actually, you can get in another harvest if you start now or even a little later. 
Though I am zone 5b, that means little except a guideline with all the weather changes many are experiencing.  Might be wise to think zone 4-6, lol.

Here is a link for many zones, sorry 1-2 isn't in this one, though I do have one that shows that area.
http://veggieharvest.com/calendars/index.html
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This next site doesn't copy well so only the link.  Has a great deal of info and if you don't know your zone, you can enter your zip code to find it.  It also includes zones 1-2!!
http://www.thevegetablegarden.info/planting-schedules
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#49
I'm going to replant beets and carrots for sure.
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#50
Great to revive this thread, very timely. Having a garden is a pleasure, but every year I wonder if this will be the year we have to actually depend on it.

I rotate crops. Do other people? The only things I am not rotating are my climbing beans as I do not want the fuss of taking down all the nets and poles. So as soon as the soil dries out I will dig out the strip under the nets and replace the soil with fresh soil, compost and llama poop. Hopefully it will still get a frost on it, then will rest until I plant out the bean seeds directly in May. The soil I remove from under the beans will be rich in nitrogen so I use it usually on the patch that will have tomatoes and courgettes.

I keep a moon planting diary, although I do not strictly adhere to this method, but it has a good section for planning and two pages of graph paper to draw my plan on. This task helps keep me sane in the winter.
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