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Information and discussion for successfully cultivating potatoes, the world's fourth largest crop.

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Old May 21, 2018   #1
Old School
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Default Anyone ever grown potatoes this close?

I wasn't sure how many potatoes would come in a 3 pound bag of seed potatoes. I ordered 3 bags (9 pounds total). One bag of Purple Viking and 2 bags of Yukon Gold. I filled the bed up with cow manure compost blend and covered with straw about 4 inches deep. I did this to try to avoid hilling them up again although I have plenty of straw left over should I need to top them off. I ended up with 28 total potatoes which I planted whole...no need chitting them with this many The bed is 4' x 8'. The sides are 10" high. Just curious if anyone else ever tried this type of concentration when planting their potatoes?

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The above 3 photos were taken the day I planted them 4-21-18. The one below was taken today 5-21-18.

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Old May 21, 2018   #2
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First picture had me worried - glad you got them out of the mesh bags!

You yield may depend on light and water more than anything else. Looking forward to hearing how the experiment goes!
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Old May 21, 2018   #3
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I've got 4-50' rows of potatoes in (mostly fingerlings) I got a 50' row of Rose Finn Apple planted from 3#s of seed potatoes, I only got 25' of Magic Molly for #3's of seed potatoes... 12" spacing on both. Rose Finns are over a foot tall already.
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Old May 22, 2018   #4
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I see a few videos now of others who are planting them closer in raised beds. All the other videos, especially those made by people planting out in fields, had them being planted like 2 feet apart and 3 feet between rows. My plan was to have a full bed of potatoes to harvest without wasting space. It's a brand new bed with all new soil plus some potato feed. The compost manure is especially loved by worms and I grew my best garden ever last year. I still think I may only need 2 bags (3 lbs. each) of potatoes for this space. This season will tell

Yes PhilaGardener, I wasn't going to plant them still in the mesh bags Although, I wonder if you could lay a few mesh mags under the potatoes and gather them up to harvest and have them already bagged and ready to store It would be a real time saver
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Old May 22, 2018   #5
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Got some in a closet that close growing in a bag now.
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Old May 23, 2018   #6
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Sure, I've grown lots of potato varieties, but not since I moved to where I am now

Every year I'd plant a 252 ft row of them,I got them from two places,one in Oregon and the other in Maine.

No way can I remember what all the varieties were but I do remember Purple Viking,though and Yukon Gold, and lots of finger ones as well,one was banana, that I remember.

And I never planted whole potatoes, I'd cut sections that had one or two eyes,then if the soil was still cold,sprinkle Sulfa on the cut surfaces then dig a hole and plant them and hill them up as they grew taller.

Then came Fall, maybe even a first freeze and I'd be out there with a shovel, my back to that cold N wind digging them up and putting them in baskets.

More than once I felt that I was back in medieval times, digging potatoes with a passion since I remember that's all we had to eat back then.

Where I live now it's Big potato country,the Atwater family alone had hundreds of acres
and same for the Sheldons and in the Fall all the stands around here,especially Stannards, had lots of different varieties for sale.

The commercial folks have those machines that harvest that way and when they were through with a field they would open it up to anyone who wanted to go looking for the small ones left.

And no better eating than those small red ones,boil, cut them in half and drench them with butter fresh parsley on them.

Carolyn, who notes that the town she lives near, was settled originally by the Irish, and their family names are still here. Maybe I shouldn't say this but when my septic tank froze up in the bitter cold of January,it was Snell Septic who helped out and when he came in to explain everything I found out his name was Rhyne Snell, no better first name than Rhyne to indicate an Irish background.




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Old May 23, 2018   #7
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Quote:
And no better eating than those small red ones,boil, cut them in half and drench them with butter fresh parsley on them.
Also great with fresh garlic, or scapes and rosemary with oil or butter.
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Old May 23, 2018   #8
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I have to dig after they die back here or they start to sprout again before Fall (or rot in our clay soil)!
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Old May 24, 2018   #9
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Originally Posted by GrowingCoastal View Post
Also great with fresh garlic, or scapes and rosemary with oil or butter.
I'm sure they tasted great with what you used.

But I'm 1/4 Swedish and the Swedes always used parsley, and I forgot to mention chives and sprinkle them on everything.

A typical plate of food was almost always white since almost everything was creamed. my mother cooked what her mother did and my grandmother was a Carlson from Uppsala, Sweden. Several branches of the Carlson's immigrated to the US.

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Old May 24, 2018   #10
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In my experience planting them too close together yields smaller potatoes. I like big baking potatoes and only get them if I leave a decent amount of space between plants.
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Old May 24, 2018   #11
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Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I'm sure they tasted great with what you used.

But I'm 1/4 Swedish and the Swedes always used parsley, and I forgot to mention chives and sprinkle them on everything.

A typical plate of food was almost always white since almost everything was creamed. my mother cooked what her mother did and my grandmother was a Carlson from Uppsala, Sweden. Several branches of the Carlson's immigrated to the US.

Carolyn

My mother too cooked things only a few certain ways. Though I also use chives with tomatoes and on soups etc and must have parsley and black pepper on carrots I have expanded my horizons to include different things, the potatoes + garlic + rosemary idea coming from an Englishman. My garlic is scaping now and I look forward to having them on something soon! New potatoes, even from the store, will do.
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Old May 25, 2018   #12
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I grow potatoes regularly and always in trenches about 8 inches apart that I hill up later. I also cut each spud into pieces with at least two eyes and never plant them in soil that has fresh manure, it promotes potato scab. I tried growing them in straw one year and it was a huge failure. I don't know if it was because the straw kept them too wet or because there were not enough nutrients in the straw.
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Old May 27, 2018   #13
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You probably have about twice as many potatoes in that bed as you need. You'll probably get mostly small potatoes as a result. Potatoes typically respond to crowding by producing a larger quantity of small potatoes.

At about 2.25-2.5 ft2 per plant, about 13-14 potatoes would be ideal in that raised bed.
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Old May 28, 2018   #14
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Thanks NathanP and brownrexx! That was basically what I was wondering about I'll see what turns out now that it's done and have a better idea for next year
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Old May 28, 2018   #15
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Size and quantity of potatoes are dependent on a number of factors, such as type, quality of soil and availability of nutrients. Spacing can vary from very close to three feet apart depending on whether the potato is early, mid or late season; or if it is a regular round type or fingerling. If you do a quick search you will find plenty of information on best growing practices for potatoes. Tom Wagner who is a member of TV would be the go to expert on this, hopefully he sees this thread.


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