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

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Old February 22, 2018   #1
mensplace
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Default Potatos survived the coldest winter

Between my wife's strong arm and my walking staff, I made my way down to my front yard garden just to look at my kale that over-wintered. This was our coldest I remember. Not only did the kale do just fine, but I was amazed to see lots of potato sprouts of all varieties that were above the heavy layer of straw about six inches. I can't wait for some "new" potatoes. Nature always surprises me!
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Old February 23, 2018   #2
rxkeith
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kale, especially russian kale is pretty hardy. it will provide you with an early season crop of greens before it bolts. if you never want to buy kale seeds again, let some go to seed, and you will have an ample supply. the lacinato kale is not as winter hardy.
i have had kale survive the winter even when deer got into the garden, and left just a stub. that stub grew back in the spring time.
kale is tough.
i also will have potatoes that i missed sprout in the garden come spring time. our winters can be severe, but we have a three or four foot blanket of white mulch most of the time that protects the greens, and spuds.


keith
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Old February 24, 2018   #3
PhilaGardener
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I've actually taken to planting potatoes in the fall here in PA. I lose a few but hope I am selecting for toughness. I started this because some always seemed to come back up on the spring from the previous year's beds, while the ones I was trying to nurse through the winter inside or in the refrigerator always suffered.

The down side is that if you have any blight problems, it can overwinter on potato material that makes it through and then hit your garden early and hard the following season. Unfortunately, a growing concern over the past few years.
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Old February 24, 2018   #4
jtjmartin
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Kale does great here in Virginia over the winter - it only seems to suffer for a few weeks with cold temperatures and short days then it really bounces back.

With our heavy, wet clay - potatoes have not faired as well. I've tried planting them in mulch in spring and fall but was not impressed with the results. It's probably time to try again since my soil is improving with all the leaves added over the last 3 years.
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Old February 28, 2018   #5
Black Krim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtjmartin View Post
Kale does great here in Virginia over the winter - it only seems to suffer for a few weeks with cold temperatures and short days then it really bounces back.

With our heavy, wet clay - potatoes have not faired as well. I've tried planting them in mulch in spring and fall but was not impressed with the results. It's probably time to try again since my soil is improving with all the leaves added over the last 3 years.
A friend has been working on laying down all kinds of mulch material, and in a few months the hard clay soil started to become loose and friable on the top. The organisms work down from the top mulch into the hard soil, and the mulch keeps that hard material moist easier for organisms to burrow.

Last year I started a new bed and used what I had on hand. Filled a few inches of shavings and mixed it up with the very old horse manure. Added more shavings. ANd tossed on all the weeds. Plot did ok and son had a great time digging thru to collect the potatos. A bit early, but he had fun. Likely a bit better poundage if had been left longer.

I did this based on the online growing using the M method. SOrry the full name is elusive. DIdnt add any special supplements but I now understand supplements are beneficial. Of course no ashes, which I have tons of. Due to wood stove. I do have lots of calcium ! I keep all egg shells, heat in microwave or oven, the crush underfoot. If I want a finer powder, I set my son on that chore using the coffee bean grinder.
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