Saturday, March 30, 2013

An easy way to grow potatoes and other thoughts on spuds

I found this video recently:

That looks like a great method... but you can no longer trust manure or straw to be herbicide-free. I now view those amendments as poisonous unless proven otherwise. This is a rotten deal for organic gardeners... but it's where we find ourselves.

I've been planting potatoes in every available space, trying a few different ways. Raised beds... in the ground... buried in straw, etc.

I had poor luck with them last year because the aminopyralid manure screwed them up, along with our hot spring weather... but I have high hopes for this year. They're really the gold standard of survival crops, even though Florida probably isn't an ideal climate for them.

The place I usually buy seed potatoes from sold out in January... and didn't re-stock. So I bought a few different brands of potatoes and the ones that made eyes quickly I used for seed. Yeah, I know all about sprout inhibiting chemicals and all that jazz... and that you're not supposed to use store potatoes... but I had good luck with them in TN so I'm trying again. I later managed to get a few bags of seed potatoes from Aldi's of all places... then got a few more bags at Tractor Supply. I'm planting like a madman, even though it's a little late.

Does anyone have a good potato success story to share? I'm eager to know if any of you guys have had good luck. If so - post away, please!

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At March 30, 2013 at 8:54 AM , Blogger Ten at Eat Your Sands said...

All of my white potatoes have fallen due to Sciuridae/Didelphimorphia predation. I no longer attempt this plant. It can remain a survival food for yanks, but sweet potatoes are our survival food. and taro and cannas. lilies. cattails.

at home depot the other day, they had 6 varieties of white potato. surprisingly.

i'm surprised your kids dont have a rabbit as a pet. the manure is pesticide/herbicide free!

At March 30, 2013 at 2:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No success stories from here, but I have a good failure story. I tried the potatoes in a barrel method using a 30 gallon trash can for two years in a row. The first year it yielded about a half dozen potatoes. Thinking that I couldn't do worse than that, I tried again the following year. The result - 1 potato!

At March 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the blocks in the center photo BTW. Are they yours? Did you make them?

At March 30, 2013 at 5:06 PM , Blogger mrlespaulman said...

Bro, I can't even get a dang sweet potato to sprout on my windowsill, much less these regular

At March 30, 2013 at 9:33 PM , Blogger stevo_61 said...

Doing fine with potatoes and sweet potatoes here in central FL. Red Potatoes are in the ground now (from Walmart). But, don't ask me to grow a tomato, pepper or eggplant, the stink bugs are winning.

At March 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

That's incredible depressing. Sounds like some of my own failures.

At March 30, 2013 at 9:57 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

The stink bugs are evil. Unbelievable little buggers. From what I've heard, they tend to overwinter in mulch and debris from the previous year's garden. The only luck I've had is... pick and kill. Repeat. ONE MILLION TIMES.

At March 30, 2013 at 9:57 PM , Blogger David The Good said...


At March 30, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Yep. Check out a full post on those here:

At March 30, 2013 at 10:00 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

"Sciuridae/Didelphimorphi." You made me work on that one.

6 varieties? That's wild.

Rabbits are definitely on the list of things to do next. I want cheap protein! I've heard they're worth keeping just for the manure... now you've got me thinking again...


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