Potatoes for 2008

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Potatoes for 2008

Post  Blossom on Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:59 am

We have finally rotated back to our first bed for the spuds ( 5 years). When we first planted here, the ground was solid clay. 5 years later we have really good fertile free draining, deep soil. I am amazed how well this bed has drained considering the rain we've had, I expected it to be totally waterlogged. We have planted 3 rows of Dutch Creams, 3 of King Edwards and 3 of Pink Eye. The rest of the bed will be given over to beans.


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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  siri on Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:27 am

My what lovely soil you have Blossom! (said little red riding hood) All the better to grow food in Smile
Have just come in from a digathon here, and I'm very pleased with the number of worms in the soil I am digging out of the old chook run. I PROMISE I will manage some photos this weekend ....and post them here ......eventually ......
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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  Mad Gnome on Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:26 am

Great soil! Great trenches!
We are in the process of preparing our potato beds. And hoping to have them look like yours. Very inspirational and motivating! Thank you!
We ordered some seed potatoes from a Tasmanian potato place online. They should arrive this week. Ahhhh...home-grown potatoes. Smile

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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  Raymondo on Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:55 pm

Ooh, ooh, where from Mad Gnome? Too late for me this year but next year perhaps.

That bed looks great Blossom.

This year I'll be sowing Nicola (lots), Bintje (never tried these before) and my plants from seed. I'm dreading the prep work for a potato bed in my s*$%%y clay. I was going to do a few spuds in straw above ground but the more I contemplate my clay the more I think I'll do all my spuds above ground this year!

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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  Mad Gnome on Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:44 am

Ray, they are called 'Tasmanian Gourmet Potatoes'. Most of their potatoes are already sold out, though.

I can't even remember which varieties we ordered, will let you know when they arrive. We prepared some beds for them on the weekend. Can't wait to plant them. Smile

Ray, clay is good. Our place is heavy clay, but with no-dig you can improve your soil immensely. Smile We pile on the manure and compost and mulch every season. It's done wonders to the soil! We have reached the stage where we actually feel that we are getting somewhere with the soil.

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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  siri on Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:33 am

I've just ordered a kil each of the following from The Lost Seed company:

Banana, Bintje, Mixture, Pink Fir Apple,
I will just get some kiphlers from the fruit shop and plant them.

My holden commodore is in for 2 new tyres this morning, and I may live to regret the decision, but i aksed him to chuck them in the back and I will use them for a potatoe stack.

Cheers, Jan
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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  Mad Gnome on Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:58 am

Well, what a coincidence. We have just booked in our car for new tyres on Wednesday!

Was itching to try 'Banana' but they were sold out at the shop we ordered ours from. Will be interesting to hear what you have to say about them at the end of the season. Smile

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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  Blossom on Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:03 pm

Interested to see what Banana turns out. I succumbed to finishing off the bed with Red Norland so we're sure to have some earlies in time for Christmas. Not sure where the beans will go now, but we have to cover the bed tomorrow to keep the chooks off it while we are away. They think its one big sand bath and the white chooks are now a brownish red.............. I've put a link in the permanent link section to Tasmanian Gourmet potatoes site.
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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  Raymondo on Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:09 pm

Thanks Mad Gnome and Blossom.

Yes Mad Gnome, I'll be doing mostly no dig, but I want a bed for tomatoes and capsicums for this year so some digging is unavoidable. I want to create six beds all off the chook run (which doesn't exist other than in my head at the moment). One I will dig and prepare, the others I'll simply dig an edge, cover with LOTS of newspaper and mulch. Spring 2009 should see 6 lovely beds. Well, that's the plan anyway. Hope I'm not being overly optimistic.

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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  siri on Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:15 pm

What is the best way to do a potato stack? I thought maybe put down the first tyre on some wet newspaper, put in some chook soil from the old yard and some compost, and pop in the kiphlers on top of the soil. Cover with straw and more compost, maybe some blood and bone. Then add the next tyre and more mulch and compost when the plants start to emerge.
Is that the way to go about it? Build the stack up as the potatoes grow? Some steel pickets to retain the tyres?
Cheers, Jan
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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  Guest on Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:53 am

My Potato season just finished. Here is my two cents worth.
Potatoes
Chitting http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?RNJJN General Overview from an Internet site.

Seed tubers are best 'chitted' or sprouted. Look closely at the potatoes and you should see more eyes at the crown - often there are three or four, sometimes five, in a cluster. On some tubers, particularly the roundish shaped types, they may be placed off centre. If these are allowed to grow they will produce mainly small tubers. Using a potato peeler or a small pointed knife remove all the eyes in the cluster by scooping approximately one eighth of an inch (3mm) deep, which should eliminate any regrowth. Without the crown cluster eyes, the tuber's food reserves will be directed to shoulder and side eyes. Reject all tubers showing the slightest sign of disease. Cutting out the diseased part, such as dry rot or gangrene, is no answer because if it is planted the diseased tubers will infect the soil.

Set treated tubers, crown up, on egg trays, thus allowing space for the sprouts to develop. They do not require high temperatures, but should be kept in full light and free from extreme cold or frost.This will encourage sturdy sprouts. Sprouts will form within a few weeks, dark blue or green, or deep pink or red, depending upon the cultivar, by planting time. By chitting we may select the eyes and encourage good sturdy sprouts before planting to produce earlier, improved crops.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?QOGGE Chitting Picture indicating procedure. 16 March 2008 My Chitting method.

Seed potatoes were purchased 16 March 2008. Some were already sprouted, so it was easy to remove the clustered sprouts. This is my method. I use a potato peeler and remove a plug consisting of the clustered sprouts. This is probaly only feasible in a home garden, due to the labour and expense involved.

The types of potatoes are Kennebec, Superior, Chieftain.

Although unsprouted tubers can be planted, the chitted ones benefit from their flying start, and vigorous sprouts. Early cultivars will crop sooner and more heavily if chitted, so I am told.

Chitting later season cultivars results in earlier foliage before blight or drought strike and they mature earlier and can be gathered before slugs damage the tubers, if these conditions are prevelant in your area.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?IQVHT 6 April 2008. Chitting after 21 days. The sprouts take the colour of the particular potato. The potatoes will be planted in about two weeks time.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?FOIUV 23 May 2008 Potato Growth. Potatoes are planted 12 inches apart, and row spacing is 18 inches.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?ZLQXU 31 May 2008 Potatoes hilled. It rained last night and the potatoes were hilled, and compost was placed in the valleys formed to trap the moisture and to add additional nutrients.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?HOMUR Potatoe 16 June 2008 Doing Well

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?QAWRI 1 July 2008 Potato Seed Pod

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?ADDQJ 15 July 2008 First harvest of potatoes. The ground is dry. The tubers probably wont grow much more. Most of the crop will be left until the tops die off completely.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?CCZOA 18 July 2008 How Potatoes grow.
The tubers are formed in a circle, at about the same level around the seed potato. There are no shoots emanating from the stalk. Hilling is necessary, since the tubers push through the soil, and when exposed to light they turn green indicating an alkaloid called solanine, which is harmful to ingest. The eyes of potatoes also have solanine, which indicates that they should be removed prior to cooking.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?DMKNV 18 July 2008 Superior Potatoes. Comparing chitted to Not Chitted Plants.
Two plants were compared as to the production of the potatoes produced, one seed potato was chitted, and the other was not. At first look, visual inspection indicates that the chitted plant produced larger tubers. I have 18 more plants to compare, so will have a better idea as to the merits of chitting potatoes.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?FOAWC 18 July 2008 Effect on a potato that is exposed to light

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?ZSMUK 4 August 2008 Digging some potatoes.
I dug four plants today to get a preliminary look at the merits of chitting or not chitting. It is hard to draw conclusions from this small sample. The Superior looks better not chitted, and the Chiefton looks slightly better chitted. I have more plants to compare. All plants are more than acceptable.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?CXZUR 11 August 2008 Chieftain Potato Comparing Not chitted to chitted by weight.
The samples of Chieftain taken today indicates that chitted surpassed NOT chilled by a moderately significient margin (699 grams). The chitted total weight was 2624 grams, and the not chitted was 1925 grams. The largest chitted potato weighed 724 grams and the largest not chitted weighed 440 grams.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?AUNKD 13 August 2008 Potato Seeds
Potato seed pods were collected from my potato patch. The pods were on the ground under the almost spent vegetation. I am going to treat the pods similar to drying tomato seeds (fermenting and drying), when the pods are a bit more dry. The seeds will be planted in a bed to form little potatoes and these will then be planted. Apparently seeds do not produce a similar potato as the parent, and revert back to characteristics of original parents. This is how new strains are produced. The tubers may be better or worse depending upon chance. I could only distinguish the Russian Blue in a separate patch, so mixed the Kennebec, Superior and Chieftain in one batch.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?SUTFA 15 August 2008 Superior Potatoes from 12 plants
Digging the last of the Superior Potatoes. There were 12 plants in total remaining, and two were chitted. The average weight of the chitted potatoes from each plant was 1630 grams, and the average weight of the not chitted was 1403 grams. No conclusion can be drawn from this small sample regarding chitting for Superior potatoes, but not chitted has a slight edge. The total weight of the 12 plants was 17.29 kilograms or 38 pounds. Planting to harvest was 119 days.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?MWPZB 19 August 2008 Chieftain Potato Harvest 10 plants
The last of the Pontiac Potatoes were harvested today. The total weight was 20kg or about 45 pound, or about 2 kg or 4.5 pounds per plant. My thinking is to chit the potatoes but do not remove any eyes, since my belief is the more vegetation present the healthier the tubers. This is just a view at this time.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?BQJFO 20 August 2008 Kennebec Potatoes.
Kennebec Potatoes harvested today. The tuber has some angular features, and I will not be growing this type next year. My opinion is Superior and Chieftain are better choices. There is no significant difference between chitted and NOT chitted. I will chit next year without removing the main eye cluster, which I did in 2007. Total weight was 23 kg from 13 plants for an average weight per plant of 1769g about 4.4 lbs per plant.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?WWZGR 20 August 2008 Potato Storage
Common paper yard bags were used for storage. These are reasonably light proof, and allow some air to penetrate, and are readily available. The potatoes are stored in the coolest part of my house in the dark, under the basement stairs.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?PRMZO 21 August 2008 Russian Blue Potatoes

One plant was dug today. the total weight of the tubers was 1800 grams or about 4 lbs. The vegetation was still green, so it is a bit early to remove from the ground for full production. A few of the tubers were cooked in a Dutch Oven at 400F for 50 minutes. The texture is more fine grained than most potatoes, and the tuber heavier than most potatoes of the same size. I ate skins and all, and other than the colour one would hardly know the difference from our normal potato. This potato originated in South America, and only in recent years is it becoming more popular. I have six more plants and will dig after the vegetation dies.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?OLMNY 30 August 2008 Russian Blue potatoes dug today.
Total weight 26 lbs from 6 plants for an average weight of tubers per plant of 4.3 lbs. Seed was planted 15 May 2008 for an in ground time of 106 days. Conditions were probably ideal.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?WLIWD Potato Diseases

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?DLIZU Summary: Potato Growing experience.

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Re: Potatoes for 2008

Post  Fran on Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:51 am

Jan, with the potatoes I lay down my newspaper, cover with some good soil/compost, place potatoes on top and cover with hay - shovel a bit of the old stuff out from under the chook roosts over it or a shovelful of good soil from the vegie beds - keep adding more hay and lacing it - occasionally used b&b to lace it with too. Used to hold it in with some stray bessa blocks or old bricks - you get the heat sink effect same as with the tyres but can make it a bit bigger and plant a few extras. Always worked well. BJ likes to plant in a proper bed like Blossoms but he grew up on the wonderful volcanic soil of the Tweed Valley and can't get out of the habit of planting directly into the ground LOL
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