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mrsgreenthumbs
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Are seed potatoes really that different from regular 1s?

I happen to have had a potato that was REALLY going to town in the bottom of the bag, I'm sure it's not a odd thing to happen in a kitchen when a tuber has had plenty of time to sit in storage waiting for the rest of the 10 lb bag to be used. Now I have NEVER grown potatoes before and really am excited at the idea of experimenting with them so I thought what the heck. If they die then lesson one learned if they live.... cool! so I cut the tuber into 6 pieces set it out on the counter to scab over and then promptly tossed the suckers in the ground every witch way because I couldn't figure out how they were going to come up. Any way's all 6 are now about 2 inches tall robust looking little tater plants. So heres my question, why do I get one answer then the other depending on who I talk to? One person will say SURE it's perfectly fine ti use those old sprouted taters to start your plants and another site will say NEVER use store bought potatoes they have desiease and are coated with chemicals and it just won't do. So I was curious what's the real story behind all this? My plants seem to be doing marvelously.

[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/gardenphotos023.jpg[/img]
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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boggybranch
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I know a lot of folks that plant taters that they buy from the grocery stores. I'm trying a few, along with the certified seed taters, this year in my garden.
Appx. 1,500 sq ft vegetable garden. Special gardening interests is composting and year-round mulching. Use no power equipment, everything is done in the garden using hand tools, only.

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Cagolddigger
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Tried this last year.

I bought some white seed potatoes (good deal at OSH $1 for 10), Safeway white potatoes, & a white potato from the local organic store.

The seed potatoes did great and I have 2 generations of seed from them (planted last summer and this winter).

Safeway store bought potato did lousy. Out of 5 potatoes, 1 actually grew & the taste was quite discernible from the seed.

The organic did quite well also. Planted 5 and all 5 grew. There was a negligible difference in taste from the seed.

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Ozark Lady
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I always use grocery store potatoes, and garlic.
And have good results.
As I got potatoes out for supper the other night, I noticed some sprouts and eyes, I just put them back and will wait for them to grow a bit more.

It does seem that if I let them overgrow on sprouting, they are out of energy by the time I plant them... So, I just let them begin to sprout good... little green patches.. Maybe a few roots.

Perhaps I just didn't do something right, because I lost a whole bag full that had sprouted, and they were a tangled up mess, that my son brought to me. But, normally they work fine.

Potatoes have even 'naturalized' in my garden. No matter how close I look I always miss some, and have potatoes in the oddest places!
And yet, when I try fall planting it fails, can't figure this one out.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

garden5
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Ozark Lady wrote:I always use grocery store potatoes, and garlic.
And have good results.
As I got potatoes out for supper the other night, I noticed some sprouts and eyes, I just put them back and will wait for them to grow a bit more.

It does seem that if I let them overgrow on sprouting, they are out of energy by the time I plant them... So, I just let them begin to sprout good... little green patches.. Maybe a few roots.

Perhaps I just didn't do something right, because I lost a whole bag full that had sprouted, and they were a tangled up mess, that my son brought to me. But, normally they work fine.

Potatoes have even 'naturalized' in my garden. No matter how close I look I always miss some, and have potatoes in the oddest places!
And yet, when I try fall planting it fails, can't figure this one out.
Plants are like that. You can spend countless hours tending to some seeds, trying to get the perfect sprouts, and have them all die. Throw them in the ground, however, and they will probably go to town.

The one advantage of buying seed potatoes is that you can get organic ones that were not treated with pesticides.

A super-store alternative? Why don't you try your local farmer's market. You cant talk right to the grower and ask what exactly they spray on the plants. They are usually pretty organic in their methods, but ask nonetheless.
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Ozark Lady
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We don't have Farmers Markets until May and they end in October.

Garden Centers aren't even open for business as of yet.

We have box stores, or online to get stuff at this time of year.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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applestar
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Looking good! Now just start covering up the potato plants -- either with soil, compost, mulch or combination (layers or mixed), leaving 4~6 leaves at the top as they grow. You want to pile up at least 8"~10". To keep the soil/mulch from falling down, you can surround the plants with wire fence, or boards, or corrugated cardboard box. Some people raise potato towers 24" or more high. But keep them well watered.

Your baby potatoes are going to grow along the stem ABOVE the potatoes you planted, and you MUST keep them from seeing any sunlight or they'll develop the poisonous green skin.

It's better to use slightly acidic soil to prevent scab, so pine needles make excellent potato mulch. Straw works well too. I use combination of compost, straw and pine needles mixed with leaves.

Good luck! I guarantee home grown potatoes are the best. :wink:

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jal_ut
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Seed potatoes have been tested and are certified disease free.

Store potatoes have not been tested. They will grow and chances are good they will do great. There is also a chance they may be carrying diseases.

I won't put any part of a store potato in my garden.

It is your choice.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

TZ -OH6
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Potato and tomato Breeder Tom Wagner is hard core about about the control of potato diseases, and to hear him talk about it the rest of the industry is even more paranoid. Potatoes carry over a dozen viruses and also winter over diseases like late blight. Most commercial market potato fields have some amount of disease in them. Seed potato farms are inspected, not the individual potatoes, so some infected seed potatoes do get through. Last year at least one of my red pontiac certified seed potatoes was virused, and this got passed on to the other plants. I still had a harvest but it was lower than it could have been. The red pontiacs died off early. Now I can't use that part of the garden for potatoes or tomatoes for a couple of years. Bad luck


If you live in potato country I'm sure that the potato farmers would not like hearing that you used market potatoes instead of seed potatoes because your late blight and viruses could spread to their fields, but if you live someplace else and don't mind that there is a better chance of disease from market potatoes go ahead and use them if they are sprouted.

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Well looks like it's the same story here, I think I'll see where the plants go and learn as I go ;). I plan on adding plank's of wood essentially building a box around the potatoes as I add compost and mulch. If they do well then cool they were all from the same tuber so I guess their all ...clones? hopefully I don't wind up with any diseases.

Too bad all these red oak leaves can't be used for mulch, they are such a pain!

Oh and thanks for the welcoming I'm really learning a lot from this forum.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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Why can't red oak leaves be used as mulch?

I have leaves of all kinds, mostly oak and hickory, I believe there is red oak, white oak, turkey oak and about a dozen other kinds of oaks, just blowing their leaves all over my yard and garden.

I bag the yard leaves and let them break down, in bags.

I mulch with the garden leaves.

Take a walk into a forest, and when deep in the forest, move some leaves and see what is under it. You will find deep, friable, lovely soft humusy(?) soil, that is a rival for the best that money can buy.

I have beds right now, with cages on them, and piled completely full of leaves. Some still have stalks in them, and possibly some of these are still alive... Some I cleared the leaves down to bare soil, and have plastic on them, to solarize, and warm the soil.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Hmm I was looking up oak leaves now that you mentioned it Ozarklady and I realized, the oak leaves were a bane to my POND not my GARDEN! I was cautioned to not allow them to rot at the bottom of my Koi pond because they would essentially poison the water but a pond is a very delicate balance and I tend to get all my different hobby's confused at times -rolls eyes- that is really fantastic news because I have literally waist high piles of the leaves that have fallen and stayed in some areas of my back yard, the yard is communal with 2 other renters and they really don't do anything with their space. I'm the only gardener.

I am so excited to see how this will work out now! I read a moment ago that the oak leaves break down much slower than other leaves. Any way to help the process along? Maybe heaping a pile and covering with black plastic?
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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applestar
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Smaller the pieces, the faster they decompose, so...

(1) Heap a dry pile on a tarp, making sure there are no sharp sticks, then invite kids to jump all over it.
(2) Heap a dry pile, cover with tarp, then invite kids to jump all over it.
(3) Rake out into a layer and run over it with lawn mower (not the mulching kind because then the pieces will be too small)
(4) Rent a leaf shredder

If you can't find kids to jump and roll in the pile, you'll just have to do it yourself. :wink:

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mrsgreenthumbs
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ohhh applestar, you may have just won the heart of a certain 6 year old little boy here in California. My step son is ALWAYS happy to help in the yard especially if it's as fun as jumping in leaves ;) thanks so much for the suggestion!
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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You do have to watch the oak leaves, they do tend to be acidic. If you compost them, with other items you can get back to neutral. But as a mulch, they do leech tannin, which is acidic. I use woodashes to balance this out to a certain degree.

Possibly that is how it is messing with your pond.

Plus, overfeeding the pond can lead to "bloom" and the leaves would add more food to the algae and other pond plants and could lead to this "bloom". The bloom is healthy for the fish, just not for viewing purposes.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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mrsgreenthumbs
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@ ozarklady - Well sad to say my expedition into ponding ended after I decited to stop buying Koi to feed the neighborhood possum. -sigh- I miss it and the hummer's that would buzz around eating gnats... oh well thanks for the advice about the acidity for the compost so about how much ash should be added? We only use oak wood to BBQ with and other than that... really not much burning of anything, we could always do a bon fire and burn eucalyptus I guess.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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Not much, I sprinkle it on, like salt on food... ha ha... Just really light.
Careful, not to get it on the plant leaves, just side dress with it.
This is the content of hard wood ash:
Phosphorus content usually ranges between 0.8 and 3 per cent, potassium from 2.8 to 8.6 per cent, calcium from 14 to 28 per cent, magnesium from 0.8 to 2.8 per cent and sulfur from 0.3 to 0.5 per cent.

We heat our home with wood. So, we have it in excess!
And we rarely have to cut down a good tree, unless it is in the way, mostly storms, and dead trees simply supply all we need.

You could even burn a few leaves, carefully, in your grill, and probably use the ashes from them, and a few sticks that you find in with the leaves.

Isn't Eucalyptus an ever green? Not sure what the ash content of it would be... You have Eucalyptus?? Get a koala bear, and forget fish! ha ha
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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nes
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My favourite potato link: [url]https://lifehacker.com/5202849/grow-100-lbs-of-potatoes-in-4-square-feet[/url]

Planning on trying it out myself this year!! :)
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

a0c8c
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Alot ogcommercial potato growers spray herbicides on the potato vines to make it easier to get the potatos out easier. The potatoes of course soak up the herbicides, making most sprouting inhibiters needless, but of course make you eat herbicides. Alot of store bought potatoes won't grow well or even sprout because of the herbicides.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

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mrsgreenthumbs
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@ ozarklady - we have a LOT of eucalyptus trees here on the central coast. They grow wild out here in the hills where I work:

[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/005.jpg[/img]

and they are towering over my mother's house to the point she is forced to have a shade garden. We get lot's of post's on Craigs List (my other addiction) for free cords of the stuff. Nothing like our giant red wood trees but pretty big.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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Beautiful photo.

For some reason, I just always associate Eucalyptus with Australia and Koala bears. Too many Crocodile Hunter shows I suppose... Aww but who didn't love Steve Erwin?

Eucalyptus, cough drops... how hard is it to make something usable like that out of it... sap or leaves? Hmmm.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

cynthia_h
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The eucalyptus trees here in California are a terrible fire hazard. They act like torches/explosives during wildfires.

Just search on

eucalyptus fire

here at THG and you'll find a couple of informative threads.

The Montecito (Santa Barbara County) fire last year was an excellent/terrible example of eucalyptus making a wildfire so much worse than it would otherwise have been. :(

The Oakland Firestorm (October 20 and 21, 1991) was fueled largely by eucalyptus. Over 3,100 homes in Oakland and Berkeley were burnt to the ground that weekend. The fire was so hot, large, everything else that it created its own weather and wind. Wiki has an article on "Oakland firestorm." There may be a paragraph on eucalyptus.

There aren't enough koalas to eat the eucalyptus in California, and our climates aren't hospitable to koalas, anyway. :( I'd much rather be able to keep chickens--koalas are reputed to be mean little things--but El Cerrito doesn't allow it. :x My dogs could do without the fleas *or* ticks. Our tick season is mercifully short, but we do have one....coming soon.

Note: The area of California where the OP lives is not a large commercial potato-growing region. Almost every bag of potatoes I see in my produce store is from--yep--Idaho. Some are from Washington, and a few occasionally from Oregon. The only California potatoes I ever see are the specialty ones, grown on small farms: fingerlings, reds, blues. I see these spuds at farmers' markets, but since I know where the vendors are from I can say with certainty that none of them are from the central coast of California. *whew*

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Well... I may have learned my lesson all ready lol. One of the 6 spuds that were looking so healthy and green and happy suddenly popped out a leaf with a big tar like black spot. Rather than hmm and haw at it I ripped it up out of there. Don't know what it was but, lesson learned now? Can it spread to any of my other plants? (onions, carrots, spinach, bell pepper's, garlic) Hopefully the other potato plants wont get it but I doubt I'v safely avoided that. Next time I plant tater's they will be from seed one's.

Oh and cynthia_h is absolutely correct the Santa Maria valley is very well known for our Strawberry fields. We are the number one producer of the tasty little red berry's. In the summer time the entire valley smells... it's heavenly like warm sweet strawberry's and sea breeze, and fertile dirt. If I could bottle that scent I'd be a very wealthy woman... but we do not grow potatoes for mass production in this area, Iv actually never seen a potato plant till I started growing my own. We do how ever grow artichoke, flowers, broccoli (ugh could those fields stink any more?), and other odds and ends. I'm sure somewhere in this valley there has to be a few garden's with tater plants but as for business wise, nope I can't think of one farm that grows the tubers.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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My friend, and neighbor has a You-Pick-Em strawberry and blueberry farm. And it does smell great, and yet, when too many overripe berries are present... yuck... So they pick them often, whether they have customers or not.

As far as your potatoes. Potatoes are in the night shade family, as is... tomatoes, peppers, tobacco, eggplant to name a few.

So, if you suspect disease, don't plant these guys near the potatoes former home.

A disease needs a host in order to survive, and flourish.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!



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