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jal_ut
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[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potato7_4_2010.jpg[/img]

Two rows of potatoes. I plant about 10-12 inches apart. These haven't bloomed yet.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potato_1.jpg[/img]

Here is what we are hoping for..............

Eric, I too just cut them and plant them. No treatment, no waiting. I know some recommend these other procedures.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DeborahL
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Well, mystery solved. I have never known why everyone says to cover potatoes as they grow. I couldn't figure out why the green parts of the plant would be covered. OH ! It's covering the POTATOES !
God must think highly of animals - He created them before creating us !

wordwiz
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Some potatoes do not bloom - I've never seen a flower on a Kennebek. Yukon - I've seen small tomatoes or potatoes form on the plant!

This past year, my tomato crop was a complete and total failure. What did not rotten during the monsoon we had in late May/early June, died in the summer drought of July and August. Thankfully, I canned a bunch in 2009 - still eating them. Home fries, French Fries, mashed, in soups. The only thing they are not good for is baked potatoes, though I suspect if I had jars large enough to hold whole spuds, they would turn out great baked.

Mike

DoubleDogFarm
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Jal, good looking spuds. :shock:

I now know three people that own older Troybilt tillers. I have one in my shop for repairs. This is the second one I have worked on.

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/DSC03114.jpg[/img]

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applestar
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So far in my limited experience and experimentations, straw alone dries out faster. I have found combination of layers of hay, dry leaves, straw, pine needles, compost, and some garden soil to work well. I also add sand.

I sometimes actually layer, sometimes gather material in bucket or wheelbarrow and shovel them around the plants without bothering to mix them. Oh, and don't forget any weeds you pulled. Putting them on top of the pile is a great way to let them dry out, cover with additional mulch/soil/compost after they're wilted and they'll add nutrients.

For my garden with clay underneath and sheet mulched, wormcasting-rich soil, soil alone results in heavy mucky mess that is hard to dig through for potatoes. So mostly mulch seems to work really well.

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jal_ut
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OH ! It's covering the POTATOES !
LOL Deborah. Yep, the spuds form just under the surface, and as they grow they will push upwards, easier than pushing downwards, so they often expose themselves to sunlight, which causes them to turn green. The Green portion is toxic and tastes awful.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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sheeshshe
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OK, so the material doesn't matter. it doesn't have to be rich soil because its not actually going to the roots, correct? so as long as your soil that the roots are in are good then whatever you mound with doesn't matter much? am I reading this correctly?

DoubleDogFarm
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OK, so the material doesn't matter. it doesn't have to be rich soil because its not actually going to the roots, correct? so as long as your soil that the roots are in are good then whatever you mound with doesn't matter much? am I reading this correctly?
Not exactly. I believe all potatoes produce new potatoes above the seed tuber. Some varieties like fingerlings root and produce along the stem. So hilling up may give you a larger harvest.

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/potatoplant.gif[/img]

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denny27
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Would mulching with pine straw be a good idea? I know they like soils with a lower ph and the pine needles would bring that down. This will be my first time planting potatoes and I have plenty of pine needles around my place.

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GardenRN
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Anything is a good idea as long as it keeps the sunlight off of the potatoes. 8)

They like maxin' and relaxin' in the shade. :P
Jeff

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DoubleDogFarm
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Yes, what Jeff said.

Also the pine straw probably will not change the Ph much, sitting on the surface.

Eric

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applestar
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When you get the pine straw, be sure to also scrape up some of the soil BENEATH the pine needles. THAT'S the bonus you want -- composted pine needles. :wink:

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Avonnow
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Covering potato plants

Well I took a combination of the info I was given and I mixed some compost, straw and soil together and put it around the plants. I am excited. I have to say they look so healthy, I think maybe last time, it was just too hot and the wrong method for Florida folk. Thanks so much.
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

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farmerlon
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jal_ut wrote:...
Hilling potatoes using the Troybilt with hiller/furrower attachment.
Nice photo ... that could have been a picture in Dick Raymond's book; he uses the same technique for hilling potatoes and corn. :D

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farmerlon
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Re: Potato and Dick Raymond

Avonnow wrote:... With potatos do you ever side dress them, or should I avoid it because of the scab thing? ...
If you are planting in a decent garden soil to start with, I don't think any side-dressing is needed. I never side-dress my potato plants, and I always seem to have a nice crop.

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farmerlon
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jal_ut wrote:...
"Should I cover the plant entirely?"

I never cover the plant. I add 2 or 3 inches of soil mounded up around the plant. I only do this one time. .
If I may, let me add one exception to that.
If you have potato plants coming up in the Spring, and a "late frost" threatens ... you can cover the entire (small) plant with soil. That protects the plant from the frost, and it will grow right back through the soil within a day or two.

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farmerlon
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Re: Covering potato plants

Avonnow wrote:Well I took a combination of the info I was given and I mixed some compost, straw and soil together and put it around the plants. ....
That sounds perfect... nice job ! :D

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jal_ut
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Cheater! How wide are your rows? Mine are less than 3' between each one.
Mike, my rows are 32 inches apart. That works well for using the tiller to both hill potatoes, and cultivate and remove weeds. I only use the hiller attachment on the potatoes. I run the tiller between all the rows one time when the plants are still small. Then it leaves only a little hoeing to get the garden pretty weed free. If I couldn't use the tiller like that, I would be cutting the garden way down to about 100 sq feet. :)
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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