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jnunez918
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Zero potato harvest

My potatoes were looking witty and with it getting so hot I decided to dump one of my,potato bins. I was appalled! Bugs,bugs, and more bugs!
I flipped the other 3 and the same results. Zero potatoes. I found 2 small yukons that were mushy. Couldn't even find the seed potatoes.
I think I started well, certified seed potatoes and organic compost from my nursery. There were different bugs, one looks like a skinny roach, these tiny white things came out a rotten potato and a Ron of what I grew up calling rolly-pollies.

Where did I go wrong?.?
Jennifer
Austin, TX Zone 8b

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jal_ut
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I think of compost as a soil amendment, not a growing medium. 15% compost in the bin is ample I would think. Do you have any real soil? What is on your lot? Soil consists of clay, silt, sand, water, air, chemicals, organic matter, and a host of micro organisms. Just plain compost is high in nutrients and gives soils an organic matter boost, but as a growing medium, by itself, leaves a lot to be desired. If you have some soil on your lot, try growing in the natural soil and amend it with a little compost.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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At a wild guess, over watering, your soil staying too wet. Compost is a good amendment for the soil, partly because it adds tilth and helps the soil retain water. Growing in all compost, especially in a bin, not the ground, your compost was probably too heavy and dense and retained too much moisture.

One clue to that is the pill bugs/ roly polys. They are only present in very moist environments. So your seed potatoes rotted out and the maggots and rolypolys moved in to clean up the dead stuff in the nice moist habitat, which is what they do.
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jnunez918
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Thx for the replys I'm going to try to till an area next time instead of pots.
Jennifer
Austin, TX Zone 8b

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luvthesnapper
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My potato bag did ok, but I'll be digging them in the ground next year as well. My bag mix was peat, mushroom compost, manure, earthworm castings, and azomite.

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rainbowgardener
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jnunez918 wrote:Thx for the replys I'm going to try to till an area next time instead of pots.
Well, I'm growing mine in large containers and so far they are doing fine. Just harvested my first new potato. It's a question of the soil... Mine are in a mix of compost, potting soil, and fall leaves ... and not over-watering, letting it dry out in between waterings.
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jnunez918
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Marling...Can u suggest how to get my seed potatoes by feb? The websites I shopped all shipped to Texas in march. Which varieties work best for u?
Jennifer
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PunkRotten
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Sorry to hear that. I am growing potatoes without even trying. Somehow some potato I threw into the compost bin has managed to root in the back of the bin with almost no direct sun either and is growing quite healthy. I probably won't eat it though.

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rainbowgardener
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jnunez918 wrote:Marling...Can u suggest how to get my seed potatoes by feb? The websites I shopped all shipped to Texas in march. Which varieties work best for u?
I just use potatoes from the grocery store. Let them sprout a bit, cut them up and plant them. They say plant potatoes when the forsythias bloom (although I don't know if you even have forsythias in TX). For me this year that was mid-March, which is earlier than our last frost date, but they are frost tolerant. If I'm planting in mid-March up here in OH, you should definitely be planting before that.
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GardenRN
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jnunez918 wrote:Marling...Can u suggest how to get my seed potatoes by feb? The websites I shopped all shipped to Texas in march. Which varieties work best for u?
Or save some of your own. But I guess if you literally got no potatoes you can't do that. I also agree with getting them from the store though. Both those AND seed potatoes have worked well for me. This year I was lucky enough to get a handful of potato berries so I will be able to grow from true seed. Should be fun! If the heat doesn't kill the potato plants before they ripen...
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

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digitS'
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jnunez918 wrote:Marling...Can u suggest how to get my seed potatoes by feb? The websites I shopped all shipped to Texas in march. Which varieties work best for u?
Texas A & M has a potato variety program that should be of help with selection: [url=https://potato.tamu.edu/program.html]potato.tamu.edu/program.html[/url]

[url=https://www.potatogarden.com/]Potatogarden[/url] ships during the winter out of Phoenix to southern states. ". . . ship 2 to 4 times from December through February."

I don't live very close to either the part of Idaho (#1 potato production) or the part of Washington (#2 potato production) where all the acres of potatoes are planted. Still, when I've visited those areas, I have never seen any of those tons of potatoes being harvested from containers of any sort. Sinking that seed potato 6" into well prepared soil and hilling around the plants later seems to be all that it takes. Personally, I have enuf trouble keeping a few flowering plants alive in containers . . .

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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rainbowgardener
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Well of course. If I had acres, I wouldn't be growing my potatoes in containers either. But it is a way for us city folk that don't have land to still be able to grow some potatoes. And done right, it does work...
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To much compost it is aggressive and may have went ofter the potatoes and added in them rotting quickly. Compost is an additive to good old fashioned dirt.

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jnunez918
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So much for learning from YouTube....
Jennifer
Austin, TX Zone 8b

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madonnaswimmer
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rainbowgardener wrote:I just use potatoes from the grocery store. Let them sprout a bit, cut them up and plant them.
Ok, this is what I tried to do with my garden this year.

I had heard that you can take a store-bought potato with eyes, cut it in half, and suspend it in water using toothpicks, to get it to grow roots. I saw a few YouTube videos demonstrating this, and thought it seemed easy.

Tried the first potato. After a week, the cut surface turned gooey, the water cloudy, and smelled AWFUL. Stunk up the whole house.

Attempt #2-- changed the water daily. The cut surface still turned gooey and rotted when suspended in water. Again, horrid smell.

Attempt #3-- tried a red potato in the same fashion. Again, the cut surface turned gooey and rotted.

Attempt #4: just cut the potato into a few chunks (with 1 eye in each chunk) and put it directly into the soil in my container. Grew well for about 2-3 months, then got black spots, turned yellow, and the plant died. Some people on here thought it may have been blight, or maybe not.


I had read that you should never use store-bought potatoes because they are riddled with blight. I disregarded this and tried it anyway... and am now thinking may be the case due to what happened with my potatoes this year, with the black spots and dying. You are saying this is not the case?

How do you get your potatoes to sprout without rotting? Do you suspend them in water or not?

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first one needs to think about potato diseases. see "Irish Potato Famine" for more info.

potatoes from the store have zero.zip assurance they are disease free.

potatoes from the store have likely been treated with an anti-sprouting compound.

so you're putting a bunch of effort into starting potatoes from questionable disease situation, which have been artificially / chemically treated to not do what nature intended them to do.

what could possibly go wrong . . .

I buy certified disease free seed potatoes; I chop them up, allow cut surfaces to dry for 2-3 days, plunk them in the dirt.

not sure where the "thou shalt make potatoes with rootlets" thing came from, but it is completely unnecessary.

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rainbowgardener
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Well, I only use store bought potatoes. I do not put them in water. Most often if I just leave them in the (cool, dark) drawer long enough they start sprouting. If that doesn't work, I put them on the counter in the light. Once they have sprouted a bit, I cut them up and plant them.

Some grocery store potatoes may have been treated not to sprout. Last year I bought some Yukon Gold potatoes at the grocery, thinking it would be cool to grow them. Never could get any to sprout. But definitely not all grocery store potatoes. Most of your run of the mill cheap bagged potatoes sprout just fine (whether or not I want them to!).

My grocery store potatoes have been growing and blooming like crazy!
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jnunez918
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If you have to use the grocery store, try to find an organic source. They probably won't be sprayed but you still can't count on disease free.
Jennifer
Austin, TX Zone 8b

Ohio Tiller
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I have dug all of mine now and I got alot of potatoes but they were smaller this year than years before (NO RAIN) I watered as much as I could but the hose just does not do the same as rain does.

I have canned 3/4 of them. This was one weekend of canning potatoes, green beans, carrots, and sweet corn.

[img]https://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j176/Johnfor3/2012-07-30_13-47-17_282.jpg[/img]

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applestar
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Lots of good advice. I grow from grocery store organic potatoes too, but I usually also buy named variety seed potatoes and plant them in separate beds just in case the store potatoes are carrying something nasty. You have to just keep the possibility in mind and be prepared for disappointment if it doesn't work out.

About suspending in water -- I believe that is one method for growing SWEET potato slips(shoots). Regular potatoes prefer to stay dry or just barely humid (not even moist) and will sprout in temps above... I'm thinking 55°F though it may be 50°F. I tried putting cut pieces in the garage in March one year and it was way too cold out there -- the still-whole extra seed potatoes in brown paper bag in the pantry that I wasn't sure where to plant sprouted before the cut up seed potatoes in the garage. :roll:

@Ohio Tiller, I didn't know some people canned potatoes -- obviously in pressure canner, I'm sure. How do they turn out? Are they firm or soft like frozen potatoes? What do you typically do with them?

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applestar wrote:Lots of good advice. @Ohio Tiller, I didn't know some people canned potatoes -- obviously in pressure canner, I'm sure. How do they turn out? Are they firm or soft like frozen potatoes? What do you typically do with them?
I have been canning all my potatoes now for several years! They are firm about like when you boil them for mashed potatoes.
Flavor is better than one right out of the ground.
I do mine 2 different ways cubed and sliced. The cubed I use for use about anything you would use potatoes for I prefer to just heat them with butter and Parsley!
The sliced ones I use for frying breakfast taters they make the best home fries you ever had. I ended up with 75 qts. of potatoes this year I was shooting for 100 but they just did not get as big this year with no rain.

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applestar
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Sounds good!
Hmm... Another reason to get a pressure canner 8)
Thanks! :wink:

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applestar wrote:Sounds good!
Hmm... Another reason to get a pressure canner 8)
Thanks! :wink:


I have three of them and asking for a bigger one for christmas.

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