Harvested my potatoes today

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by DKR, Sep 3, 2018.


  1. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Two containers emptied. Planted so called peanut potatoes.

    Container 1. This one had been moved to a new location with more sun exposure. I had put several large holes in the bottom. The soil was loose and well drained. I pulled 8 lb out of the container. Not the 10 I had hoped for, but better than last years 5 lbs.

    Container 2 was a failure. I had put several, but much smaller holes in the bottom. The thought was it would save me from watering every other day in the dry stretches. The soil, even after 4 days of no water, was soaked and clumped. I got a literal handful of tiny spuds.

    Both were planted on 1 June.

    Next year, both will be moved again, to an area with full sun for most of the day and the one container will have 3/4 in drain holes - lesson learned. I'll be planting Fava beans, should be interesting.

    I'll harvest the in-ground spuds when the frost kills off the greens.
     
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  2. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    I tried potatoes in a container some years back with no success. I have grown them in square foot gardens with great success, 25 pounds to 16 sq. feet, sixteen slips.
     
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  3. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Would you happen to have pics of your "slips" . I'm thinking of building a few moveable containers , similar to those chicken tractors people are using. I was figuring on making them around 3x6 or 3x8 , something that you could still reach across and work. Was thinking of using 1/4-1/2 inch square fencing and lay a weed fabric down to hold the soil in but would still drain the water. Figured I'd line the ends and sides with some extra tin roofing I've got laying around. Just looking for ideas on some proven bins. Thanks.
    Also,,would anyone know if moving these around stunt the growth of the plants ? Put them in shock so to speak .
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I harvested my sweet potatoes yesterday. I had two tubs that were beautiful. I had vines everywhere. Maybe that was the issue. I had runners going up and over the fence. All I can think is the plant was putting all its energy into the vine.

    These were the two biggest, it was a pitiful harvest but the big reveal when I dumped the tubs to harvest created lots of laughs.

    IMG_4881.JPG

    The two largest potatoes next to a baby Bic

    IMG_4883.JPG IMG_4884.JPG
     
  5. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey++

    I did it both ways this year. One row in the ground the traditional way and the other in two tubs. The tubs were those cheap plastic 30 gal. ones. I planted 6 chunks of seed potatoes about 6" from the bottom.and covered with another 4 -6" of soil. When the sprouts were out of the ground about a foot I added another 6 - 8" of soil. As the summer went on the potatoes in the tubs looked much healthier and more lush then those in the rows. I dug up those in the tubs 3 weeks ago. I dug up those in the rows yesterday. The spuds grown in the tubs won by a mile. One tub produced 13 pounds of Yukon gold spuds and the other 10 pounds. About half of the spuds were baker sized. The 25' row only produced 12 pounds of spuds from the same exact seed potatoes.. None of those from the row grew to baker size. Over all I am sold on the plastic tubs. As the summer went on those in the tubs were greener and healthier then in the rows. Actually the rows never did look that great this year. We did have a strange weather pattern this summer with July and Aug. hotter then normal. Most of the garden seemed to shut down in the heat. Anyway spuds in a tub might be worth considering. Next year I think I will skip the rows and add a few more tubs.
     
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  6. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    At least you put forth the effort ,,,,(y)
     
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  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Yeah but effort is not going to feed the family if SHTF. I have have to get this right so I am trying to figure out what the issue is/was. I bought my plants,Hardy Boys plants. I used round rubber tubs, drilled holes in the bottom and lower side. I put three plants per tub, thinking the 1/3rd rules would apply. 1/3 rules is expect to lose 1/3 of your plants. That rule didn't work, all plants survived and thrived but failed to produce. Maybe I had too many plants in the tub?
     
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  8. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    True , but you're trying. You'll get it figured out. I have heard sweet taters grow best in NC,,,maybe I need to send you some NC dirt. Try those red taters , the might be easier to grow. Don't worry , you've got a little time , the chit ain't hit the fan yet,,,:ROFLMAO:,,, I can imagine the laughter that came from the sight of those taters,,,maybe they need a longer growing season out there. [dunno]
     
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  9. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    When did you plant these? I thought sweet potatoes were like a 6+ months to maturity.

    They do well with little water, so would be a natural for your area. For fun, you could try 'planting' some of the runners and let them go over the winter.
     
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  10. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I planted them in May. I could have let them go till October but the leaves closed to the stem were starting to show foliage signs. We almost had a frost the other night.I know the tubers survive a frost but I decided to dump the tubs.
     
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  11. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++


    We were given a cutting of Hawaiian sweet potato. That strain was originally planted by Kamehameha I.

    Ours is growing very very well. Growing so well that we are offering cuttings to our friends here. Only one person has taken us up in it so far.

    Growing well, but we don't know when is a good time to harvest. Any suggestions?
     
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  12. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    My guess is your soil is too rich or fertile....probably heavy on nitrogen. Sweet potatoes grow best with the crappiest soil you can imagine.....that's why they grow so well in Southern clay. Use a clay/sand mix next year with very little organic material (compost/top soil/etc) and fertilize with very little/no nitrogen, more phosphorus/potassium...but go real easy even on them.
     
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  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Thank you. Your post makes sense. I spent lots of money making sure my soil was rich and full of the good stuff. I wanted a big harvest so I took time making sure my soil was perfect. I have a mint plant that is growing like crazy plus my other herbs are happy.
     
  14. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member


    We let ours go until right at first frost.....when it looks like that is near, I weed wack the tops off, and we plow them up. Covington is our current favorite variety. Sweet orange flesh.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Yeah MOST stuff loves, and needs, that type soil.....sweet potatoes are the exception.
     
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  16. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++


    Then you replant the tops?
     
  17. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    No, the tops are destroyed in the weed whacking........plus winter is coming on, wouldn't grow anyway.

    To get new 'slips', plant a few of last year's potatoes in a bed of sawdust/soil mix in a greenhouse or some type of outdoor bed with a cold frame covering about late February (here). They will sprout dozens of new tops that 'slip' out of the rotting mother potato about May, ideally with a few roots developing off them already, and these are planted in the garden for this year's crop.
     
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