growing taters

Discussion in 'Root Crops' started by jlmacc, May 7, 2010.

  1. jlmacc

    jlmacc Meat Mopper

    Hello all,
    I have a quick question about growing potatoes.I planted some in my garden a few weeks ago and they are sprouting.I read the bag and it said to use straw to cover them up when they get a few inches tall?I have planted them before years ago as a kid and don't remember doing this.Is better to do this or am I maybe misunderstanding the directions?Thanks in advance.Been away for awhile,I missed looking at the Que,it all looks good as usual keep it up!....Josh
  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Josh.

    There is no need to use the straw, some folks do but I never did.
    Just be sure to mound soil up around the potatoes occasionally so that the tops aren't exposed to sun, that will cause the green skin that can also be toxic.
  3. jlmacc

    jlmacc Meat Mopper

    I will take your advice.I didn't know it could be toxic?You learn something new everyday[​IMG]Thanks again!!
  4. I grew up farming potatoes in Osseo MN,we didn't own the farm but they would hire every person in town.So at a young age we got to run equipment learned about irrigation and hard work . The straw gives the plant a easier time of rooting and developing the potatoes and retains water. Another thing people would do it grow them in tires ,just keep stacking them on top of each other and add more dirt you can get about 35lbs when done or more and 5' tall. We would plant 300 acres and never put straw on any of them.Here's another potato fact (sorry) one potato will grow 5 to 20 plants only the eye is needed to grow a plant.Bill [​IMG]
  5. englishguy

    englishguy Newbie

    I agree with "Fire it Up"

    Back in England my father was always growing his own spuds and mounding the dirt in rows like a plowed field is the way to go, my dads mounds were as much as 18" high in rows, makes it easier to dig up the taters when ready,

  6. athabaskar

    athabaskar Smoking Fanatic

    I dig trenches about a foot deep and then lay in about 3 -4 inches of compost. I plant the eyes into the compost and then hoe in the displaced soil around the plants starting when they are about 3 inches tall. I do that until the soil is level with the rest of the garden.

    Never use straw in your garden. It is full of weed seeds. If you feel like you must mulch use compost.
  7. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am growing my "reds" in a 55 gallon garbage can. I started out putting a few inches of soil in, then the "eyes" then a few more inches of soil. I add more soil when they poke through. When I can't put any more dirt on top I put the lid on it. Then I can just dump the whole thing out to harvest the potatoes. No pitchfork/shovel holes. I can also just take part out for small potatoes and let the rest get bigger! I learned this from an old timer a few years ago.
  8. jlmacc

    jlmacc Meat Mopper

    [​IMG]Just got to read the replys here.Thank you all for the good info.I really like the 55 gallon barrel idea,that is different.I have been covering them up with more dirt as they grow.Next year I will do the barrel or do the trench.Thanks again,have a great evening guys!
  9. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The Aeroponics method is purported to work quite well with root plants such as potatoes. Just thought that I'd "plant that seed" in your mind. [​IMG]
  10. brud

    brud Meat Mopper

    Probably tasteless. I can't imagine the air supplying any real taste.
  11. point blank

    point blank Fire Starter

    Last year I followed the advice from an uncle.  I laid my potatoes on bare dirt and simply covered them with about 18" of straw.  They grew good and sprouted right up through the straw.  When it was time to harvest, simply push and pull the straw aside and there they lay, clean as could be and never cut any diging them up with a fork.  Trying the same again this year. 
  12. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you're referring to the aeroponics method, then I suggest that you do some more research.  Does dirt supply any taste to potatoes?
  13. tulsajeff

    tulsajeff Master of the Pit Staff Member Administrator OTBS Member

    This is how we always grew our potatoes growing up.. worked like a charm and no digging[​IMG]
  14. jlmacc

    jlmacc Meat Mopper

    hello everyone,

    Hope you all had a great weekend!You have all gave me great ideas so far.I wish I would have asked before I planted my taters.I have tried to keep putting dirt over them but they are getting really tall now and that is not working anymore.I think straw would help but to get a bail will be a big pain in the butt.Can I trim them?I thought I seen someone elses from the road and they looked like they trimmed them.Or canI simply let them grow?Thanks again!
  15. greechneb

    greechneb Fire Starter

    Never had a problem with that in all the straw we bale. (Some years 600 or more bales). As long as the fields are clean, and the combine is properly adjusted, weed seeds should not be present. We can take a bale out, and stick in the sun, and water it, and nothing sprouts.

    If you are having a problem, find a different source.
  16. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well if you use Bahia type hay, you will get seeds. Use the Coastal Bermuda and you will not.
  17. jlmacc

    jlmacc Meat Mopper

    Thanks guys on the reply's But does anyone know if I should just let them grow or trim them?As long as the taters are underground it's ok right?Will it cut down on my yeild if I don't cover them?Thanks again!
  18. Do not trim the plant.The potato is there to support the plant not the other way around.When the plant gets damaged by hail,blowing sand ,wheels the potato shrinks to support the plant.I don't understand the cover question, you said your potato's are under ground ...good make sure the get no direct sunlight. Bill
  19. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My old man has always had tons of rows of potatoes and we never trimmed them you just let them grow and make sure to remove the darn potato bugs and eggs if they come around. Those suckers will eat your plant a way in no time and they spread like rabbits. My dad use to give us a penny for every potato bug we would pick. Several times he would be giving us 2-3 dollars because they were thick some years. But then again he did have a half an acre garden so it was big.

    P.S. this straw idea is very interesting to me. I have never heard of just covering them with straw and not dirt. Sure would be nice to not have to dig up the potatoes. I will have to tell my dad about that.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  20. greechneb

    greechneb Fire Starter

    Hay and straw are two different things. Hay is for feed, and contains the whole plant of grasses, alfalfa, or other leafy plants. Straw is the remains of plants such as wheat or barley that has been harvested, taking the seeds away, and leaving just the plant stems. Works great as bedding, or mulch.

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