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    • Gers
    • By Gers 24th Oct 16, 7:42 PM
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    Gers
    Growing potatoes
    • #1
    • 24th Oct 16, 7:42 PM
    Growing potatoes 24th Oct 16 at 7:42 PM
    I'm trying to think ahead!

    Never having grown anything to eat, apart from four strawberries and five blackberries, I now want to branch out and attempt potatoes.

    I've got some potato bags ready and would love some advice please.

    I want to grow some real old-fashioned tasting potatoes. My 88 year old mum moans about bland tasting tatties so I want to surprise her at some point next year.

    Are there any varieties I should be looking for?

    Can I plant at staggered times to get a rolling programme for supply, something like two or three weeks apart? I'm only using 8 litre bags so am expecting a small amount of return from each.

    I know these are probably very basic questions but I've tried surfing for answers and got bogged down in professional websites.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Gers; 25-10-2016 at 8:07 AM. Reason: Removed an extra e
Page 2
    • Mnd
    • By Mnd 25th Jun 17, 8:37 PM
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    Mnd
    Sounds good, no need to cut any shoots off, keep checking for slugs, don't very often get anything else eating the leaves, they eat into the spuds as well in the soil.won't be far off being usable soon. Don't pull the whole plant , have a feel around under the plant and pick any that are big enough to use
    • Mnd
    • By Mnd 25th Jun 17, 8:44 PM
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    Mnd
    Sounds good, keep watering and no need to pick any shoots off. Watch out for slugs, can't think of anything else that nibbles potatoes, they will also burrow into the new tubers in soil. It won't be long till you have usable spuds, don't pull a whole plant, dig your fingers under the plant and feel around for usable tubers leaving the rest to swell up in there own time, it's really a satisfying feeling those first new potatoes of the summer.I've dug 2 plants from up the plot. Charlotte, really lovely potato. Good luck
    • Gers
    • By Gers 29th Jun 17, 8:39 AM
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    Gers
    Yesterday I thought the potatoes had blight, but decided that the leaves have taken a battering with all the rain and wind we've had over the past three weeks. I cut off the bottom leaves anyway.

    Then I did what Mnd suggested and stuck my hand down each bag in turn, and was delighted to feel potatoes. Yes, I know it's what I should have expected but it was still a pleasure to have them there. Some small and some much larger. I just wish that the wind / rain hadn't washed off the labels I'd stuck in the bags! Next year I'll do something more secure.

    The leaves are dying back so I'll do some harvesting in a couple of weeks. My virgin journey as a potato grower is almost at an end. I won't be so worried next year.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 8th Jul 17, 5:26 PM
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    Gers
    I've stuck my hand down into all the bags and pulled a couple of potatoes out of each.

    The Epicures (I think) have scab. The other varieties don't, so far. As we've not had dry weather I'm at a loss to understand why, however I peeled the blemished ones and cooked them, tasted fine.

    The reason for thinking it was the Epicure is because they were floury and I don't normally eat this type.

    The carefully written on plastic sticks with variety were the biggest failure, the writing washed off very soon after planting. For next year I've bought wooden sticks and will somehow get labels on the front of the bags.

    I'm not disheartened or disappointed. It's nature and there are loads more potatoes to unearth. As I'm growing them mostly for my DM I doubt she'll be unhappy either.

    The remainder are still under earth. Another couple of weeks I think.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 12th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
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    Gers
    Epicure bag had lots of mushy potatoes in the soil
    • Gers
    • By Gers 7th Aug 17, 6:21 PM
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    Gers
    The yield from each of the eight litre bags was disappointing - only really a meal for two people from each. It's my first year in doing this so I'll learn from it. So far I've learnt to feed the bag which I didn't do this year, thought the well rotted manure would be enough.

    I've just emptied the last two bags and will now get ready to plant some Charlottes for Christmas. I've got bigger bags and will plant more than one in each! And I've got potato fertiliser.

    I don't even eat that many potatoes normally so I''m growing them for others. At least next year I'll (hopefully) have the raised beds sorted in the front part of the house, across the track, which should yield more.
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 7th Aug 17, 6:32 PM
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    kazwookie
    Label the bags, and take a photo on your phone or camera, so you have a record of which is which, or old fashioned paper and pen, number each bag and write on the paper which paper has which spuds in it!
    Sun, Sea
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 7th Aug 17, 7:21 PM
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    Apodemus
    ...and earth them up next time! There is a good reason why farms do this, it's not just "recreational tillage"!
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 7th Aug 17, 7:22 PM
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    pineapple
    At my last house I grew potatoes two years running in bags on the patio because the actual garden was uphill and clay. The first time, I was astonished at the height of the greenery above the bag! Can't remember the varieties but they did well. There is nothing like your own potatoes but I'm not convinced the yield justified the outlay in compost and seed potatoes and the space they filled.
    Last edited by pineapple; 07-08-2017 at 7:24 PM.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 8th Aug 17, 7:16 AM
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    Gers
    Label the bags, and take a photo on your phone or camera, so you have a record of which is which, or old fashioned paper and pen, number each bag and write on the paper which paper has which spuds in it!
    Originally posted by kazwookie
    Did that...however I used donated plastic labels and the names washed off in the torrential rain. I will do better next time.

    ...and earth them up next time! There is a good reason why farms do this, it's not just "recreational tillage"!
    Originally posted by Apodemus
    Yep, will do this with the Christmas tattles!
    • Gers
    • By Gers 21st Aug 17, 1:46 PM
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    Gers
    I planted my Christmas Charlottes on 09 August - three to a large bag for earthing up.

    Now I find that one of the tubers is growing faster in one of the bags than the other two. Do I just earth up the growing one? Or make the soil even?

    It's a steep learning curve so far, and the slope over one tuber will be even steeper soon!
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 21st Aug 17, 7:49 PM
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    Apodemus
    I'd keep it all level. If the new level is above the head of the smallest plant it will soon catch up. If it doesn't it wasn't worth keeping in the first place, so no loss!
    • Gers
    • By Gers 17th Sep 17, 2:47 PM
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    Gers
    My two bags of potatoes are growing well! I know that I should be watering them with feed, however the rain has hardly stopped here since after earthing up.

    I don't want to water them as they are getting enough water - can I just sprinkle granules of potato feed on the top of the soil or leave well alone?

    Thanks
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 17th Sep 17, 3:55 PM
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    Apodemus
    All this rain certainly makes applying a liquid fertiliser problematic. I would throw in some chicken manure pellets or some wood ash (if you have a wood burner running). You don't want too much nitrogen as it will just give you a huge amount of top growth, but it is difficult to know how much of your soil nitrogen has been depleted by the rain washing it through. If the shaws are still a good strong green, then perhaps go with the wood ash.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 17th Sep 17, 7:20 PM
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    Gers
    Thanks again!

    I can do wood ash and have chicken pellets too. Not had the fire on yet (plenty of jumpers) so will sprinkle on a few pellets tomorrow. I put in a load of potato fertiliser pellets right at the start. The tops are huge after six weeks so I'm hoping for a better crop than the summer ones


    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 18th Sep 17, 6:12 AM
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    Apodemus
    Thanks again!

    I can do wood ash and have chicken pellets too. Not had the fire on yet (plenty of jumpers) so will sprinkle on a few pellets tomorrow. I put in a load of potato fertiliser pellets right at the start. The tops are huge after six weeks so I'm hoping for a better crop than the summer ones


    Originally posted by Gers
    Don't over-do it with either the pellets or the ash, just a little! If they are now fully earthed up, you really don't need too much top growth.
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