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suunto 09-26-2009 12:40 PM

Potatoes
 
3 Attachment(s)
Just curious about varieties of potatoes grown by others in this group. Here's a few of ours...

Equilibrium 09-26-2009 01:05 PM

I don't grow any. I HAVE got to start learning how to grow food. Potatoes and rutabagas are top on my list. Do you know what variety of potato it is that we buy that's tiny and red that is used in canning recipes and soups? How much space does it take to grow that many potatoes?

Hedgerowe 09-26-2009 01:40 PM

I like the first batch, suunto. Some of them are making rude gestures and in the rest I can see the faces of WC Fields and Martha Stewart.

Hedgerowe 09-26-2009 01:52 PM

Hey! I LOVE rutabagas. Most people that I know have never tried them, in part (I think) because of the silly name. I was floored when I learned that they are a cross between cabbage and turnips. It seems like such an improbable match, like crossing an emu with a chicken and coming up with a turkey :turkeydance Like turkeys, rutabagas taste best roasted, too.

suunto 09-26-2009 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equilibrium (Post 40884)
Do you know what variety of potato it is that we buy that's tiny and red that is used in canning recipes and soups? How much space does it take to grow that many potatoes?

I'm not sure of which cultivar you mean. It might be a fingerling variety such as 'Red Thumb' that never gets very large, or it could be a 'regular sized' cultivar harvested while very small. As for space, I plant my rows about three feet apart with the potatoes planted approximately 10" apart. The wider the spacing, the larger the potatoes likely will grow. You also can grow them in containers if space is limited. To get some idea as to the cultivars available to the home gardener, see http://www.ronnigers.com/id8.html

suunto 09-26-2009 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hedgerowe (Post 40891)
Hey! I LOVE rutabagas. Like turkeys, rutabagas taste best roasted, too.

Interesting - I've never tried roasting rutabagas (my wife always calls them 'swedes'), we usually just have them boiled and mashed. However, I also like them raw.

benj1 09-26-2009 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suunto (Post 40883)
Just curious about varieties of potatoes grown by others in this group. Here's a few of ours...

I've raised some reds like your pic #3 for a few years. The plants shut down in mid-summer, and the spuds keep well in the fridge, so we have enough for maybe three months. When my garden gets big enough for more plants, I want to add a later variety. I'm taking more pictures now than I ever have, but pictures of my spuds??!!

biigblueyes 09-26-2009 06:57 PM

Suunto - that first photo looks like they must have grown near a nuclear power plant. . . nice crop of spuds you have there.

Equilibrium. . . not sure, but it sounds like you're describing what we call "new potatoes" which are the smaller of the newly dug potatoes. The skins are tender enough you can scrub them off with a brush or nylon scrubber part of a sponge.

They're wonderful cooked with fresh snap beans, by the way.

suunto 09-27-2009 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biigblueyes (Post 40919)
Suunto - that first photo looks like they must have grown near a nuclear power plant.

Actually, they were treated to a good dose of compost. It is a fingerling variety simply called 'French'; they typically develop in a complex shape that makes them difficult to dig without breaking off some of the 'fingers.' Obviously, one does not peel these!

Equilibrium 09-27-2009 04:42 PM

suunto> how much volume in potatoes could I expect to get from a 4 x 8 raised bed? And what else can be planted with a root crop so I wouldn't need to be weeding all the time? Biig> New Potatoes! That's it. That's what I was thinking. So what variety would I pick?

suunto 09-28-2009 05:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equilibrium (Post 41009)
suunto> how much volume in potatoes could I expect to get from a 4 x 8 raised bed? And what else can be planted with a root crop so I wouldn't need to be weeding all the time? Biig> New Potatoes! That's it. That's what I was thinking. So what variety would I pick?

That of course will depend to some degree on you soil type and weather. If you plant a high-yielding cultivar, you have the potential (reality may differ!) for more than 50 pounds. I suggest trying Caribe, a beautiful purple/lavender-skinned white-fleshed cultivar, spaced 12" apart. You should need to weed only until the plants are about half-grown; they will quickly form such a dense cover that most weeds will be choked out. At the time you plant the potatoes (check with your county extension office for the best time for your area), you could try overseeding with a quick-growing spring crop such as radishes, lettuce, or mesclun that also might keep weeds at bay until the potato plants take over that chore.

Porterbrook 09-28-2009 07:15 AM

I grew Yukon Gold for the first time this year. They did surprisingly well. I dug a trench and worked in old composted manure; and then planted the potatoes in the bottom. As the potatoes grew, I kept adding fresh compost and mulch to make the hills around the plants. By adding mulch between the rows, weeds were prevented from growing. From a six foot by 10 foot bed, I harvested ten five-gallon buckets of potatoes.

suunto 09-28-2009 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Porterbrook (Post 41075)
I grew Yukon Gold for the first time this year. They did surprisingly well. I dug a trench and worked in old composted manure; and then planted the potatoes in the bottom. As the potatoes grew, I kept adding fresh compost and mulch to make the hills around the plants. By adding mulch between the rows, weeds were prevented from growing. From a six foot by 10 foot bed, I harvested ten five-gallon buckets of potatoes.

They did much better for you than they ever did for me; I found them to be relatively shy yielders compared with most other cultivars. My favorite yellow-fleshed cultivar for uniform size, taste, and yield, now is Carola (not be confused with the Japanese car...:tease).

Porterbrook 09-28-2009 04:50 PM

It could have been all that fresh mountain air!!! I live right along the Ohio River and have sandy loam for soil. If I can get the Carola seed potatoes, I will give them a try.

Equilibrium 10-10-2009 07:52 PM

suunto> I have never bought potatoes before. Where would I buy the Caribe?

suunto 10-11-2009 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equilibrium (Post 43355)
suunto> I have never bought potatoes before. Where would I buy the Caribe?

Two sources that I have used are Pinetree Garden Seeds in Maine (https://www.superseeds.com/) and Ronniger Potato Farm in Colorado (http://www.ronnigers.com/id8.html); Ronniger has a much larger selection of cultivars, but Pinetree is less expensive.
Hope this helps...

suunto 10-28-2009 09:26 AM

Clamping Potatoes
 
3 Attachment(s)
Just FYI, here's a series of photos showing potatoes (Caribes) being put to bed for the winter. This process sometimes is known as 'clamping.' Basically, they're covered with about a foot of dirt, then plastic to keep out excess moisture, followed by more dirt to keep the plastic in place. One drawback to having soil too moist is that when it freezes, you may need a pickax to get at the spuds! :censored

Hedgerowe 10-28-2009 09:35 AM

That is very cool, suunto (and thanks especially for the photos--good illustrations). So you simply go out and unearth what you need, as you need it, throughout the winter, yes?

suunto 10-28-2009 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hedgerowe (Post 46575)
That is very cool, suunto (and thanks especially for the photos--good illustrations). So you simply go out and unearth what you need, as you need it, throughout the winter, yes?

That's it in a nutshell - I usually remove about a weeks' worth at a time.

THBFarm 10-28-2009 09:55 AM

Equilibrium, go for it, potatoes are one of the easiest crops to grow and it is soo fun to root through the soil digging for potatoes when they are ready to harvest...like an easter egg hunt :-)

I just buy a bag of organic potatoes at the farmstand every year and cut them into pieces and plant them.

biigblueyes 10-28-2009 10:19 AM

Which potatoes did exceptionally well for you this year?

suunto 10-28-2009 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biigblueyes (Post 46582)
Which potatoes did exceptionally well for you this year?

The best yielders this year were the Caribes, Carolas, and All Reds. Looking back on prior seasons, Caribes usually have been the most consistent in this regard.

biigblueyes 10-28-2009 12:33 PM

The caribes are purple-skinned, right?

suunto 10-28-2009 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biigblueyes (Post 46613)
The caribes are purple-skinned, right?

That's correct; the inside is brilliant white, they make the best whipped/mashed potatoes of any variety we've tried.

biigblueyes 10-28-2009 09:07 PM

I think I need to give Caribe a whirl. I saw that they don't store well, to eat them first.:D

Equilibrium 10-28-2009 10:49 PM

Thanks everyone for the photos. Thanks suunto> I will choose the Caribe and can order it from one of your two sources. I noticed it didn't store well from biig. We make latkes every once in a while but other than that we're not big on mashed potatoes. We do use potatoes with corned beef and cabbage and in some other meals. I'll going for the Caribe but what would be a second choice for a potato that stores better for me to use in casseroles and side dishes? Maybe one that would multi task as a new potato for cold salads? I would prefer an heirloom potato. THBFarm> I'm going to go for it. I've never been a veggie head but that's the direction I'm going. I seem to be having mini disasters with my veggies and gourds. Either my husband doesn't recognize them and whacks them with a weed whacker... the deer get them... the rabbits get them... the rains drown them... and then the final blow was when the weather turned bitter a month prematurely which knocked out my two kale plants and my ability to create some raised beds this growing season. It's been a long time since I've seen three hard frosts and snow in October. My asparagus, tomatoes, and peppers were the only successes I had. Depressing, eh? Which brings me back to suunto> I lost my window of opportunity to get them in the ground this fall when summer turned to winter in like about one week then turned back to fall. I can still order and wait to plant next spring can't I?

adding, where does everyone store their potatoes after they dig them up? A cool garage? A basement? Sorry, I've never grown potatoes before. I always bought what I needed and stored them in the crisper.

suunto 10-29-2009 05:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equilibrium (Post 46672)
I'll going for the Caribe but what would be a second choice for a potato that stores better for me to use in casseroles and side dishes? Maybe one that would multi task as a new potato for cold salads? I would prefer an heirloom potato.

Try one of the yellows like Carola, Valisa, or German Butterball; if you're adventurous, try Royal Burgundy - some people find the blue flesh off-putting, but the flavor is great, and they hold up well in stews and the like.

Quote:

Which brings me back to suunto> I lost my window of opportunity to get them in the ground this fall when summer turned to winter in like about one week then turned back to fall. I can still order and wait to plant next spring can't I?
???Not sure what you are referring to here - if it's potatoes, I usually plant these in the early spring; asparagus crowns can be planted either in the autumn or spring.

Quote:

adding, where does everyone store their potatoes after they dig them up? A cool garage? A basement? Sorry, I've never grown potatoes before. I always bought what I needed and stored them in the crisper.
Potatoes need to be kept cool (but not freezing!) and dark, with enough humidity to keep them from shriveling. I keep mine buried in the garden during the winter; others may bury an old freezer/refrigerator in the ground and use that. A cool basement should work as well, as long as the potatoes can be kept dark. You might try placing them in large (5 gallons or so) buckets and covering with some loose soil. One thing to watch out for is mice/voles; they love to chew into potatoes. I once had the bright idea of 'insulating' my potatoes with straw before covering them with dirt; I inadvertently created a mouse hotel/restaurant! What a mess...:yuck

Equilibrium 10-31-2009 08:32 PM

Good. Good and Great. The Royal Burgundy sounds the best for the taste. So what if there's chunks of blue in a stew. I am on a waiting list for the length of boards I need to buy to create some raised beds and to follow through with this project, http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...-garden-5.html. It's frustrating being on a waiting list because I don't need 100 of the longer length boards to use around the house. 100 is the minimum order. Our ground can freeze to 42". I wouldn't be able to store potatoes in the ground like you do.... unless I wanted to remove snow and use a pick ax to get at them.

biigblueyes 10-31-2009 09:02 PM

Stew with blue potatoes would be perfect for Halloween. And maybe some of those red carrots too.

suunto 11-01-2009 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biigblueyes (Post 47314)
Stew with blue potatoes would be perfect for Halloween. And maybe some of those red carrots too.

I once made a red, white, and blue potato salad for a Fourth of July picnic...:D

THBFarm 11-03-2009 08:11 AM

Equilibrium, re: storing...if you have a cool garage that doesn't freeze in winter, you can put potatoes in layers in cardboard boxes, with each layer separated by newspaper, and store them in there....

biigblueyes 11-03-2009 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suunto (Post 47472)
I once made a red, white, and blue potato salad for a Fourth of July picnic...:D

What was the red - the skins or something else?

suunto 11-03-2009 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by THBFarm (Post 47926)
Equilibrium, re: storing...if you have a cool garage that doesn't freeze in winter, you can put potatoes in layers in cardboard boxes, with each layer separated by newspaper, and store them in there....

If you do this, be sure that your basement is mouse-free; otherwise, you may create a bed and breakfast for them!:drool

suunto 11-03-2009 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biigblueyes (Post 47932)
What was the red - the skins or something else?

It was a pink-fleshed cultivar called "All Red."

biigblueyes 11-03-2009 09:32 AM

That sounds like a fun salad. One to bring to a potluck.

Pahinh Winh 11-10-2009 09:45 PM

Potatoes
 
Hanh mitakuyapi. Equilibrium, potatoes like sand. Lots of good drainage. I grew up in potato country - it was an ancient lake bed. We grew semiloads of the things. Organic potatoes would be grown in sand (or on a pile of bricks - just so it drains) with organic fertilizer, very little nitrogen, lots of potassium, & at the end of season, lots of phosphorous to make the plants quit trying to grow & the tubers to get nice skins so they'll store well. Keep them far from apples or they'll taste 'off' & get green skins. Keep them from freezing or they'll get sweet instead of potato flavor - cold turns starch to sugars. We stored ours in layers of hay & maple leaves in bins lined with hay bales. You will learn the smell of rotting potatoes (nasty!), & get them out fast so they don't wreck the whole collection..
One way to grow potatoes is to add soil as the plants grow so the plants keep heading up & making more baby potatoes. They do OK in old tire stacks - fill an old tire with sand, plant the potatoes, when the plants peek 6-8" above the tire, put on another tire & fill with sand so the plants only peek out 1-2". You can go 3-4 tires high this way & they're easy to harvest at the end of the season.. just pull the tires off, which dumps the sand, & pick out the potatoes. If you try the tire stack, either paint the outside of the tires white or shade the tires so they don't cook the plants while you're growing your spuds.

Sage 11-10-2009 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pahinh Winh (Post 49220)
If you try the tire stack, either paint the outside of the tires white or shade the tires so they don't cook the plants while you're growing your spuds.

That struck me as kind of funny - growing pre-cooked potatoes! :frogtongue

Equilibrium 11-11-2009 01:19 AM

I've got a garage that doesn't freeze!!! It's rodent free too!!!

biigblueyes 11-11-2009 08:53 AM

Then all you have to do is grow more than you can eat - you've got a place to store them. When would you plant potatoes in Illinois- March and April?

Pahinh Winh 11-11-2009 01:56 PM

To Store Potatoes
 
Hanh mitakuyapi. Equilibrium, you must not have read my post - you should never stor potatoes in a cold place - the crisper is truly borderline - because the cold turns the starch in the potatoes to sugar & makes the flavor strange. Every variety turns a different kind of 'strange'.
To store potatoes, you need an insulated bin where the temperature stays between 45 - 50 F. Hay bales make a good bin - put a piece of plywood under the top one(s) to keep them from sagging is a good idea. Then you can chop the hay in the spring & use it for mulch. Bags of leaves work well, but you have to pack the leaves some or use lots more bags of leaves for the walls. Advantage here is lighter weight than bales, which run 50-60 lbs each & you have to find them. Many farmers don't make small square bales any more because no one wants to handle them; while bags of leaves are everywhere.
If you can pack maple leaves between your bags*/boxes of potatoes, they'll keep better longer. Maple leaves, not just any leaves. If you use bags, be sure they breathe or the potatoes will rot in no time. That lets out plastic bags of the usual kinds. If you sew, you can make bags from $1-table fabric - double the fabric & sew them up - there's no need to make drawstring casings.
Have fun..

Equilibrium 11-12-2009 01:51 AM

My garage never freezes because... it's got supplemental heat. We work out there and I over winter some plants in it. Most of the time it stays in the 40's but it's not allowed to go below 38. Hay and straw I can get my hands on no problem. I do do sew and I've got all kinds of things to make bags out of. The hay would work better. I can toss the hay in a bin and toss in the potatoes. Question for you would be why maple leaves instead of oak or something else.

Equilibrium 06-17-2010 02:15 AM

"Try one of the yellows like Carola, Valisa, or German Butterball; if you're adventurous, try Royal Burgundy - some people find the blue flesh off-putting, but the flavor is great, and they hold up well in stews and the like." I was able to buy the German Butterball. I never could find the Royal Burgundy. Is it possible that's the wrong name for it and maybe it's called 'Highland Red Burgundy'? Either way.... I can't find a source for either of them and I'd like to pre-order the Royal Burgundy.

suunto 06-17-2010 05:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equilibrium (Post 69595)
"Try one of the yellows like Carola, Valisa, or German Butterball; if you're adventurous, try Royal Burgundy - some people find the blue flesh off-putting, but the flavor is great, and they hold up well in stews and the like." I was able to buy the German Butterball. I never could find the Royal Burgundy. Is it possible that's the wrong name for it and maybe it's called 'Highland Red Burgundy'? Either way.... I can't find a source for either of them and I'd like to pre-order the Royal Burgundy.

For some reason, Royal Burgundy seems to have fallen from its perch. I suggest trying Purple Majesty, available from Ronniger Potato Farm LLC (Welcome to Ronniger Potato Farm LLC) and Irish Eyes Garden Seeds (Irish Eyes Garden Seeds), or "Adirondack Blue from Pinetree Garden Seeds (https://www.superseeds.com/).

We enjoyed the first new potatoes of the year (Carolas) last night, along with freshly hulled peas...

CincyGarden 06-17-2010 09:00 PM

Suunto, my potato experiment failed again. I'd like to take another whack, and wonder if you've had any luck with a July planting?

suunto 06-18-2010 05:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CincyGarden (Post 69646)
Suunto, my potato experiment failed again. I'd like to take another whack, and wonder if you've had any luck with a July planting?

I've never tried planting that late; all I can tell you is that I've never had much luck with planting after the end of May. Any ideas as to why your planting failed this year? Did you try consulting with your county agricultural extension service office?

CincyGarden 06-18-2010 08:00 AM

Yes, failed due to lack of attention. Plants are doing fine I just wasn't able to cover them.

I keep trying to grow them vertically (tires, bags, straw bales, wire cylinders, etc.) and have cooked, starved, dried out, and generally made a mockery of the things.

This year I just wasn't able to keep covering them, when they were going to town.

I'm sure I'll get some, but not as much as I was hoping for. I'd like to just replant in a more conventional manner, but we'll see; the space may be given over to something more suited for something for fall.

biigblueyes 06-20-2010 12:00 PM

The garden I have now is a first-year garden. I tilled it a couple of times before I put the potatoes in. It didn't do great, but I did get a decent sized potato or 2 from each plant and some seed potatoes for the fall crop.


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