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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 3:17 pm 
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I put this information at the end of my previous potato post, but thought I might start a new one.

Please look:
http://img65.photobucket.com/albums/v19 ... et%20down/

We did everything we were told to do...and as soon as the potato plants bloomed then died back we dug and dug and came up with a couple of bud and one that had been eaten almost all the way through.

Someone please help..tell us what we did wrong!

Many thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 8:58 pm 
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Wow, I've never had that happen to me before. I'm sorry, but I don't remember details. What did you have them planted in? Garden soil or compost, or a mix. Was it clay or sandy soil? Does it appear that there were other potatoes that had been eaten while in the ground, or does it look like they never formed at all? Did you plant seed potatoes, did you cut them into chunks, plant them whole? Just wanting to get more information. Sorry about your bad experience. I know it's tough when you plant root crops, nurse and baby them along, then they don't produce much. I've had that happen with carrots before.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:13 am 
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We have a raised, richly prepared bed of all the ammedments Howard recommends for an organic vegetable garden. It's compost plus soft rock phosphate, molasses etc....

I bought a couple of whole potatoes from a nursery and cut them into chunks, each with 1 or 2 eyes. We planted them a few inches into the prepared compost. They grew nicely and as they grew we packed cedar mulch around them. They were watered when it had not rained and if I fed my tomatoes I also sprayed bioform or Garrett juice on them, but not much. They eventually got about 3.5 feet tall, with mounds of mulch around them. Eventually they bloomed, and I posted that on this site (look at the thread called "first time to grow potatoes") and I was told that at this stage the potatoes should be "new" size and when the plants started dying back it should be time to harvest.

What we found was there was only 2-3 buds (slightly larger then pea size) and one fist size potato (in the pic) that had several large holes eaten in it.

There was no evidence of any other potato forming. I certainly don't mind trial and error farming...I just want to make sure I learn from this and don't repeat it. That mulch is not cheap!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:20 pm 
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I remember your previous post and responded that at blooming, the potatoes were at the "new" stage. I wonder if your plants were getting too much nitrogen and not enought potassium or phosphorus. That would explain the beautiful lush green and not much root formation. I've never had this happen with potatoes. What my typical harvest is consists of two or three large potatoes, maybe four to six small to medium potatoes and a couple of small bud size potatoes per plant. I haven't dug mine up this year yet, so don't know if there's a problem. If I come up with any ideas, I"ll post them.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:55 am 
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Dragonfly,

one last question... If the potato buds are planted just a few inches under ground (or even on top of the ground) and then mulch is piled on top...how do you get the potassium or phosphorous to them? How is it applied under all that mulch?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 12:25 pm 
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Well, I plan to try this planting method next year, but I'm going to dig a hole in the ground about a 18 inches deep and 18-24 inches wide, them place my seed potato at the bottom, fill with layers of mulch and compost, adding a little bone meal in layers as I fill the hole. I have wondered if the problem you had could have been from inconsistent moisture. It seems to me that keeping moisture consistent in a pile of mulch could be difficult if it is above ground. I don't know, but am just considering a few ideas.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:29 am 
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I was difficult and that could have been part of the problem. The mulch was so dense and tall the even if I laid a hose on top of the pile, I'm sure the moisture may not have reached the bottom. Starting it in a hole may be much better. So, bone meal is what I should use to get potassium and phosphorous?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:48 am 
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Bonemeal is an excellent source of phosphorous, and coffee grounds reportedly supply potassium. I started using bonemeal consisently a couple of years ago, and have had healthier plants with more fruit production per plant. Can't say for sure that the bone meal is the reason why, but it appears to have a beneficial effect.


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