Potato problems
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Author:  JeanieKatyTX [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Potato problems

I'm gardening organically for the 4th year in a row. The soil is looking great! I am concerned that I might need some micronutirents or something. We put 10-20 wheel barrows full of homemade compost each year. The compost was made from lawn clippings from several neighbors that we know don't use pesticides and from leaves, kitchen vegetable scraps and garden plants that have completed the harvest. We kept it watered and turned it several times. It looks like black potting soil. we even sifted it for certain areas. We started with the average gumbo clay and now have friable soil that still needs something. I tried potatoes and the tops grew fine then died back. There were only a few 1" potatoes. we tried two vaieties, purple and white potatoes. I used Espoma Soil Acidifier per the directions before I planted the potatoes. And I used organic fertilizer when the plants were 6" tall. I mounded dirt up as the plants grew, then heavilly mulched with straw. The next year I planted sweet potato starts in the same spot and all of the half a wheelbarrowful had weevil holes in them. All of the other plants produce well; peppers, tomatoes,asparagus, greens, herbs, melons, squash, onions. But not having good luck with any of the potatoes. I have a lot of organic gardening knowlege gleened from books, the web and experience. I was also a Texas Association of Nurserymen member in ther 80s, worked for wholesale nurseries here in Houston area. But I am perplexed by the potato problem.
What organic product will kill those weevils?
I am going to take some soil samples to the County Ag. Extension agent for soil testing. Will the soil analysis include a breakdown of the micronutrients and reveal any soil problems like fungus or pest problems?

Author:  sandih [ Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Potato problems

You may need to add molasses and green sand. Here's a link to what Howard recommends. basics-for-building-your-organic-vegetable-garden-t10470.html

Visit the veg, herb and fruit forum if you need add'l help.

Author:  sandih [ Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Potato problems

Your initial question was about micronutrients, which could be resolved by greensand. Since the description you gave for how you planted and grew your potatoes seemed spot on, I didn't think I could correct it in any way. I'll be glad to make something up if you'd like. Once you get your soil analysis back, then the deficits can be addressed.

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