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Author Topic: Early potato failure.  (Read 6988 times)

BML

  • Joined Dec 2010
Early potato failure.
« on: May 26, 2011, 08:40:27 pm »
I planted some potatoes in the green house in a plastic sack in February and I tipped them out today only to find that they were very small.  I was always frightened to put to much water in the sack and wonder if that could have been the problem.  As I have just been looking at a mention on the Web about Christmas potatoes I dont want to make the same mistake so any advice would be welcome.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 09:39:37 pm »
so long as the sack has drain holes and somewhere underneath for the water to run off then you can't really water them too much.  They need a lot of water.  But where are you?  Mine won't be ready till July!  Have you dug them up too soon?
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

ellisr

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Wales
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 10:03:03 pm »
Mine have just come into flower now. I grom them in bags as I find it much easier as I can just rootle for enough for a meal instead of digging a patch

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 11:31:34 pm »
I planted some potatoes in the green house in a plastic sack in February and I tipped them out today only to find that they were very small.  I was always frightened to put to much water in the sack and wonder if that could have been the problem.  As I have just been looking at a mention on the Web about Christmas potatoes I dont want to make the same mistake so any advice would be welcome.

 I take it you have a big tin can or cut off bottle at the top of the bag to let the tops grow through the collar .  I too have sown spuds in mid Feb.. though frosts do wreck the exercise if it gets too cold in the GH.
 I found tha by only covering the seed spuds ( set on a 4 inch bed of medium with an inch or so of growing medium , fit the collar , water as needed ( use a reasonable moistire meter to get it right ca £ 7 ) and letting them come through to a height of 2 inches .
Then recover with 3 inches & repeat the exercise till the bag was filled .

I've usually  watered them with a liquid manure made for chicken , pig and cow muck in a poly prop sack hung in a 45 gallon barrel . To which I'd added 1Kg of sugar as a syrup to the 40 gallons of water in the barrel ..agitated & topped up daily .It gave good results once the foliage was about 20 inches high .
 Make sure there is sun on the bags if you are using heavy duty black sacks as the heat will help the spuds grow even better
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

BML

  • Joined Dec 2010
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 11:40:56 pm »
I live near Abingdon Oxfordshire but I think that I've twigged where I went wrong.  I came back today after three weeks away and no watering and thought.  No flowers yet after nearly four months so why not tip them out which I did finding the compost as dry as a bone.
Having learnt that lesson I now need to learn what I need to do to plan for Christmas potatoes.  By that I mean, what seed potato to grow, where to get it from, when to plant them in the green house and to ascertain if I need to wait for them to flower etc etc.

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 11:54:39 pm »
If you go away lots or are short of watering time  .. for around £ 7  at Aldi ,Lidel , Wilkinson ? or ebay etc.
You can set up a drip water system in the green house or garden that runs off a hose pipe ( can be time clocked controlled for another £30 ish ) or set up a high level 50 gallon header tank ( with or without a ballcock filler )  and let it drip feed  your lower down crops this has the advantage of you being able to add some liquid fertilizers 
 I have just purchased two such  drip water systens one from Aldi and one off the bay .
If you can't  set up your drip system with liquid manure feed etc you can place several slow release plant tablets or a boxed slow release plant food in the top of each bag and add a wee bit each time youtopthe mediun level up.
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

BML

  • Joined Dec 2010
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2011, 05:35:59 pm »
It looks as though I need to go back to basics not that I've ever been there before.  By that I mean, find a good book on the different types of potatoes, the planting times, feeding, when to plant "early potatoes", should they be in a green house, when to plant them for Christmas and should they be in a green house or outside?
I am in my 75th years and like many people I've approached vegetable gardening sporadically throughout my life leaving it when something else interfered.  Two years ago I thought I would plant a row of potatoes at the front of our rose garden and my wife and I enjoyed the experience so much it seemed a natural progression to turn the rose garden into a vegetable garden.  This process was hastened by my wife sugested that as I was rather older than she is I would pop off first and she didnít fancy weeding the rose garden and getting attacked by the rose thorns.  I agreed and before she noticed the rose garden was gone we had a vegetable garden and now Iím on a very steep learning curve so any pointers will be very acceptable.

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2011, 07:58:36 am »
Sounds odd but I find potatoes quite bewildering. SO many different varieties and possible diseases.

Then you've got first early, second early, main crop, summer, winter etc etc.

I suppose it stems from the potatoes being such a staple part of our diet and a drive to have potatoes year round.

We have had potato disasters too BL - mainly through lack of knowledge but we are learning each year. This year we have four trenches which are all going well but have sort of forgotten what's in each of them or when we should crop them.

Keep persevering.  :) :)
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2011, 07:29:36 pm »
It looks as though I need to go back to basics not that I've ever been there before.  By that I mean, find a good book on the different types of potatoes, the planting times, feeding, when to plant "early potatoes", should they be in a green house, when to plant them for Christmas and should they be in a green house or outside?
I am in my 75th years and like many people I've approached vegetable gardening sporadically throughout my life leaving it when something else interfered.  Two years ago I thought I would plant a row of potatoes at the front of our rose garden and my wife and I enjoyed the experience so much it seemed a natural progression to turn the rose garden into a vegetable garden.  This process was hastened by my wife sugested that as I was rather older than she is I would pop off first and she didnít fancy weeding the rose garden and getting attacked by the rose thorns.  I agreed and before she noticed the rose garden was gone we had a vegetable garden and now Iím on a very steep learning curve so any pointers will be very acceptable.

Why not log on to a seed potato supplier for the domestic market such as ..Suttons seeds , Fothergills or Marshalls seeds etc  the spuds they have  indicate the time of the crop and usually also the plant to harvest times.

The times they give for planting and cropping are an average for central UK , you can adjust the time spans depending if your "Ooop North or Darn Sarf " by adding a fortnight or subtracting one respectively to get a general planting time.
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

larkingaround

  • Joined May 2011
  • north Devon
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 10:08:17 am »
Hi there. Hope you have better luck next time.  We plant first earlies, second earlies and main crop.  We usually do the first earlies in the polytunnel, straight into the ground. After chitting them from January, we plant them out. The first earlies chit first (get their shoots coming out) and we put them in the tunnel in March, I think. They are just ready now and are just flowering. i could leave them longer but I'm so desperate for my own pots that I've started digging them up. They did some watering as they were in the tunnel. Perhaps that's where you went wrong. I read that August is a good time to plant chitted potatoes in the greenhouse for Christmas. anyway, good luck.

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 10:14:55 am »
I've had the same happen both in the ground and in "proper" potato bags. I've put it down to lack of water. I'm making sure they have more water this year. Some bags are just going over, so I'll let you know how they get on.

 :spud:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2011, 11:37:11 am »
Well done for getting rid of the rose garden  :D  In one of our past houses we turned the whole front garden into a veg patch, on an otherwise very conservative estate.  Most people were shocked, esp next door, but a few thought it was great.  This was back in the '70s when growing your own was a bit in the doldrums, and if you did grow veg it was tucked away behind the potting shed   ???  I prefer to grow my potatoes outside but as we are high and cold here it does mean I don't get a crop this early.  I have grown them in my polytunnel but found it very difficult to keep them wet enough, plus the foliage grew enormous.  I once tried some in a sack just to see what happened but they didn't crop well.  I watered them enough, the soil was rich, I added more soil as they grew to simulate earthing up, but the crop was not worth the effort.   One of the joys of growing veg is that if something doesn't do well one year, well you just try something different the following year.
Good luck with your new plot  :carrot: :brocolli: :corn: :peas: :spud: :squash: don't forget the :bee: :bfly: :ladybug:

It looks as though I need to go back to basics not that I've ever been there before.  By that I mean, find a good book on the different types of potatoes, the planting times, feeding, when to plant "early potatoes", should they be in a green house, when to plant them for Christmas and should they be in a green house or outside?
I am in my 75th years and like many people I've approached vegetable gardening sporadically throughout my life leaving it when something else interfered.  Two years ago I thought I would plant a row of potatoes at the front of our rose garden and my wife and I enjoyed the experience so much it seemed a natural progression to turn the rose garden into a vegetable garden.  This process was hastened by my wife sugested that as I was rather older than she is I would pop off first and she didnít fancy weeding the rose garden and getting attacked by the rose thorns.  I agreed and before she noticed the rose garden was gone we had a vegetable garden and now Iím on a very steep learning curve so any pointers will be very acceptable.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 11:39:19 am by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 11:43:39 am »
It's just come back to me ( had a stroke , lost lots of memory and word usage a couple of years ago , I've also become a wee bit dyslexic )


A few years ago after intensive trials it was concluded potatoes do not need chitting in all but a few cases .. apparently they will grow just as well when plonked in the correctly dug and manured soil of the garden at the right depth and spacings .

 I've not chitted my spuds for years in any case it was usually just a case of finding medium to large  chicken egg sized ones in the supermarket for a variety we liked .. such as  yelow salad wax potatos , javelin  or king edwards. ( never saw the reason to waste my hard earnt dosh  on small  expensive bags containing just a few  seed spuds.

 My thinking was if they can handle supermarket bashing & don't have obvious diseases they should do fairly well in my well dug & manured garden .

Oh .. may I suggest you get a  simple  greenhouse  moisture probe meter .. they cost about £7 on line or in garden centres and use it if you are poly tunnel or bag growing crops ..it is amazing how dry a crop can get .... thus giving you poor results .
It is also good for the garden as well .
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 11:47:19 am by Plantoid »
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2011, 02:01:26 pm »
Dyslexia - don't worry even if you can spell, the typing gremlin gets you  :D  Anyway, the human eye can read misspelt words without really noticing - it's what you are saying which matters  :)

The moisture probe is a good idea - I even have one.  Our polytunnel soil became so dry after 15 years that when we had to change the cover earlier this year we left it off for a month to give the soil the chance to get wet again - but it didn't rain  ::) ::)  If we had left it off for May it would have been flooded  ;D

The only reason I chit my potatoes is for somewhere to put them before the weather is right to plant them out.  If I left them in a bag they would develop big long stems which would snap when planted, so I lay them out in the light.  Volunteer tatties ie those left by mistake in the ground over winter seem to come up perfectly well, so I'm sure you are right that we don't need to bother chitting.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Beewyched

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
    • tunkeyherd.co.uk
Re: Early potato failure.
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2011, 09:49:39 pm »
Well done for getting rid of the rose garden  :D  In one of our past houses we turned the whole front garden into a veg patch, on an otherwise very conservative estate.  Most people were shocked, esp next door, but a few thought it was great.  This was back in the '70s when growing your own was a bit in the doldrums, and if you did grow veg it was tucked away behind the potting shed   ???  


AHA, so it was you 2 that were the original "Tom & Barbara" then  ;) ;D
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry - www.tunkeyherdkunekune.com

 

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