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Growing Potatoes in Straw



 
 
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  #1  
Old 01-03-2007, 01:47 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 1
Default Growing Potatoes in Straw

Hello,
I am planning to grow a row of potatoes in straw this year as I have
heard that you get a better yield. I have read this American article:
http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4DMG/VegFruit/potatoes.htm and this
discussion http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk.rec.gardening/
browse_thread/thread/b1eb4201de24cbe8/2355e3b834289e0d?
lnk=gst&q=potatoes+straw&rnum=1#2355e3b834289e0d but I still have a
few questions.

My plan is to put the potatoes in a 9 inch trench filled with straw
but I am unsure when I should apply more straw. The web page says:
"As potato plants emerge, add another four-to-six inches of straw."
Do I do this immediately or once the plants are 4-6 inches tall.
Should I completely cover the new growth?. Do I repeat this when the
new growth emerges?

I have also read about growing potatoes in boxes/tyres. Is this the
same principle accept that a stacking box allows you to add more
layers of straw?

thanks for any advice.
Thomas

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  #2  
Old 01-03-2007, 02:22 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 53
Default Growing Potatoes in Straw

HI Thomas

On 1 Mar 2007 04:47:30 -0800, wrote:

Hello,
I am planning to grow a row of potatoes in straw this year as I have
heard that you get a better yield. I have read this American article:
http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4DMG/VegFruit/potatoes.htm and this
discussion
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk.rec.gardening/
browse_thread/thread/b1eb4201de24cbe8/2355e3b834289e0d?
lnk=gst&q=potatoes+straw&rnum=1#2355e3b834289e0 d but I still have a
few questions.

My plan is to put the potatoes in a 9 inch trench filled with straw
but I am unsure when I should apply more straw. The web page says:
"As potato plants emerge, add another four-to-six inches of straw."
Do I do this immediately or once the plants are 4-6 inches tall.
Should I completely cover the new growth?. Do I repeat this when the
new growth emerges?

I have also read about growing potatoes in boxes/tyres. Is this the
same principle accept that a stacking box allows you to add more
layers of straw?

thanks for any advice.
Thomas



Don't know about the relative yeilds - but for sheer convenience you
can't beat the straw method we used the last couple of years.

Prepare the ground as usual.
Place the chitted tubers on top of the soil
Add a layer of straw
When the greenery comes through the straw -
add more straw
Repeat until the potatoes flower

To harvest - lift the straw with a fork and pick up the potatoes.

If growing outside you'll probably need something like chicken wire to
retain the straw in case it's windy - if growing in a polytunnel this
is less of a problem.

At the end of the season - dig the straw into the soil...

Worked for me ! g

Regards
Adrian

  #3  
Old 01-03-2007, 03:40 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 2,358
Default Growing Potatoes in Straw


wrote in message
oups.com...
Hello,
I am planning to grow a row of potatoes in straw this year as I have
heard that you get a better yield. I have read this American article:
http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4DMG/VegFruit/potatoes.htm and this
discussion http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk.rec.gardening/
browse_thread/thread/b1eb4201de24cbe8/2355e3b834289e0d?
lnk=gst&q=potatoes+straw&rnum=1#2355e3b834289e0d but I still have a
few questions.

My plan is to put the potatoes in a 9 inch trench filled with straw
but I am unsure when I should apply more straw. The web page says:
"As potato plants emerge, add another four-to-six inches of straw."
Do I do this immediately or once the plants are 4-6 inches tall.
Should I completely cover the new growth?. Do I repeat this when the
new growth emerges?


I started to read the fist cite you gave but didn't bother to complete it as
it's ridiculously complex and more work than is needed.

I've grown spuds under straw for years. This is how I do it. Decide where
you are going to put the plot - anywhere will do - previously prepared
ground, grass or a weed strewn patch. If the area is full of long grass and
weeds then slash it or trample down the weeds. Put the spuds which have
good eyes on the ground in a grid pattern - about 18 inches appart seems to
work for me. Cover the spuds with straw fluffed and loosened till they are
about 3 fett under the straw. shovel on heaps of manure of some sort.
water well then top with aobut 3 more feet of fluffed up straw. Water
again. Walk away.

When the spuds have emerged and about a foot all, you'll notice that the
fluffed up straw has collapsed a lot. Put on more fluffed up straw till
only about 6 inches of the spuds are showing. Repeat as necessary to make
sure that the spuds are weel covered and won't end up being green. Remember
that spuds, like tomatoes will put out new roots all up the stem and thus be
able to form more spuds wherever they put out new roots.

I have also read about growing potatoes in boxes/tyres. Is this the
same principle accept that a stacking box allows you to add more
layers of straw?


Yep and also takes advantage of the feature that I mentioned of putting out
new roots right up the stem.


  #4  
Old 01-03-2007, 03:55 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 1,423
Default Growing Potatoes in Straw

On 1 Mar, 12:47, wrote:
I have also read about growing potatoes in boxes/tyres.


Boxes, sacs and any form of containers yes, but not tyres. Tyres have
chemicals which are toxic to plants (and to you if you are eating it)
- if it's flowers, which I do grow in go-kart tyres, then it's ok,
unless your plant is suseptible to the chemicals in the tyres. But
food stuff is not advisable. Tyres leachates can kill entire aquatic
communities of algae, zooplankton, snails (perhaps a good point there)
and fish, but also seaweeds and phytophlankton.

A tyre contains aluminum, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium,
manganese, molybdenum, selenium, sulfur, and zinc. They've tried to
recycle tyres in landscaping but found that it was very flamable and
plants have been shown to accumulate abnormally high levels of zinc
sometimes to the point of death.

So I wouldn't use tyres to grow my potatoes in ;o)


  #5  
Old 02-03-2007, 08:57 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 16
Default Growing Potatoes in Straw

On Thu, 1 Mar 2007 22:08:42 GMT, Anne Jackson wrote:

The message from "La Puce" contains these words:

So I wouldn't use tyres to grow my potatoes in ;o)


Bob Flowerdew seemed to have no problems using the 'tyre' method.


I tried it once. It foundered not on the theoretical objection of the
tubers picking up nasty substances from the vulcanized rubber, but on the
thoroughly practical objection that I ended up with less tuber biomass than
I planted in the first place. However, I tried the method because I saw it
demoed on TV (probably was Bob F), and the end product as I recall was a
stack of tyres about four feet high, stuffed to the gunnels with potatoes.
So I must have done something wrong ...

Andy

--
spargeatbtinternetdotcom

FWIW(NVM),IMO(NVH)...
  #6  
Old 02-03-2007, 09:31 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 233
Default Growing Potatoes in Straw


"Andy Spragg" wrote
I tried it once. It foundered not on the theoretical objection of the
tubers picking up nasty substances from the vulcanized rubber, but on
the thoroughly practical objection that I ended up with less tuber
biomass than I planted in the first place. However, I tried the method
because I saw it demoed on TV (probably was Bob F), and the end
product as I recall was a stack of tyres about four feet high, stuffed
to the gunnels with potatoes. So I must have done something wrong ...


I'll bet you forgot to add the gro-faster stripes.

--
Sue

  #7  
Old 02-03-2007, 10:24 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 1,423
Default Growing Potatoes in Straw

On 1 Mar, 22:08, Anne Jackson wrote:

Bob Flowerdew seemed to have no problems using the 'tyre' method.


My body, my temple. Anyway, I've got longer hair than him which
prooves chemicals are bad for you ... ;o)



 




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