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Old 29-05-2003, 05:21 AM
IC_Gardener
 
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Default covering potatoes

I am trying potatoes for the first time this year. They are growing
nicely. They are big enough to start mounding them up. Do they need
to be mounded up with soil, or can I use straw/mulch? I guess I'm not
sure what induces the stem to form tubers. Is it just the lack of
light, or do they need moist soil around them? I know that I have
read about growing potatoes in straw, but I can't find a good
reference now.

Thanks for any help.

IC Gardener
Iowa City, Iowa
Zone 5A

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Old 29-05-2003, 11:44 AM
Pat Kiewicz
 
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Default covering potatoes

Jan Flora said:

In article ,
(IC_Gardener) wrote:

I am trying potatoes for the first time this year. They are growing
nicely. They are big enough to start mounding them up. Do they need
to be mounded up with soil, or can I use straw/mulch?


I was just reading Rodale's Organic Gardening Encyclopedia on spuds yesterday.
It says you can hill them with leaves, soil, straw or compost.

I found that using leaves lead to small, black hard-to-scrub-off, earthy-smelling
spots on the potatoes. I'll stick with straw (especially shredded straw -- easier
to 'hill up' around the plants) and *dried* grass clippings.

--
Pat in Plymouth MI

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
(attributed to Don Marti)



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Old 29-05-2003, 05:32 PM
FarmerDill
 
Posts: n/a
Default covering potatoes


I am trying potatoes for the first time this year. They are growing
nicely. They are big enough to start mounding them up. Do they need
to be mounded up with soil, or can I use straw/mulch? I guess I'm not
sure what induces the stem to form tubers. Is it just the lack of
light, or do they need moist soil around them? I know that I have
read about growing potatoes in straw, but I can't find a good
reference now.

Thanks for any help.

IC Gardener
Iowa City, Iowa
Zone 5A

Irish potatoes put out tubers above the roots so it is important to cover the
roots deep. Tuber production depends on darkness and moisure, the tubers are
fed by tiny root hairs on the stolnes and tubers, As long as the vine has roots
in the ground it will produce tubers above the root in anything that keeps
light out and some moisture in. This why potato towers, Cages, boxes in which
mulch is constantly added as the vine grows, work. True only Irish potatoes,
Sweet potatoes are a root with differnt requirements.
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Old 30-05-2003, 04:09 PM
Pat Kiewicz
 
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Default covering potatoes

Trevor Woods said:

This is something I've been wanting to try with some of my potatoes,
but I'm unsure of the exact technique. Do you keep covering the plant
completely as it emerges?

I cover little by little, and never completely. You've got to leave *some* of
the leaves exposed to the sun.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
(attributed to Don Marti)

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Old 30-05-2003, 06:20 PM
FarmerDill
 
Posts: n/a
Default covering potatoes


This is something I've been wanting to try with some of my potatoes,
but I'm unsure of the exact technique. Do you keep covering the plant
completely as it emerges?


No; You leave the top part of plant above the mulch. The plant needs sunlight
the tubers don't/ so if your vine eventaully reaches 6 feet in lenght you could
have the mulch tower about 4 feet deep.



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