Seeing as how our first patch in 2006 went so well [5 to 1 benefit 1kg of seed @ $2,20 gave us 6 kg of new potato's] we continue to do it again each year hey, now this is going to be real quick just like last year so don't blink you might miss it hey lol?.
So again we bought a kilo' of 'Sebago' seedies (that gave us 11) and a kilo' of 'Red Pontiac's' (16 to be exact), same routine as before dolomite & gypsum down and watered in a bit, then the seed potato's on top.
Covered the spuds with some of a Potting Mix we bought this one looks and smells more like humus than any other brand, my bet is they make it out of that recycled stuff from the refuse tip?!
Then spread the remaining mix around the patch & watered and covered with some sugar cane mulch (from the plastic wrapped bale), found using this stuff out of the bags gets very hot once it is wet.
We will keep building up around the plants with the sugar cane mulch from the rough bales, as they grow until they are about 12"s high that should protect the growing tubers from going green. We were initially building the hay to 18-20"s but have since found 12"s is enough, so long as it ahs some density in the thickness
23 out of a possible 27 sprouted (total weight 1 kg), but that's the risk you take planting seed potatoes that haven't sprouted/chitted yet (so far here in the suburbs, that is the only way we can get them)
Would like them around mid January to mid February so we can sprout them before planting, that way you know every one is a goer, and they grow faster after planting if the sprouts are 4"s or more long. We also ahve been using more and more normal store bought potato's as our planting stock same return and to date no plant health issues.
Ok as at 13/08/2007 the final update of our potato patch:
On the 18th; 19th & 20th of July, we experienced 3 frost mornings, the 2 days (18th & 20th) where White Frosts of very noticable proportions estimate ground temp' -4c. Now everything in the garden would have coped with those 2 days, but it was the Black Frost on the morning of the 19th that did all the damage, it killed off all the mature potato plants in our first planting.
So toady we harvested what ever we where going to get and to our surprise it was better than anticipated, 3.5Kg of Pontiac's out of 500grams of seed spuds they returned the best so the message might be plant more Pontics?
The Sebago potato's returned 2.5Kg out of 500grams of seed spuds, so all in all for the outlay of $2.50AUD we got a good return, again around the 5:1 ratio, we can only imagine what might have been had the frost not come?
We did do a second planting of some spuds out of the fridge that had sprouted in early June, these are growing slowly and survived the frost
We are currently harvesting our late planting crop and still getting the 5or6:1 ratio return for little effort. had a problem with our first planting it died prematurily after we had just mulched it with fresh sugar cane mulch, might have been some chemical residue in the mulch.
But this method of planting is a good way to do it for those who are short on space or have children who might like a project to do, you can use any part of your lawn so long as it gets good sun.
So give it a go what have you to lose?
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