Potatoes

jdmeth

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Retired commercial Florida potato grower. Your soil looks like the northeast Florida soil I have. Potatoes like lots of fertilizer, 300 lb acre N, 100 lb acre P, 300 lb acre K. Do the math for your size garden (one acre=43560 sq ft). Put down two thirds of fertilizer at or soon after planting then split the other one third. Half when they are 8-12 inches then hill and the other half just before they fall over and hill again. Do spray for blight, every week starting when they are 12 in high. You can look for cracked soil and feel around for growing spuds to pull a few early. Keep the bottom of the ally moist but do not let them flood.

It is full blown harvest time here in Hastings, Fl. We plant in January-Feb. Good luck.
 

RalphVa

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Never fertilized potatoes in regular soil either here in Va or in NJ or in La.
 

jdmeth

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Never fertilized potatoes in regular soil either here in Va or in NJ or in La.
Sandy soils have little organic matter and nitigen and potash just leach out with any rainfall. The soil just holds the plant up.
 
   #34  

RalphVa

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Sandy soils have little organic matter and nitigen and potash just leach out with any rainfall. The soil just holds the plant up.
I'd be inclined to put a potato piece in a hole and fille with mulch. That should work even in sandy soil, and not require any fert. Any chemical fert kills all life in the soil, just supplying the plant with its NPK, but you'll have to keep using it because the soil will be dead. Better to use some compost rather than fert.
 
  
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#35  
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mwemaxxowner

mwemaxxowner

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That is why I am blending in a layer of compost, and want to also mix in a little top soil and compost each year going forward. I will probably also mulch and mix my leaves into it in the fall.

For the most part I'm fertilizing with chicken litter and compost, and I have put a little milorganite down.

Yes, I know the arguments against milo for gardening but I have researched it and decided to use it.

I hope to gradually improve the soil in this area over time, but so far without any additional fertilizing my stuff is growing great! I give the plants a foliar shot of miracle gro every two weeks.
 
   #36  

jdmeth

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I'd be inclined to put a potato piece in a hole and fille with mulch. That should work even in sandy soil, and not require any fert. Any chemical fert kills all life in the soil, just supplying the plant with its NPK, but you'll have to keep using it because the soil will be dead. Better to use some compost rather than fert.
That is fine for your little garden but would be virtually impossible for a commercial grower. The field in front of my home has grown successive potato crops for the last 100 years. Last year was the farmers largest yield yet. With potato prices down this year and corn prices near record highs he planted corn in it this year. The corn is waist high now. For the last several years he had been double cropping it, pulling out the potatoes in May and after hilling the rows back up drilling in corn. Last year the corn yield was 160 bu per acre. This years crop was planted thicker to take advantage of the longer growing time. Might get 200 bu this year.

Farming in sand is like growing plants in a green house, the soil just holds the plant up. We use fumagents to kill soil born diseases, granualer pesticides to kill soil insects, herbicides to suppress weeds, fungicides to keep blig ht away, fertilizers with micro nutrants added to feed the plants. Cover crops are grown in the summer to add a little organic matter and to suppress weeds unless corn is double cropped. The corn stalks are chopped back in to add the organic matter.
 
   #37  

Williy

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I buy the large spuds from the grocery store and when they sprout
I have seed to plant. I believe the spuds are from a local farmer.
I will plant them in a tub near the bottom and put dirt around them
as they grow.

willy
 
   #38  

HEC

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Chicken manure should be a year old as it is very hot for plants as they will burn so to speak . Potatoes need to be spread out to dry before storing so they won't rot . They do not need to cure to eat .
 
   #39  

Cougsfan

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I read that I would need to cure them, then store at 40-50 degrees and 95% humidity if I wanted 6-8 months of storage. I read that if I can't duplicate that I am good for more like 2-3 months.
Those are the conditions used in the large potato storages used by Potato farmers and processers in the Northwest US. I have seen potatoes stored safely in those controlled conditions for 18-19 months without going bad (I have also seen them stored 3 months and they go bad, if the potatoes were of poor quality to begin).
Curing (called suberization) is essentially removing the field heat as soon and quickly as possible. The goal is to bring the core temperature of the potato down to the storage temperature. The key to long term successful storage is keeping storage cool and the humidity as high as possible without reaching 100% humidity. If the skin of the potato gets wet through condensing conditions the potato will quickly begin to rot due to the wet skin inhibiting the ability for the potato to respirate (consuming oxygen and emitting co2). A lack of moisture will cause the product to shrivel (shrink in size) thru accelerated respiration.
I agree it is tough to maintain these commercial storage conditions in a private home. One of the best ways I have seen it done is to store the potatoes in a cool place in a bucket full of moist (Not wet!) sand. If stored for a long tome you might have to add a few oz of water every once in a while.
The other key is to start with healthy potatoes.
Either light or elevated temperature will cause sprouting.
 
   #40  

Cougsfan

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Some of the largest and highest quality potatoes I have seen have been grown in pure sand. But it is a practice I don't really believe in because you have to use a lot of water and a lot of fertilizer to make it work because of the lack of nutrients in sand.
 
 
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