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I "found" a bag of potatoes (red skins) in my pantry today that I had forgotten were there. I noticed all these "roots" growing out from them. I was so bored today that I cut them in half and took them outside and planted them in a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, potting soil and organic humus (all store bought.) I put a layer of black plastic down first then mixed all of the above on top of the plastic. I planted them in very short raised rows (25 of them in about a 2' x 2' area with 5 rows of 5). I planted them with their cut sides down and their root sides up. The tops of the roots are covered slightly. Was this the correct way to plant them or should I have planted them with their roots down and cut sides up or sideways or what? Also, do you think they will grow in the medium I used? Do you think they will be edible? Just felt like gettin out there and planting something and my soil in my garden spot isn't "ready" to be planted in yet so....I planted the potatoes away from my garden spot, under my kitchen window. Hope they will get enough sun. I usually get sunlight through my kitchen window every morning so...guess we'll just have to wait and see. I don't even know when potato-plantin' season IS here in South Florida! Just wanted to know what you all thought

-- Greenthumbelina (sck8107@aol.com), April 29, 2001


If they will get sun. you did it right. Potatoes will grow in nothing more than straw. enjoy Master Gardener Grant Eversoll

-- grant (organicgrange@yahoo.com), April 29, 2001.

Do you mean all the plants are withing a 2' x 2' area, or they are spaced 2' from eachother? The first is way too crowded, the second a bit to far apart.

Most spuds work best if spaced between 12 to 18" from eachother.

The other thing is many of them will rot if not cured for a day or so between being cut and being planted. The cut side needs to dry out.

You can get great plants by planting the whole spud. It doesn't pay to take the time to cut them up. You have to space them a bit farther apart, but you'r yield per square yard will be higher.


-- paul (p@ledgewood-consulting.com), April 29, 2001.

Thanks for your responses. Guess this is really gonna be more of an experiment than anyhting else. By the way, how often should I water them?

-- Greenthumbelina (sck8107@aol.com), April 30, 2001.

Hello Greenthumbilina, Store bought potatoes will grow fine if they have developed eyes then there is not growth inhibators sprayed on them. Keep in mind that growing potatoes in Florida is a lot different that in the other states. Potatoes grown in Florida often develop a fungi that stunts their growth considerably. Many of the "seed potatoes" that catalog companies sell automatically have a fungicide sprayed on the "seed potatoes". Growing them from store bought will require more attentiveness during their development. Water them a little less than normal, maybe every two or three days and watch to see if they sprout quickly. If they take more than a couple of weeks, dig out one and look to see if it has any rot or fungi covering it. If it does not and the roots are developing than I think you should be okay. If they have rot or fungi on them, you will have a crop of small potatoes, if they manage to survive. Sincerely, Ernest

-- http://communities.msn.com/livingoffthelandintheozarks (espresso42@hotmail.com), May 01, 2001.

It poured down rain here this morning and I went outside to check my little potato patch and quite a few of them just about floated away (DARN OLD FLAT, SANDY FLORIDA LAND)!. Anyhow, there are several that are just plain old sittin' there in the midst of a big puddle. Not only that, but I realized that the rain water rushes off the roof (no gutters) and right on down into part of the potato patch. The other part is covered by a small overhang (easment). (spelling?)

What do you think I should do with the exposed potatoes? Should I just toss some more soil, compost, vermiculite, and peat moss over them every time it rains? Do you think the use of shredded newspapers would have any benefit? Reason I ask is because I have PLENTY of it and it's FREE! I know it can get quite heavy once it gets wet though so maybe newspaper wouldn't be a good thing to use.

So that's about it for the potato problems for now anyway. Thanks again for your help.

Sincerely, Greenthumbelina

-- Greenthumbelina (sck8107@aol.com), May 01, 2001.

One way of growing potatoes in small numbers is to dig up a small patch of dirt, lay the spud on top and put a tire around it. Fill the tire about 3 inches deep with good soil. As the vine grows, keep adding more dirt and when the tire is full, stack another one on top. Don't burry all the leaves, but keep a few inches above ground. After the stack gets to be 3 or 4 tires high let the plant mature.

Since your spuds are washing out, something like the tire trick would help keep your soil in place. Straw mixed with the soil they are burried in works wonderfully. I would guess that shredded paper would be as good.

Since they were planted so thickly, you might be better with some washing out.


-- paul (p@ledgewood-consulting.com), May 02, 2001.

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