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Information and discussion for successfully cultivating potatoes, the world's fourth largest crop.

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Old May 26, 2020   #1
GoDawgs
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Default Tater Diggin' Time

Yesterday was potato digging day. Some of the potato plants had continued that wilting problem although the soap water treatment seemed to reduce the ant problem. The potatoes probably could have used the extra two weeks to the 100 day mark, but we dug them in case the potatoes themselves had a problem. Other than being a bit smaller than usual, they're fine. In this pic the tops have been cut off so that we could see any ant hills that might be about before digging. It's an 18'x4' bed.



The Yukon Golds are in the front and the Kennebec in the back. They've been drying off in the shed overnight so they haven't been weighed yet. There's definitely not as many as last year's haul, but it's enough for just the two of us since there's no cellar here. This was the first time growing them in a raised bed and it was hard to hoe up enough soil to do two decent hillings. No more raised bed for potatoes.

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Old May 26, 2020   #2
Tracydr
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Looks good. Mine suffered from flea beetles and a few of them have some sort of brown spots inside ,wire worms?
The reds seemed to fare better than the Yukon golds. I may try planting some in the fall and if that works better, give them some row cover for protection from bugs and light frost.
I Hav a small bat he of purple sweet potato slips that I started from store bought since I couldn’t find any, will probably plant them this week since it will be overcast and rainy,they are small but would do well.
Is it too late to plant some peanuts? That’s something I’ve never tried.
I planted soy beans for edamame this week which is also new to me. I put them in the onion patch when I pulled them up.
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Old May 27, 2020   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracydr View Post
Is it too late to plant some peanuts? That’s something I’ve never tried.
Peanuts take anywhere from 100-120 days depending on variety. I've tried peanuts twice and never had any luck with them. To keep them hydrated during our hot summers I've had to mulch them. But then when the plant stems start pegging down into the ground to form peanuts, the mulch kinda messes with that. I decided it was easier to just buy peanuts.

If anyone has tips on successfully growing peanuts, I'd love to hear them.
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Old February 12, 2021   #4
Gardeneer
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I was just curiously reading. I am in the same
southern region, Southwest NC.
I will plant mine in mid March. So by the time
they poke out we will be grost free.
I get potato Beatles. This year I will spray the heck of them.
Anyhow, I just grow like 20 hills. Red ones seem
to do better than the Golden.
I get organic potatoes from store and plant them.
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Old February 12, 2021   #5
GoDawgs
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Potato beetles seem to be one of those "on" years-"off" years thing. Last year was an off year. I picked off maybe three or four and that was it. I start scouting early, thoroughly checking each branch for adults or those pink jelly-like larvae and picking them off before they hatch. Last year I found just those few adults and no larvae but then I had the potato patch a good ways from the previous year's.

There are three good articles in my Pest file about these critters and controlling them. Unfortunately the links are now kaput which is why I copy off and file this stuff. Here's one on control:

Control Colorado Potato Beetle with a Mix of Strategies
http://www.vegetablegardener.com/ite...-of-strategies
The feeding beetles lay yellow-orange eggs clustered in groups, usually on the undersides of leaves. The larvae, which look like fat, globular, slow-moving caterpillars, change from brown to pink as they grow, developing two rows of black spots along each side of their abdomen≥

Handpicking may be all you need to protect a small plot of potatoes. Picking is easiest early in the day when the beetles are cold and slow to move. Collect the beetles in a wide-mouth jar, coffee can, or deep baking pan, half full of soapy water. Place the container below leaves with beetles or larvae and shake the plant. The insects will fall into the container and drown. Larvae and egg masses also can be squished on the leaves. Gloves make the job easier.

Planting dates turn out to be important for the control of Colorado potato beetle. A standard recommendation is to plant potatoes very early (early April in Ohio, for instance), so that the plants bloom before June, and the beetle damage occurs too late to affect yield.

Planting potatoes in, or just beneath, a thick straw mulch has been shown to reduce damage from a number of potato pests, including aphids and flea beetles, as well as Colorado potato beetles.

Using row covers is a useful tactic. Anchor the covers securely into the soil because Colorado potato beetles are strong walkers and could move in under unburied row cover edges.

A number of new Btt (Bacillus thuringiensis tenebrionis) products have high selectivity for Colorado potato beetles and virtually no mammalian toxicity. Btt works best against the early larval stages, so must be timed properly. Wait until all the egg masses have hatched. You can tell because only the shells will be left, and little larvae will be crawling nearby. The larvae have to eat the Btt from the leaf, so coat the leaves thoroughly, especially the undersides.


Finally, here's an interesting control method:



https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/g...beetle-control

Surrounding your potato patch with a plastic-lined, V-shaped trench can also reduce the number of adults that reach your plants in spring. As they emerge from the soil and head for the plants, they'll fall into the trench, where they can't get out, and you can destroy them.

Place row cover over the potatoes after planting and leave it on until you are ready to harvest.
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