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re potato spraying


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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn smart weedkiller that can recognise a spud.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Her Ladyship on this one. As with heroin and cocaine, these things solve the immediate problem but then come back and bite us on the proverbial. Mind you, I used cocaine regularly in the 50's ....... at the dentist!
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Blowin, I think you are still trying to recognise the difference between Yoga and Tai Chi!!!!!!!!

Sprayed for blight last night for the first time this year. One of the neighbours told me that another neighbour has lost his spud crop this week to blight already and less than 1/2 a mile away. Heartbreaker. Too close for comfort for me so I gave them a good spraying.

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Blowin
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may be right, Mate, but I even feel guilty putting a few slug pellets round my lettuces etc. I've got enough fleece to cover my short run of Desiree main crop, so that'll do for them. Once the longer row of Markies has flowered, I'll chop the tops off but I'm waiting to see the results of an experiment I've done with them to deter slugs, fingers crossed!
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mange tout
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few quick questions about spuds

Despite being planted earlier, my early spuds are much smaller plants above ground now than my second earlies or main crop ones. Is this normal?

Do you ever really have to water spuds or do they benefit from it?

I earthed them up once and went to do it again there, but my second earlies and main crop ones were at least 50cm above the ground by then, is that too late to earth them up, as in should I have kept that in check as they went along?

Finally, for baby spuds do you just pull them up early?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What varieties and how much of an area do you have?
Q1. This would be normal.
Q2. You shouldn't have to water but even if you did what harm can it do? Especially in this mini heatwave. Some would say that a dry period is good as it enhances root growth.
Q3. Not sure at what point earthing up should stop.
Q4. Yes.

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mange tout
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks tagwex. I have 40 square meter allotment (space is a premium in dublin!) And a little over a quarter is spuds. Varieties are marabel, Maris peer, maris piper and one other one I can't remember.

I assume I can try the marabel as babies from now then as they are earlies? Is there any problem with me reaching in and pulling individual spuds as opposed to the whole plant?

Sorry its just apart from a few blue danubes last year this is the first time i've grown spuds
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to do that you might as well take up the whole plant as you just wouldn't know what damage you are doing to the root system which could knock back the plant in its future growth.
Patience is a virtue.

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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mange tout
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok thanks
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mangetout, to expand a little on when to stop earthing up, the more you earth them up the more spuds you get BUT, in a normal garden situation, that would mean you've got to leave a lot of ground either side of your row(s) from which to draw soil - and you say your space is limited.

Some gardeners have grown spuds in old dustbins to maximise yield. They remove the normally rusty bottom of the bin, stand it in a tray for watering purposes, then plant a seed at the bottom and keep earthing up until the dustbin's full. They then lift the bin slightly at cropping time, remove the spuds that show at the bottom, replace in the tray and keep doing that until finished. Reports of 40-50 kg are claimed but it does show that, if you keep earthing up, more spuds will grow.

As for when varieties mature, my Markies (second earlies) and Desiree (main crop) have all come together and, if it'll help, I keep a diary (or a calendar will do). As soon as I plant my seed potatoes, I count forward 14 weeks and put in a reminder to 'Try xxxx'. It usually works.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks blowin. Yes remember the discussion of the bin and remain intrigued by it. Might try it next year in sacks around the outside of allotment to save space. You end up throwing out seed potatoes anyway given the amount in a pack bought commercially.

Can I ask - how do the spuds get light at the bottom of the bin? If I use a sack I could furl up and then unfurl the sack as the plant grows, earthing up as I go.

Will try 14 week taster.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I think I've said, I've never actually tried this myself but I think, by removing spuds from the bottom, it will help those further up to fill out. If you use a sack, therefore, you'll either have to slit the bottom of it to achieve that, or you'll have to harvest the lot all at once and save the sack. Depends on the cost of sacks?

As for sourcing light, in the same way that growers force rhubarb, there'll be enough light from the top to make the spud struggle up towards it. As soon as the first leaves appear, I'd place a short length of six inch plastic pipe over them and fill in with soil round it. When the leaves reach the top of the pipe, I'd lift it a few inches and, again, fill soil round it, repeating this until the bin's full - at which time cross your fingers and hope. I suppose one theoretical benefit to this (if it works) is that a simple clear cover of some sort SHOULD protect it from blight?

Although I'm not short of space, I choose not to cultivate more than I have to, so this year I've experimented with my spuds. To have enough soil each side for earthing up, a row of spuds does need quite a bit of ground, As a 'freebie' with my seed order I had a largish packet of Calliente Mustard that is supposed to a) act as green manure and b) when dug back in will act as a biofumigant to create a nasty smell that slugs don't like (they say!). Now, here in Ireland the important planting time around March is usually the time we're all standing in the shed waiting for the rain to stop. As said elsewhere, I therefore semi-prepare my plot as I remove crops at the end of summer/autumn, and cover it with black plastic to hold back weed growth. On the first dry day of March, I remove the plastic and, with a quick rake, I'm into planting mode. For this reason I wasn't going to utilise green manure and waste time digging it back in before planting, but neither did I want to waste it if it would deter slugs.

In an attempt at getting the best of both worlds, I drew out a wide drill with my rake (about 15 inches or so wide) and applied a liberal quantity of chicken manure pellets throughout. I then planted my seed spuds as a double row down each side and spread all the Calliente Mustard down the middle before covering with soil as normal. The mustard was showing very quickly and was quite well established before the spuds poked their heads through. I don't bother to go through the chitting process fully, so plant anything with a viable shoot, but this does mean mine take rather longer to show.

By planting the double row I've certainly economised on space, which has only used about 1.5 rows width instead of 2. As I earthed them up the mustard has long since disappeared and will, I hope, keep the slugs away as it decays. If the amount of foliage is anything to go by, I'll be supplying Aldi but, of course, I don't know how good the crop will be underneath. Fingers well and truly crossed.

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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin wrote:
As I think I've said, I've never actually tried this myself but I think, by removing spuds from the bottom, it will help those further up to fill out. If you use a sack, therefore, you'll either have to slit the bottom of it to achieve that, or you'll have to harvest the lot all at once and save the sack. Depends on the cost of sacks.
My sister has one of those sacks on her patio. I have seen her rummage around on one side of the sack and pull out enough spuds for one meal, leaving the others for another day. They seem happy enough and the tops keep growing, so I presume the spuds do to?
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mange tout
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds interesting blowin. When you say double row, you've put the spuds in beside each other? That won't affect yield?

I think someone has to try the sack / ago method and post about it here. If I had time this year I'd throw a few in, albeit late just to see - I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket next year in case it doesn't work so will grow normally too.

Unfortunately I've no time at mo as I'm battling to keep weeds down as it is and plant more stuff or make up for stuff which hasn't done well.next year. Among the myriad other things permanently put off till next year.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep! If you imagine my 15 inch wide drill, I planted one row along one side and another opposite down the other side, so they're roughly a foot apart. I've pulled half a dozen spuds out of the end of each row (Markies and Desiree) and was quite pleased with what I got, but who knows whether or not I could have got more. My thought process is that both sides will be able to grow towards the middle which is common to both but ...........
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