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Lazybeds vs drills for spuds


 
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JohnGalway
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:28 pm    Post subject: Lazybeds vs drills for spuds Reply with quote

I'm bothered by methodology.

Last year I grew my spuds in drills and I was happy with the result in terms of yield. The way I went about making the drills I made a lot of work for myself.

This year I am thinking I'll do all in lazybeds or ridges as we'd call them here.

Now I am wondering will I get the same return in terms of yield and size as I did with the drills given the differing spacings?

I am told the traditional spacing for a ridge is to have three rows per ridge, with each row ten inches apart. I think I was also told to have ten inches between spuds in rows too.

The spacings on the seed spud bag is presumably for drills and reads 24-30 inches between rows. And 12-18 inches between spuds in rows.

Has anyone tried both methods and can you comment on differences in yield and size of spuds?

I would like to maximise my return for work put in.
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The Garden Shop
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maximum result + minimum effort = potato grow bags...
No digging required!! Just remember to earth up every 4 to 5 weeks
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JohnGalway
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do I get the feeling you sell potato grow bags?

I was asking about drills versus ridges.
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Lius
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is being discussed on another thread. See:-

http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about6457.html
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mcgrueser
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say you must be ready to go mad, JohnGalway! Your question is not being answered at all and now people are being linked away to a topic that you don't want to know about!!

I am also awaiting experienced replies for this topic because I was going to convert some of my patch into potato beds using lazy beds. I want to know if the output vs input is reasonable. I was going to just turn a line of sods and put the seed spud in with some manure but wanted to know how people felt on it...
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cooler
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnGalway wrote:
Why do I get the feeling you sell potato grow bags?

I was asking about drills versus ridges.


He is not selling growbags but just trying to get across the idea that it is the mounding up of soil around the growing potato plant that give you the biggest yeild. Sure lazy beds are easier, but the return from them is lower than a well watered grow in a bag or well mounded up ridges. It is the gradual increase in height by the gardener that will give you a large crop.

How do I know this, well I have tried all three methods.

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richrua
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:14 pm    Post subject: drills v ridges Reply with quote

hello. I have tried drills and they work ok. I have also tried a different kind of lazy bed. Basically i dug over as usual in winter. Then loosened the soil along a line. I added a line of compost . then placed the spuds along the line at the same spacing for a drill. then earthed up from both sides to form a ridge and earthed up a couple of times after that. for it to work ok you need about three foot between rows to give you plenty of earth to bring up. good yields.
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Lazybeds vs drills for spuds Reply with quote

Firstly, I'd like to say that I like your use of the term "ridges" rather than "lazy beds". So many of our own terms (e.g. "sprouting", "rising to the potatoes") are being replaced by terms from elsewhere (e.g. "chitting", "earthing up").
In Cork they're referred to as " taobh fhóds".
I first encountered "lazy beds" about five years ago. Despite the term, it is not necessarily a low effort approach. Apparently it was a derogatory term that was used for this method of planting potatoes.

I've tried both. I usually use ridges but on two occasions I have used "lazy beds". Alas, I cannot do a direct comparison. Last year, as I'm sure you well know, was not a year that can be used in any benchmark. It was so wet, cold and dull that I'd exclude it. The other time I used "lazy beds" I'd also used copious amounts of seaweed. Any increased yield could be attributed to the seaweed. So any difference in yield or size cannot be attributed to the "lazy beds".

I did get this impression though. The tubers tended to be flatter than normal. I'm thinking this is because the ground beneath the potatoes had not been dug/cultivated, the sod on top of the potatoes had not been dug/cultivated, but the zone where the tubers grew was between these and was filled with cultivated soil, compost and manure.
It's as though the tuber was being sandwiched by the more compacted soil above and below. As a result it grew more along the horizontal plane than in other directions.
This is just a hunch.

For actually creating a "lazy bed", you'll need a sod or turf surface. I can't imagine how it's possible to create a "lazy bed" on cultivated or crumbly soil. You'll need to be able to cut out a sod on three sides, then fold it over the seed potato and the compost/manure, intact. If the soil was cultivated or dug over, it will crumble when you try to fold it over. (I'm not sure if I'm being clear here?).

If I was to plant potatoes on a virgin plot, e.g. a lawn, I would definitely consider "lazy beds". But if it was bare earth, or had been planted with crops the previous year, then I'd go with drills.

As for spacing, the way I've seen it done, and done it myself, is no different from drills.



047_opt.jpg
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Some of my "lazy beds" from last year.
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Last edited by My Potatoes on Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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richrua
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice photo.

you might all like this link I found to an old book with details of Lazy Bed constuction.

search on google for: 'holes made with a steeveen'. book is called 'irish Folk ways'

I think it would be also worth noting that Lazy Beds were mainly used in areas of shallow soil (or no soil at all - see Aran Islands etc) . The clever thinking obviously that it was difficult to dig down, so build up instead.

Also worth noting that in some places the rig /ridge / bed was prepared first and sets added later through holes made with a steeveen.

I would suggest no matter what style of planting you try, that you do draw up more soil around the haulms as this is how you get more spuds. I dont dig a furrow, I pop mine along a row, cover with soil to form the ridge. Add more soil from between rows as they grow. Apart from last year .... this method has done well yield wise and the weeds are also kept at bay because I am working the soil between rows to draw it up.

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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The correct spelling for that lazy bed term is "taobh fhóds", and the expression used was turning taobh fhóds. A Mountcollins spade was the tool used.

The seed potatoes were cut into scilleáns and scilleógs. The scilleáns would contain 2 or 3 eyes; the scilleógs were the leftovers containing no eyes.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The correct spelling for that lazy bed term is "taobh fhóds", and the expression used was turning taobh fhóds. A Mountcollins spade was the tool used.

The seed potatoes were cut into scilleáns and scilleógs. The scilleáns would contain 2 or 3 eyes; the scilleógs were the leftovers containing no eyes.


My old man calls the cut section of seed potatoes with 2 or 3 eyes..... "Schlitts", said in a broad west of Ireland accent.
I always thought it came from the word "slits", but it may be tied in with the scilleáns and scilleógs.

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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Kilkelly, was GPI. wrote:

My old man calls the cut section of seed potatoes with 2 or 3 eyes..... "Schlitts", said in a broad west of Ireland accent.



Do you happen to know if this procedure was done when they were being sprouted, or was it just prior to planting? I believe it was the former.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


Do you happen to know if this procedure was done when they were being sprouted, or was it just prior to planting? I believe it was the former.


Only if we were short of seed near the end of planting.
A day or two at the most before planting.
The "schlitts" had lime dust shook over them, then they were tumbled over a few times in this curative/sealant.
Then into the ground with them.

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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some spelling corrections and dictionary translations:

sceallán: potato set or small potato
sceallóg: thin slice or potato chip
taobhfhód: the lateral sod in a potato ridge
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scotty
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Connemara, they have always been called sciolláin. The part of the potato which has no eyes and therefore could not be planted, was often used as feed for cattle and these bits are called Logáin.

We have always planted in lazy beds (iomaire) and our soil is shallow and stony here. However our little garden has had so much manure/seaweed/compost over the years that it is quite deep and rich now, so we are going to try the more traditional drills for the first time ever.
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