No dig tatties again

Did anyone try them?, be interesting to hear how they are ‘performing’, ours are in flower, hope they do as well as last year :crossed_fingers:

Storing is a prob, we didn’t lose many Peter and the ones that ‘sprouted’ are the seeds in the ground now, most of the onions, various Cucurbitacés are those we have eaten over the last months, so,:+1: well pleased with our modest effort, Salad, peas and beans are doing ok too :slightly_smiling_face:

When we took over the garden it was a weed-infested wilderness Bill and my neighbour advised planting lots of tatties to ‘clean’ the soil, which worked a dream but gave us a very heavy crop, far too many for us two, particularly as my wife isn’t over fond of spuds at the best of times.

Same with salad, he seems to polish off a head of lettuce every day for breakfast, so most of the lettuce he helped us plant was wasted, or went to to seed, so I felt guilty, especially as he was so helpful to us both in helping us clear the garden of three years of complete neglect.

At least I have developed some gardening skills at his hand, and he is a kindly and patient instructor., with very high standards.

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We have doryphores on ours.

They can be a real nuisance. Neighbours pick them off by hand…it is a laborious procedure…

Prevention using natural methods:
Spray the plants with horseradish, nettle or tansy: Let the leaves of any of these plants… soak in water for 3 days… macerate the resulting mush and spray it on the plants.

Or grow these plants nearby…Garlic and the castor oil plant are excellent repellents against the Colorado Beetle…

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I will pass this on to my head gardener. Thanks.

Peter, The best way that I found for storing potatoes was to store them in a garden centre compost the cheap sort, store them in large wooden boxes or old dust bins, put a covering of compost and then add a layer of potatoes when covered put another layer of compost and so on, try not to let the potatoes touch each other and store in a cool dark area and they should store for up to 6-8 months.

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Excellent tip, mick, I shall make use of it this year. I have a large wooden chest that divides into two compartments, and I put casters on each corner to roll it into place. It has a heavy lid, which the potatoes, eager to be free, used their combined shoots to lift off and signal their desperation to reproduce. Heart-rending!:package: :cry::cry::slight_smile:

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And the compost is not wasted after you remove the potatoes, I use it for potting out the bedding plants, I use new compost every year for the potatoes because it is best when it is moist straight after opening the bag, I think the moisture stops the potatoes from drying out and then trying to grow new shoots.

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Here in coastal Maine, I’ve had luck by amending the soil with minerals the soil is deficient in. I’m not saying that it is the same mineral deficiency where you are, of course. But the results were significant after I had amended by adding magnesium (via Epsom salts) mixed with water, then watering with regular water from the hose.

I wonder if there is a way to obtain soil analyses, in France? Can you send a soil sample somewhere to get it analyzed? Tatties are heavy feeders.

Here’s something on storage from the ag extension at a US university, Clemson:
"Potatoes average 100 to 120 days to maturity. Harvest potatoes after most of the vines have died, a spade fork is useful for digging. Handle as gently as possible during harvest. Avoid skinning tubers when digging and avoid long exposure to light. Leave the tubers exposed to the sun just long enough for the soil to dry and fall off (usually about one to two hours).

"Potatoes for use in early summer (“new potatoes”) may be dug before the vines die. Dig early potatoes when tubers are large enough to eat.

"Harvest potatoes for storage about two weeks after the vines die down in midsummer. Fall harvest should be completed before frost to ensure the best quality.

“Late potatoes are best for winter storage. Potatoes can be stored in medium cool (40 to 50 ºF), moist (90 percent relative humidity) conditions for six to eight months. Sprouting is a problem when stored at higher temperatures.”

Here’s something on soils, soil tests, and growing:

"Follow the results of a soil test to maintain a soil pH between 5.8 and 6.5 and optimal fertility levels. In gardens where potato scab is a problem, keeping the pH of the soil between 5.0 and 5.3 can significantly decrease the level of disease in susceptible varieties. If a soil test has not been taken, remember that potatoes are heavy feeders and a complete fertilizer high in phosphorus (1 tablespoon of 10-20-10 per 10 feet of row) should be added before planting. Work the fertilizer into the furrow and mix with the soil before planting. Sidedress about six weeks after planting (when tubers begin forming) with a high nitrogen fertilizer (5 tablespoons 33-0-0 per 10 feet of row).

"Seed potatoes should be firm and unsprouted. Use seed pieces that have at least one good eye and are about the size of 1- to 2-inch cubes. Seed pieces should be cut three to five days before planting to allow the cut surfaces to heal.

"Plant potatoes in late winter. Plants will resist a light frost, but hard frosts and freezes may set back growth. Potatoes prefer a cool spring and moisture throughout the growing season.

"Plant potatoes in furrows with the cut side down 3 to 5 inches deep. Later crops should be planted 5 to 6 inches deep. Space the seed pieces 8 to 10 inches apart. Pull a ridge of soil over each row when planting. Twelve pounds of seed potatoes will plant 100 feet of row.

“Another method of growing potatoes is above-ground in mulch. Place seed pieces on top of the soil or 1 inch below soil level, and cover with a 12- to 18-inch layer of straw or pine needles. The tubers will form in the mulch. Harvesting is considerably easier using this method. Move the straw aside to harvest early potatoes. Replace straw to allow plants to produce more potatoes until the vines die.” --Barbara H. Smith, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension

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Looks like ours will be a catatrophe this year, too dry an’ to 'ot :roll_eyes:

“no-dig”…“ready-baked” sounding good to me… :wink:

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Just having tatties would do me S’, I will arrange the cookin’ :+1: