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13 messages
01/04/2012 at 22:05

how can i plant potatoes in layers in a ton bag the one you get sand in from the builders merchant

03/04/2012 at 21:22

you cant really plant them in layers but you could fit up to 20 potatoes plants if the soil is deep and rich in the bag make sure it dose not dry out keep it  moist

13/11/2012 at 21:00

Potatoes are easy to grow, but they prefer cool weather so you should try to get them into the ground at the right time. You can order seed potatoes through mail-order garden companies or buy them at local garden centers or hardware stores.  (You could use supermarket potatoes, but be aware they have probably been treated with chemicals to inhibit sprouting, so they may not grow well.) Store your seed potatoes in the refrigerator.

07/12/2012 at 00:38
Question! Does anyone know where I can
Source Merabel seed potatoes. Sold as
Baking potatoes in supermarkets. ( produce
Of Spain?). Would love to grow , as they
Are really good .
07/12/2012 at 01:08

Cas, I hesitate to say Google, but if you do you can take your choice of places to buy them.  But do check their blight resistance as some commercial varieties are better grown by the professionals than amateurs.

07/12/2012 at 01:28
Ok thanks for reply. But more of a novice
On computer than veg growing . So could really
Do with a lead or supplier name. Just to
Get me heading in right direction.
07/12/2012 at 06:29

I think you may mean Marabel - they're a commercial variety and probably only available to commercial growers in large quantities, but here are contact details, you can try your luck http://www.eurogrow.co.nz/varieties/marabel

I don't think Welshonion was casting aspersions upon your gardening ability, but as was said the methods practised by large agricultural growers are somewhat different to those usually practised by gardeners and commercial varieties are developed to perform best under those conditions.  However, for all we know you may have knowledge and experience of largescale agricultural methods (I'm probably not the only board member with a potato farmer in the family), and even if you don't you are of course, free to give them a go.  It would be interesting to hear how you get on.  We can all learn from others' experiences.

If you can't get seed potatoes from a supplier I understand that Asda sometimes stock Marabel so you could get some from there, but they may well have been treated with a chemical to prevent sprouting.  This is not always done so you could try asking Asda for their product spec. 

07/12/2012 at 11:26
Thanks again. Umm yep bad spelling again!
Will try suggested eurogrow.co and ask asda for
Product spec .Im Not a commercial grower,
Just a very enthusiastic allotmenteer who
Loves a challenge . Thanks again, will let
You know if I have any success growing a crop,
If indeed I manage to get any seed potatoes, or
Untreated off the shelf( so to speak).
07/12/2012 at 12:27

I use potato bags. I fill them about third full of compost, lay 3 seed potatoes down. Add another third and put in 2 more then fill right up to top of bag with compost. When the first leaves appear, the compost will have settled so I top up right to the top again.

I have had great success this way. Tried for Christmas potatoes and have 2 bags full  of new potatoes waiting to be harvested for Christmas dinner.

07/12/2012 at 17:19

Sorry if I was misunderstood, but I think amateur growers should steer clear of commercial varieties as grown for the supermarkets.  I suspect commercial growers use gallons of herbicide/pesticides which are not available to the home grower.  From the descriptions Marebel sounds a cracking potato, but there are lots and lots of other wonderful potatoes available too.

My heart sinks a bit when people tell me they are growing Charlotte.  Fine potato, but there are more adventurous varieties which you will never see in the supermarket.

With regard to Google, just put in 'Marebel seed potatoes'.  Some people think just saying 'Google It' is dismissive, but it is such a wonderful way of finding out about everything.  Though don't believe everything you read on the net!

08/12/2012 at 00:12

Hi Richard,  Potatoes will keep growing upwards if you keep adding more compost/soil as they grow, so I would put a layer of compost/soil about 20cm deep in the bottom of the ton bag and then place up to 20 potatoes on top, evenly spaced.  Cover them with another layer of compost/soil about 10cm deep.  When the leaves appear, add another 10cm layer of compost/soil.  Keep adding another layer of compost/soil each time the leaves appear above the new soil until the bag is about 2/3rds full.  This is the standard way to grow potatoes in any kind of bag and should result in potatoes forming all the way from the bottom to the top.  You can begin harvesting small "new" potatoes as soon as flowers form, but if you want them to grow as large as possible, leave them until the leaves naturally die.  Do watch for blight though and if black spots appear on the leaves and rapidly spread, cut all of the tops off at soil level and start harvesting immediately. 

09/12/2012 at 19:27

Welshonion and you would be wrong about comercall growers spraying tons of chemical and pesticides.

the reason commercial growers use the varieties they do is the varieties are hardy less desease prone and grow well in variety of weather condition. farmers need crop to be consistant since crop failure means they may lose there farm and grow broke.

 

09/12/2012 at 20:04

Birdwatch, I'm afraid you're wrong.  Of course commercial growers need their crops to be disease free and consistent croppers, but the varieties grown are chosen by the supermarkets with whom they have contracts to supply - but take it from me that in order to achieve the quality required by the supermarkets,  commercial non-organic potato farmers apply a large number of  treatments throughout the season.  See here 

http://www.ukagriculture.com/production_cycles/potatoe_production_cycle.cfm

 and here http://www.potato.org.uk/news/desiccation-programmes

plus the broadcast application of slug pellets at frequent intervals throughout the growing season.  I can assure you that these treatments are also practised by potato farmers in the USA.

As I said, my brother is a large commercial potato farmer. 

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