Ask a Question forum: straw bale potatoes

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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Feb 25, 2014 8:58 PM CST
Has anyone tried the "new" way to grow potatoes by covering them with straw or leaves instead of dirt? Supposedly, they are much easier to harvest. If you tried it, what were the results?
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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
Feb 27, 2014 8:09 AM CST
I grew them once a few years back, right on top of the grass which we cut short, then we put the straw on top of the potatoes very thick. You should use small whole potatoes.
It worked very well, when the plants start to bloom you can start gathering potatoes without disturbing the mother plant.
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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Feb 27, 2014 9:25 AM CST
Thank you for the info. Did it change the potato crop at all? Bigger potatoes? More potatoes, less diseased potatoes?
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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
Feb 27, 2014 1:22 PM CST
Not a big change, except for less potato bugs and the convenience of harvesting without having to uproot the plants.
Also the potatoes were very clean and nice and you could take what you need at each time. Smiling
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Feb 27, 2014 1:31 PM CST
I planted mine in a trench but didn't seem to have any soil to keep hilling them so I just piled on the straw. Worked great!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Feb 27, 2014 1:51 PM CST
I do seem to recall that method is supposed to help reduce potato bugs, which sounds like another good reason to try it!
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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Feb 27, 2014 2:37 PM CST
Thank you all. I was going to use the uneaten portions of the round bales of hay my critters won't eat, (recycle) but I have been afraid of the weeds from the million + seeds. So, I think I'll just invest in some straw. I'm all for making things easy. I have 2 square areas I'm going to plant potatoes in. They are 8' x 8' each. Anyone have an idea how many square straw bales I will need? Do you pack it down, or just leave it fluffed?
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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frostweed
Feb 27, 2014 4:54 PM CST
I don't know how much you will need, just lay it down, not packed, and water it really well to settle it.
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Name: Jude
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
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obliqua
Mar 8, 2014 10:25 AM CST

I have a straw bales garden book. And it states that potatoes should be planted 10"-12" in the bale. Three potatoes to the bale.

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