Re: [gardeners] Perfect potato plants

matt trahan (
Thu, 03 Sep 1998 01:30:40 EDT


Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998 01:40:00 -0500
From: Allen and Judy Merten <>
Subject: Re: [gardeners] Perfect potato plants

Hi Matt,
    First are Yukon Gold potatoes recommended for your area?
    Second, did you plant potatoes from the grocery or were they actually
seed potatoes?
    Third, since your soil is sandy loam why not plant in your soil?
I planted Lasoda(red) potatoes in the spring. We have sandy loam also. We
harvested over 500lbs of potatoes from an area about 30 x 60.
I really like Yukon Gold potatoes when we buy them from the store. My
extension agent said they were not recommended for our area though.
I have begun to plant fall potatoes also. I saved the smallest potatoes
the spring crop for seed. I hope they turn out ok.
    One other thing. Did you plant small whole potatoes or did you cut
eyes out in ice cube sized chunks? Here it is recommended to plant the
potatoes in the spring and the small whole potatoes in the fall.
Bastrop Co.,Tx

Hi Allen,
Thanks for the advice.
 First, I don't really like potatos. ;-) Never planted them before. I
planted these for the ladies I spend time with up in Surry, Va.
 Cyn got some seed potatoes from a certified organic mail order source.
She really loves Yukon Golds, but I don't think the subject of locally
appropriate ever came up. We both live in a fairly Ag area. Red potatos
and new potatos are a farm staple where I live in NC, 80 miles south of
Surry, Va. I never thought about different varieties not working in
different areas.
 Second,  I cut them up way too small, judging from your and Margarets
comments. I cut them down to one or two small eyes apiece.
 Third, She got a "better mousetrap" bin from a catalog she usually
likes, so we went for it. I've heard of lots of posts on the Square Foot
list rave about potatos in straw, similar to the bin setup we used, so I
just assumed it would work fine.

 The one area I'm sure I failed in was adequate watering. The bin is
about the farthest thing away from water, and I *was* afraid of rotting
them (and way too lazy), so I never made it a point to connect the third
hose and drag it over there.
 Don't think I did it more than 4-5 times this season. The plant tops
always looked ok, and usually looked great, so I kept letting it slide,
but I don't think it was enough.
 For comparison, I *had* to water everything else several times a week,
every week since the beginning of June.
 In Surry, Va. the first light frost will be around October 15 to the 30.
Should I bother trying again this year? And how small is small for the
whole fall potaos? I have a number of them no bigger than marbles.
 Do you plant in rows or hills? Do you add material
(dirt/compost/whatever) around the plants after the plants are growing
 (I just deleted the gardeners digest by accident. I'm using Juno and
windows 3.1 on a 386DX 33MHz up here in Surry. Would love to toss all of
it and talk Jackie into a new machine. Took my sister in law to a
computer show in Virgina Beach last weekend. She got a 233MHz MMX,
x32CDROM, 56Y modem, 3Gig harddrive, Windoze 98, etc. etc. for only

 Last year they did a 20 x 20 patch of them and got maybe 30lbs. It was
even dryer last year, and I think most things got less supplimental water
then I gave the potatos this year.
 I wasn't coming up as often then, and then it was just to visit and mess
with the flowers and shrubs and doing a couple of small brick on sand
patios. I wasn't really doing much veggie work for them then. I usually
just work with shrubs and perennials in 1 gallon pots and up.
 Other than a few token tomatos and pepper plants bought in sixpacks,
I've never  even had a veggie garden. I'm learning this year through
working up here that direct sown veggie seeds need more consistent water
than I'm used to providing. ;-)

 Thanks again for the advice

Matt Trahan,  OR
USDA zone 8, AHS heat zone 7, Sunset zone 31, northeastern North Carolina

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