Re: [gardeners] Re: Potatoes

Allen and Judy Merten (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 04:26:03 -0500

Hi Penny,
    I guess I should have said it was to humid under normal growing
conditions. We plant potatos in January and harvest in May or June. The
last two months of winter, Jan and Feb are usually faily wet. May is our
wettest month. April is usually a rainy month, I believe 3rd. My main
worry with my spring potatos is rotting from too much water. The mulch
that I had in mind is indeed a compost type material.
    If you have pine trees, your soil is probably acidic naturally. If
your White Pines are a naturally occuring species and you weren't there
to rake up the needles they would deteriate over time and return to the
soil adding acid to it. I don't think that you will take your soil
anywhere it wouldn't go naturally anyway.
    Our soil is moderately acidic. We have Loblolly Pines as a native
tree. I use the pine needles as mulch in my garden. I don't remove it,
just till it in at the end of one season when preparing for the next.
The only garden vegetable I have trouble growing is spinach. So I grow
Mustard Greens, Collard Greens and am going to try New Zealand Spinach.
It is supposed to do ok in acidic soil.
    I think your pine needles will make an excellent top dressing for
your beds.
Bastrop Co.,Tx
Zone 8

penny x stamm wrote:

> Allen, it is surprising that your area was so arid this summer,
> but nevertheless it is too humid to grow potatoes in mulch..
> In this case, what is meant by 'mulch'..?  Compost?
> We now have a record drop of white pine needles completely
> obscuring the lawn and shrubbery! Jimmie took two sweeps
> of 60 ft round trip with the mulching mower, and picked up two
> very full barrels of just needles, all of which had dropped within
> about 28 hrs... I was going to add them to the compost, but
> it occurred to me that this would make the finished product
> too acid...? There is room for all of them as a top dressing
> amongst the rhodies, so that is now my choice. What do you
> think?
> The needle drop will be finished in a few days, and then the leaf
> drop will begin. I usually pile all the grass which gets mowed on
> top of the compost, alternated with all of the "mowed" leaves. It
> makes a wonderful mulch for the next summer's use.
> Penny, NY
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