Re: [gardeners] Re: Potatoes

George Shirley (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 07:58:03 -0700

Allen and Judy Merten wrote:
> 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.
> Allen
> Bastrop Co.,Tx
> Zone 8
We use pine needles for a mulch under our blueberries and the azaleas,
partially for the acidic boost and mostly because they mat good and stay

Allen, our garden runs slightly acidic, about 6.5 pH and New Zealand
spinach grows like a weed for us. Very good lightly steamed, freezes
well, and dehydrates very well. I usually dry about a gallon container
for winter use, ie soups and stews. Put it somewhere it can climb or run
along the ground and just pick the leaves as you need them. It's
supposed to be a perennial but I just found that out this year so will
plant along the fence where it's out of the way.