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Growing potato's in the Portland Area?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Decker, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    This is going to be my first year at gardening and I'm pretty clueless. What sticks in my mind is that a number of years ago I had a friend that mentioned growing potato's in his garden. Is there anything particularly difficult about growing spuds that I should know of?

    Heck, while I am at it, any advice from the more knowledgeable about what beginner mistakes to avoid and/or things that are the 'must know' type pearls of wisdom...


    Pondering,

    -d
     
  2. Ravenous

    Ravenous West Linn, OR Member

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    I don't have any first hand experience but my parents grew potatoes in 8 inch high raised flower beds in southeast Portland with great success and I don't believe they did anything special beyond blending mulch into the soil and I believe manure fertilizer.
     
  3. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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  4. gunnails

    gunnails Hillsboro Active Member

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    Potatoes are very easy to grow, even cheaper to buy.

    Tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, etc., are more expensive to buy.

    Zucchini squash yields well and is easy.

    In some ways it easier and certainly more productive to have a large garden, but if you are limited on space I would stick to tomatoes and herbs,
     
  5. billcoe

    billcoe PDX Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Yeah, what gunnails said, except that potatoes are very easy to grow, just make sure that your dirt is in good condition, if it's all clay like and compacts hard when wet, add some sand or compost, you can get sand at most of the rivers locally and you already should be composting...right? You want well conditioned soil that drains well for any root crop....turnips, horseradish, etc etc.
     
  6. Wheeler44

    Wheeler44 SW Washington Member

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    If you are just starting your garden potatoes are good "first crop" especially if ya grow "lazy mans' potatoes"

    Lazy mans' potatoes.......

    Scrounge one bale of old musty or erosion control straw... get the old sprouted spuds from the bottom drawer of the 'fridge...you know..the ones with the sprouts starting on them......Open the bale and split into "leafs" about 2-1/2" thick.....lay half of the leafs on the ground..cut the seed potatoes so that there are about three "Eyes" (sprouts) on each piece....put three pieces of the seed spud on each "leaf" of straw........."fluff" the rest of the "leafs"and cover your potato bed.....water and wait..........

    You can add compost, leaves and or seaweed to the mix.......


    In late May through mid June "Thin" your spuds so that you have a "hill" every 3 feet or so..save the small spuds..... Use the small "new" potatoes in a cream or hollandaise sauce with the peas that you should be putting in the ground right now, for a dish called "Creamed new potatoes and peas"........Yummy.......

    W44


    These spuds won't be real pretty but they taste and store just fine......Harvest in fall....plow, till or turn the bed under and plant next years peas, or any other fall plant crop, on the plot.....
     
  7. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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  8. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    Wheeler's on it. Easiest way of spudding out there. I've done it (though not with the finesse he details.... same principle, though.... plant above ground and under some sort of mulch like straw. Maybe last year's old leaves on the bottom, straw on top.

    When its time to harvest, simply kick the straw off the spuds, reach down, pick them up and toss them into the bucket/wheelbarrow/stewpot. Easy peasy.
     
  9. eriknemily

    eriknemily Tillamook County (Cheese!) Member

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    I love that magazine. We're going to try some of the gardening techniques they described in this latest issue. I think the potatoes in straw is going to be a fun adventure. We're also going to try building a cold frame (minature green house thing) this year too. As lame as it sounds I'm kind of excited about our garden this year:eek:
     
  10. eriknemily

    eriknemily Tillamook County (Cheese!) Member

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    Here's another Backwoods Home Article (this is my plug for the magazine) that also explains the potatoes-in-straw method. Good luck with your garden.
     
  11. Wheeler44

    Wheeler44 SW Washington Member

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    Another trick an Ol' Sourdough told me when I was but a sprout myself;

    In mid summer..After the purple flowers are gone and the vines are "bolting"..Put on a pair of powder snow snowshoes(the biggest ones) and tromp the vines down... gently.......This seems to increase spud size and quantity....Be careful not to kill the plant.....
     
  12. Bubba Rogowski

    Bubba Rogowski Southwest Portland Member

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    Agreed. The method I used was bury them underground, and then continously heaping dirt over time to always keep the stalks half buried. I read that online after a simple search. I went with mounds but rows were recomended, too. Gotta agree about the yield/value perspective. I watered my small mound and heaped dirt on the stalks all summer for a one skillet of fries.....I also believe the you cannot use the same dirt more than once per 3 years for taters. That tire thing sounds promising, though.
     
  13. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    This. Best method for small production sizes. Beats having to break the ground late in the year.
     
  14. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    I grow them in 5 gallon pots. It makes harvesting them really easy. Start with the pot half full and then just add some dirt as the plant grows. I also have them growing in one area of my garden. When digging them up I just leave the small ones in the ground and they come back the next year.
     
  15. TAT2D

    TAT2D Portland Member

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    Too true, and makes sense if your goal is to replace the high-$ crops with your own production. OTOH, if the goal is to be prepared to sustain yourself when potatoes from the store aren't available, it makes sense to at least know what's involved (practice) growing some.

    MrB
     
  16. gunnails

    gunnails Hillsboro Active Member

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    =====================================================

    +1, not to mention when you grow your own veggies you control what kind of fertilzers, pesticides, hormones, you are willing to eat.
     
  17. Wheeler44

    Wheeler44 SW Washington Member

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    Plus spuds sown in April (or so) will produce food as soon as June....

    In the early times in Ireland, a typical wedding present would be a patch of lazy man's spuds and other root crops and a "soddy"(small hovel)...Newlyweds would be self sufficient by fall.......
     
  18. Neil

    Neil Portland Metro Area Member

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    I have been doing this method and my yield is amazing! I grew 6 or 7 types of potatoes last year. The Yukon Gold potato is my favorite the red fingerling potato was a close second. I grow my potatoes in a 12" tall raised bed with a quality mixed medium. I also try to rotate my potato growing spot yearly.

    Another good way is to grow your spuds in a large 1/2 whisky barrel.

    Oh my favorite thing about the hardier potatoes I have grown, I have left them in the ground until needed (sometimes 6+ months after they have been ready to harvest). People find it a bit confusing that I am able to dig potatoes out of my garden in the winter. I credit a large amount of my success due to the well draining raised bed.

    Have fun growing your veggies.
     
  19. alphapygmy

    alphapygmy Yamhill County Active Member

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