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Growing Food Crops: Hints & "Secrets" Others Might Not Know

Discussion in 'Food Talk' started by Sunnier, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Jan 12, 2018 at 12:55 PM
    #1
    Sunnier

    Sunnier [OP] Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    I wrote out instructions in response to something I saw on Tundras.Live then decided it might be cool to start a thread, in case others will chime in with what they know. I put this in Food instead of Hobbies because I never think about gardening, but I do think about Food. And how to grow it, prepare it, and eat it.
     
  2. Jan 12, 2018 at 12:55 PM
    #2
    Sunnier

    Sunnier [OP] Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    First up, potatoes:

    I've had excellent luck with potatoes:

    1. Make a tower about 3 1/2' high and radius 2 1/2' or so, using chicken wire. Till some soil in the ground wherever you want to put it (just so roots can go down if they want, but they won't). Put a few inches of straw down, over an area a bit bigger than the circumference of your potato tower.

    2. Set the tower in place. If it's windy low near the ground where you live, you can stake it to secure it in place. This has never been necessary for me.

    3. Put down another inch or so of straw inside the tower and then add some straw up the sides to line the inside of the tower. This is to hold in place:

    4. about 3-4" of rich soil, loose, not packed. I use well-aged manure but it should be dry, not wet. (The reason for this is, although you'll need to water your tower, if you use "wet" manure, it's going to continue "composting", which will heat and rot your potato buds.)

    5. Put down "healed" portions of potatoes with eyes developed* in a rough circle inside the perimeter of the chicken wire tower, about 1-2" from the outside, maybe 3" between each... about 5 usually does it. Cover with about 4" of soil, again loose, not packed. Make sure the straw lines the area between the soil and the chicken wire; it mostly keeps the soil from pouring out when you water, but does not have to be firmly packed because the potato shoots need to be able to push through it.

    By "healed" I mean, if you have a seed potato (any potato that has grown "eyes" is a seed potato), you can put the whole potato down or, for more production using fewer seeds, you can cut potatoes into segments, as long as each has at least 1 or 2 well-developed eyes. Using segments actually works best for this method... in the sunny, dry place I live, but if you live somewhere wet, probably whole potatoes would resist rot better.

    If you do cut your seed potatoes into segments, set the segments somewhere dry so the parts that you cut (all edges that don't have peel) can "heal". Overnight in SoCA, maybe longer somewhere humid). Once those edges are dry, your seeds have "healed" and are ready to be planted sooner than later... but may be more prone to rot than whole potatoes, so that's why it's best to use rich but aged soil.

    6. Water the potatoes where you remember placing those seeds. A good, deep soak the first time (only a couple minutes, 'cause there's hardly anything to water at this point), then daily or every other day as needed to keep the soil from drying out.

    Potatoes will grow through the straw and chicken wire out the sides of the tower, as well as up through the soil. You don't need to do anything with the plants that grow out the sides. However,

    7. Let the plants that grow up out of the soil get "2 or 3 clumps of leaves tall" then add soil (loose, never pack it down) to cover (weird, but true!) the lower sets of leaves, leaving the tallest leaves exposed to do all the photosynthesis stuff (while the ones you cover with soil will magically transform into potatoes.):transformer:

    This method is my favourite because it grows many potatoes in a very small space, from just that first layer of potato "seeds". The soil warms earlier in the season than if you wait for the ground to warm up. This is handy in places or at times of year when you have "short" days, because the whole tower can be located so it is exposed sunlight. And if you start when frost is still a risk, it's fairly easy to cover the whole tower with a tarp or blanket when needed. It also drains well, unlike a barrel or some of the growing bags that only allow growth to the top.

    Mostly, it's fun to watch! I've done this regularly, teaching grade school kids to grow veggies in a school garden, and it's always a big hit because, once the plants shoot out, there's a lot of progress week to week. When it's time to harvest, we tip the whole thing over and pull the chicken wire tower free than do a piñata style scavenge hunt.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    TRDFaux, pvdubber, MotoTundra and 5 others like this.
  3. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:01 PM
    #3
    nowayout

    nowayout New Member

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    I'll enjoy this thread. I want to learn how to grow mushrooms.
     
  4. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:04 PM
    #4
    COMiamiFan

    COMiamiFan ^^^ Badge of Awesomeness!

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    When you mentioned "consumables", I thought this was gonna be a thread on pot brownies, gummies, etc. :rofl:
     
  5. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:06 PM
    #5
    boardude

    boardude I am Batman

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    Your mom
    Samesies. Do these tips apply to mary jane?
     
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  6. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:20 PM
    #6
    MatthewPTguy

    MatthewPTguy New Member

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    Me too.. what else would it be? I live in Oregon after all... I suppose the term would have been “edibles “.... or so I’m told...
     
  7. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:26 PM
    #7
    Sunnier

    Sunnier [OP] Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    I'll eventually swap out all this chrome.
    I figured it might be. Figured I'd just own it. :anonymous:
     
  8. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:28 PM
    #8
    Sunnier

    Sunnier [OP] Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    I'll eventually swap out all this chrome.
    Probably be easy to grow. Ahem. Fewer than 6 plants of course. Just for personal medicinal use mind you....
     
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  9. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:28 PM
    #9
    COMiamiFan

    COMiamiFan ^^^ Badge of Awesomeness!

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    I think we just derailed this thread. Sorry @Sunnier
     
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  10. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:31 PM
    #10
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 What's a Dickfir?

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    Same here....especially since you are from SD.....legal baby!
     
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  11. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:50 PM
    #11
    Sunnier

    Sunnier [OP] Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    I'll eventually swap out all this chrome.
    I'll edit the title, see if I can get it back on track.
     
  12. Jan 12, 2018 at 1:58 PM
    #12
    Patriot

    Patriot Member

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  13. Jan 12, 2018 at 2:01 PM
    #13
    Sunnier

    Sunnier [OP] Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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  14. Jan 12, 2018 at 2:03 PM
    #14
    Patriot

    Patriot Member

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    Place new bales on top of the old decomposed bales.
     
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  15. Jan 12, 2018 at 6:52 PM
    #15
    Slayer

    Slayer Weather-Beaten Neighbor From The Pacific Northwest

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    I've heard of this before.. Thanks @Patriot for the link.

    although I likely won't do the straw bale thing. I don't use fertilizer .. ya.. I know it's just a hang up I have.
    I dove head 1st into the natural gardening thing about 10 years ago.
    I really enjoy it!... calming, mindless work, + I enjoy watching everything grow.
    I have a 3 stage natural compost bin that seems to work well for me.

    3 years ago I built an awesome green house for starts in late winter / early spring & keeping the garden going into the late fall. I typically start harvesting mid April thru late October.
    might take a couple pix of the green house tomorrow & share them.

    nothing like going out every night & pick your dinner.

    awesome thread @Sunnier
    next on my list is learning how to replenish my own seed stock in the fall.
     
  16. Jan 12, 2018 at 7:34 PM
    #16
    gosolo

    gosolo I've already learned more than you'll ever forget

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    This is a great thread
    We tried subsistence living but in AZ it’s almost impossible. I retired this week and am moving to Oregon and everything there about growing food is so totally different we’re going to be on a steep learning curve.
     
  17. Jan 12, 2018 at 7:37 PM
    #17
    gosolo

    gosolo I've already learned more than you'll ever forget

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    If you want ideas about growing mushrooms for food I will give you some. I’m not wasting any time on people that want psychedelics or pot heads.
     
  18. Jan 12, 2018 at 7:42 PM
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    SR5TRDTUNDRA

    SR5TRDTUNDRA El Pickup Azul

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    Magic mushrooms? :D ;)
     
  19. Jan 12, 2018 at 7:53 PM
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    coosbaybaker

    coosbaybaker Scotty the Body

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  20. Jan 12, 2018 at 7:54 PM
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    coosbaybaker

    coosbaybaker Scotty the Body

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  21. Jan 12, 2018 at 7:55 PM
    #21
    Krezz

    Krezz Doesn't want to be new member

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  22. Jan 12, 2018 at 7:55 PM
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    Slayer

    Slayer Weather-Beaten Neighbor From The Pacific Northwest

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    where in Oregon are you moving.. east or west?
     
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  23. Jan 12, 2018 at 8:13 PM
    #23
    SR5TRDTUNDRA

    SR5TRDTUNDRA El Pickup Azul

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    Wait what?!! No snow in Ontario this time of year!! :eek::cool:
     
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  24. Jan 12, 2018 at 8:14 PM
    #24
    Krezz

    Krezz Doesn't want to be new member

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    Only in my special garden from Narnia
     
  25. Jan 12, 2018 at 8:15 PM
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    SR5TRDTUNDRA

    SR5TRDTUNDRA El Pickup Azul

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    Lol nice!
     
  26. Jan 12, 2018 at 8:16 PM
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    Krezz

    Krezz Doesn't want to be new member

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  27. Jan 12, 2018 at 8:37 PM
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    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra The Ocho

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    Awesome thread!

    We have a small simple garden and it is pretty neat harvesting things for dinner, etc.

    We have some room for another small garden or greenhouse, it would be great to expand and learn the stuff for myself.
     
  28. Jan 12, 2018 at 10:13 PM
    #28
    MatthewPTguy

    MatthewPTguy New Member

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    Where in Oregon?
     
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  29. Jan 12, 2018 at 10:53 PM
    #29
    zcarpenter92

    zcarpenter92 Yotas, Coronas and 'Merica

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    Just a few suggestions from a former field manager for a potato farm:

    1. We had better yields and better size tubers on “whole seed” transplants versus “cut seed” transplants. I know it’s just backyard, but who doesn’t love bigger and more spuds? We also had less issues with soil-borne diseases (ex: pythium) with whole seed versus cut.
    2. I wouldn’t worry too much about planting them early in the spring. In Colorado, we plant spuds in March-April and they don’t emerge until May. Potatoes are fairly well suited for the cold so long as they aren’t fully into vegetative growth at the time.
    3. If you can or so desire, fertilize them with phosphorous earlier in their growth stages. This will help the plants to set more tubers, and grow bigger. Nitrogen based fertilizer early in their growth will abort the tubers, meaning they’ll die and they won’t bulk, and will just make the vines grow like crazy.

    PS: If you plant potatoes early and have a frost in the forecast, give them just enough water to keep the soil wet without saturating it. Water in the soil will help insulate the tubers from the cold.
     
  30. Jan 13, 2018 at 1:56 AM
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    gosolo

    gosolo I've already learned more than you'll ever forget

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    NW, small logging town, Vernonia.
     
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