Big thank you to Lyle (Betts) from the SCG for providing a potato growing workshop for our members, though we did have a couple of ring in's from BOGI in the form of Ed and Louise. Always good when other groups can join us.
What an excellent, no nonsense approach Lyle has to growing spuds.
Below Lyle is discussing the properties of certified and regular store bought spuds.
POINTS OF INTEREST:
Below: Some of the group taking a tour through the refugee gardens.
Thank you to everyone who turned up, including Mark and Katrina who came quite some distance from the south side. Good turn out for a very useable workshop. I hope you all came away with some usable hints and we now all have tremendous success growing spuds. I know now I was watering mine too often for starters!
If anyone has other information or photos that can be added please add below or message me and I'll add it to the main body of the report so it doesn't get separated and overlooked.
Here's a You Tube VIDEO from England on growing spuds in 30lt containers for another alternative.
LINK to Potatoes South Australia with pics and descriptions of many different varieties of spuds grown for the Australian market.
This looks fantastic, very sorry to have missed it. Thank's for sharing the outing with us, Lissa.
Would have loved to have been there but was camping. Lissa thanks for posting the above info - will have to have a go at growing some potatoes.
You get the best of both worlds Cheryl - you get to camp and get the report.
Great report and pix, Lissa! Interesting about the watering and about keeping them in the ground as long as possible. Good points!
Terrific report Lissa. Explains why normal spuds didn't go so well in my wicking bed.
You would think they would like a wicking bed. Water only as they need it.
Just reread and I see I've planted the pieces very, very deeply lol. I've corrected the error.
The watering information was the most interesting to most of us Elaine. I can see now that is a major reason for my lack of success - too much water.
If you were going to plant deep then gradually cover, using a wicking bed might not be the best. The lower area nearest the reservoir would be wet all the time, only when you get above 300mm would you get significant drying. Worth a whirl: side-by-side experiment with similar material, 1 wicking pot 1 normal pot. If it rains too much then might be 1 reason among many that spuds don't really thrive here.
Acidic soil is another absolute requirement; prevents Potato scab whatever that is.
Ah, but you could plant 10cm deep and mound UP.
Lyle uses coffee grounds to make the soil more acidic. I've heard that horse poo is also acidic but I haven't checked that out yet.
There's plenty of horse poo in Deagon! It's poo central.
I helped harvest some of last year's crop there and we did so with our hands which indicates how shallow the spuds were. And last year's patch of spuds was hardly ever irrigated...We harvested just after some mid year frosts. The Green P got hit hard by them frosts.
That's the thing I couldn't relate to here. After Deagon, I planted out in mounds on sand I hardly could get water to and the potatoes thrived, when the thirsty Sweet spuds have struggled in my soil.
Over confident, I got some seed spuds and put them in late January (King Edwards I think) and they've gone no where...too hot I expect, although my research indicated I may have had a window.I was spooked because spuds I had not dug up were keenly growing again so I thought I'd try an early crop. My new marketeer mate at Caboolture (an agronomist from Warwick) insists King E are a July plant.
The soil Lyle was digging was beautiful due to all the goody they have put in. You can see how good it is in the top pic. Very friable and rich.
King E are a July plant as in plant in July?
Currently I have some organic King Edwards. They are a mighty spud along with Dutch Cream and Kipfler. Hope they will shoot and plant some out.
Weirdly, the purple spuds I received from Lissa (from Joseph initially) have been slow to make up their minds whether to grow or not. Upshot is I have 1 with a decent shoot and another not sure yet if it wants to grow or not.