Brisbane Local Food

Growing local


 

Below are the spuds bought from Bulbs Direct and planted.

31/07/10 http://www.bulbsdirect.com.au/Frame_Summer_Products_NA.htm

PINK FUR APPLE

Certified Seed Pink Fur Apple

 

Description : long banana shape tubers, light pink skin, cream waxy flesh, distinctive flavour. Considered to be worlds BEST salad spud, also roasting, baking, chipping and wedges. Mid-late season. Produces huge no. of tubers (more than kipfer) Moderate Dormancy

 

LUSTRE

Certified Seed Potato Lustre

Description : Round evenly sized tubers, smooth bright white skin, shallow eyes, white flesh, excellent flavour. Especially ideal for boiling to mash & salads, also baking & roasting. Early to mid-season planting High yielding (8-12 tubers). Short dormancy, quick growing

 

OTWAY RED

Certified Seed Potato Otway Red

Description : Regular large round tubers, slightly textured dark red skin, shallow eyes, white flesh with a great flavour. Ideal for boiling, mashing and baking. An Australian bred high yielding variety. Late season planting, quick growing. Medium Dormancy

 

KING EDWARD

Certified Seed Potato King Edward

Description : Oval to pear shaped tubers, smooth creamy skin with pink blotches around shallow eyes, white flesh. Delicious flavour & firm waxy texture. Ideal for roasting, boiling & baking. Medium to late season planting, medium yielding. Moderate dormancy.

 

SCA potato growing instructions:

http://www.sgaonline.org.au/?p=63&cpage=1#comment-988

 

Below: 29/09/10 the spuds in the foreground are doing well before the week of torrential rain.

Below: 12/11/10 spuds after the rain - tops have pretty much all died off.

 

Below: 13/11/10 I've emptied the Lustre (see pics below) but the others seem to be making an effort to grow new shoots.

13/11/10

LUSTRE cropped today. 14 planted, 25 cropped - some tiny, some with rot. These look exactly like the spuds I buy from my fruit shop for about $1 a kg! Considering the cost of the grow bag, potting mix, seed potatoes it's really not viable to grow my own! Fun though :)

13/11/10 Below are the same spuds scrubbed up. I have replanted the tiny ones in fresh soil in the growbag.

 OTWAY RED - 6 PLANTED, 15 CROPPED

I baked some that night, very nice. All harvested were in perfect condition.

18/01/11

Cropped the Pink Fur Apple the other day - too difficult to get at them during the flooding rains over the past few weeks.

I ate three (oven chips) - they were a bit soft but still pleasant. The rest (about 20+ small to tiny spuds) I have put into a cloth bag in the pantry for planting out later.

20/03/11 What's left of the King Edward spuds, left in the grow bag too long. Hopefully these little leftovers will grow new spuds for me.

20/03/11 Sprouting spuds from the fruit shop. Variety??

Below 18/07/11 Latest crop with tops dying off with nary a flower to be seen. Scarlett tells me hers never flowered in Brisbane either - so I have been waiting in vain.

21.03.12

Here I go again!

I've bought seed potato from Green Harvest- playing it safe this time with ones that should do well here -  Desiree, Nicola and Sebago. Little boring but I'm sick of failure lol.

The grow bags have been filled with Brunnings Garden Soil this time (instead of potting mix), Dolomite, Organic Xtra, molasses fertiser, Epsom Salts and Potash.

From Kitchen Garden International - click on link for full article:

Harvest

When flowers appear you can feel around very gently under the plants for new potatoes. "New" simply means small, young spuds which are delicious steamed or fried quickly in a little butter or olive oil. I take only one from each plant so my final harvest will not be diminished. You can do this about once a week and still get plenty of potatoes. It's also a good idea to remove flower blossoms as they appear so the plant's energy is not diverted to seed production.

As the season goes on, the tops of your plants will start to turn yellow and wilt. This means it's almost harvest time. Let the potatoes stay in the ground to cure for about ten days after the tops die back. Do not do this if the weather is very rainy or if you have underground critters like voles which will dine on your crop.

I love to dig up the potato crop! Choose a dry day and have enough non-plastic receptacles ready so you don't have to pile the tubers more than three deep. Non-waxed cardboard boxes are ideal. Heavy or doubled paper bags will work too. You want something which will let air through but not light. Potatoes exposed to light will turn green and be inedible.

If your potato crop is growing in a container, just pull off the dead plants and feel around for the tubers, removing soil as you go. In the garden you may need to use a tool. I use a shorter shovel with a handle. Insert the shovel into the soil far enough away from the plant so you don't cut into any potatoes. Gently lever the blade up to loosen the soil. Remove the shovel. Use your hands to pull back soil and feel around for potatoes. Eureka! What a thrill it is to unearth the big, beautiful spuds! Be sure to probe deep enough and far enough to either side so you don't miss any. Rub off excess soil but do not wash the potatoes.

10.07.12

Still struggling to produce a good crop of spuds. Currently using a minor crop from the latest plantings. This bag growing info from Organic Gardener July/Aug. 2012 issue:

Place 100mm soil to cover bottom of bag. Fold down the sides to allow in sunlight.

Evenly space two or three seed tubers on top, cover with 150mm good moist potting soil.

When first leaves reach 200mm ad more soil, just enough to leave growing tips clear.

Keep doing this as the tops grow, gradually unfolding the sides and pouring in weak liquid manure as the bag fills.

When soil is about 100mm from top of bag stop adding soil but allow foliage to keep growing. Keep well watered.

As tops begin to die back start harvesting.

22.07.12

Emptied out the bag of Nicola this morning.

Very disappointing - I've cropped maybe four or five small spuds from the bag over the last couple of weeks - today there was one small potato in the soil emptied out. Less spuds than I planted in the first place! One rotted large potato. We have had a lot of rain but this is the worst yet.

18.08.12

Latest effort - some shooting store bought spuds.

11.09.12 The store bought spud shoots a few weeks later....along with the pitiful bought seed potato pots. I'm beginning to think the lesson is "keep to the cheap store bought shooters and don't bother with bought seed potato".

20.12.12

Still plodding along using these grow bags but am focusing at the moment on the local store bought spuds that sprout in the pantry and having better success.

Found this pic on a FB page and it's the clearest description I've seen of bag growing:

You can grow potatoes in nearly any kind of container, sometimes low tech actually works better than high tech. The design above can be further improved upon with some holes along the sides to allow the potato plant to sprout in as many directions as it pleases.

26.12.12

Found this wonderfully clear information relating to SWEET POTATO Ipomoea batatas

Check the link at the bottom of the info for how sweet potato reproduce.

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Comment by Lissa on May 7, 2011 at 5:53

Can't recall exactly where I bought the planter bags but fairly sure it was Garden Express

You get three here for $20 of the smaller one.

Comment by Lissa on May 7, 2011 at 5:45

No dumb questions Paul - always ask away :)

I'm trying out the grow bags because I was told not to grow potatoes in the same soil twice due to disease problems, and because if I plant them out in the garden I tend to lose them when the tops die off. This way I know exactly where they are.

The grow bags give me another dimension to growing as well - I've always loved growing things in pots (moved around a lot and it was necessary if I wanted to keep my plants with me).

Comment by Lissa on May 2, 2011 at 15:50
I've recently replanted some of the Pink Fur Apple and another one from the original four plantings - just not sure which it was lol. Will figure it out when I crop them.
Comment by Lissa on March 24, 2011 at 6:04

Some of the spuds pulled up were watery and rotting - could have been the pythium.

Hopefully, if I keep growing from left over seed potatoes which didn't rot, I will possibly end up with resistant ones. And always using fresh growing medium.

Immune reaction is a funny thing. Here's me who's looked after myself, kept fit (until the last few years), eat what is supposed to be the best food, never smoked, minimal drinker....and yet I get the immume disease (Coeliac) including reactions to some fruits. Others who abuse their bodies don't have any issues. Genetics plays a part.

I do think pesticides probably also play a part - apart from what is on the food we eat my mother used to spray Mortein all over us while we were eating dinner. Killed off the goldfish numerous times. Dad had DDT under the back steps for building and used to handle it with his bare hands.

Comment by Scarlett on March 23, 2011 at 16:12

pythium

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/3104.html

 

phytophthora

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytophthora_infestans

 

also mentions alternaria - which sounds right, and rings a bell now i'm reminded of it - circular lesions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternaria_solani

 

PS i used tyres and the potatoes grew into the tyres - got wedged in, in some cases! i filled the tyres with compost, and then filled with straw on top. but the tyres have heavy metals in them (e.g. cadmium) which isn't good for growing tubers...

Comment by Scarlett on March 23, 2011 at 16:08

Thinner skin ones are more likely to be affected. Different varieties have different resistances to various pathogens. The pathogens will be in all the bags (it's a safe bet they're in any soil unless it's been sterilised), like the common cold floats around in post public places - but you don't always get sick. It's the same sort of thing. Some individuals are more resistant based on genetics (e.g. hairier nostrils maybe, better immune system), plus individuals who aren't stressed and have been eating well are more likely to resist as well - the immune reactions you have work better. Same with plants. Plants have defenses (like the waxy cuticle which is the outer layer of tissues and prevents physical entry by pathogens - like fungal infection spikes) and also chemical reactions (they often have defence chemicals pathogens don't like stored in plant tissues - if they have been healthy enough to do so). They don't seem to have an immune system, but they do seal off infected parts, which can be the same thing. Also if they're sending enzyme type chemicals to infection sites to fight off infections it would be hard to know. One variety that generally resists pythium might be very susceptible to fusarium. Etc. Hence choosing varieties that work well in local conditions. 

 

Tipping half a sky of water on them for weeks on end counts as stressful for potatoes i reckon ;)

Comment by Lissa on February 4, 2011 at 9:46
I've read somewhere that the tyres aren't healthy to use, also.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on February 3, 2011 at 19:36
Not only are they heavy and waste a lot of mix within the tyre itself, but there's doubt been cast on whether they are healthy to use. I've tried the tyre method too and it fell down as all of my small gardens have, by not using a water-holding mix. More or less solved that one now but the mix as I found, is just so important for a good crop.
Comment by Lissa on February 3, 2011 at 18:55

I tried that method with the first lot, and not one spud grew into the straw which was disappointing.

My nephew tells me his mate just keeps adding tyres (they're both mechanics) and topping up. He pulls out the bottom tyre to crop what is in it. Neat idea, but I don't think I'm strong enough to pull out the tyre lol.

Comment by Lissa on January 20, 2011 at 9:02

I planted a heap of these store bought spuds the other day that were shooting. As you say, nothing to lose.

Ah, the marker. Certainly meant to do each time I looked at the spuds leaves and generally I'm pretty good at actually doing these things......but on this occassion not lol.

 

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