Brisbane Local Food
I've never grown potatoes before. This is our first potato harvest. Not quite what I expected, but damn they tasted fantastic!
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Thanks Jeff. Thinking about a second crop now
Temperature makes a big difference with potatoes over 25 Celsius and they are not likely to get any bigger and i think the warmer the temperature the less time they take to produce and die and this leads to small potatoes . If you plant in shade in the winter that is also not good because of being in winter and short days and sun in the north best to have in full sun during winter .Phosphate Fertilizer may be what the potatoes need to get bigger .
Thanks Roger. I got Sebago for $4 a kg at a local produce store. It looks like the "wider the top, the more produce" in contrast to traditional mounding wisdom. Not that I'd know! I'd do it again for sure though. Dave, how does the width vs depth idea sit with you?
I'm about par with Roger's crop (second image) Maybe a little less. I dug up a patch yesterday. A better harvest than the last ones I dug up...but not as good as others.
I also left them in too long and a few spuds split.
I've been staggering the clitting and planting out... and experimenting with the amount of shade.
I still have one crop in which I planted in early September -- although Autumn (eg: April) is the quintessential time to plant in SEQ for the best hope.
Since I've actually spent a morning or two digging up Lyle's spud crop,(via composted horse manure) I think Roger's harvests are on par.
Andrew, you don't mention what type of potatoes you were growing. Seed potatoes from places like Bunnings are ridiculously expensive, and not worth buying for the crop you can get from them. Produce Agents round our way sell mostly Sebago by the kilo from a sack, and at a much cheaper price. Shown here in the large growbag. These have been the best performers in our climate, the other one that also seems OK are the red ones shown, which I also got from a produce store (cannot remember the name). These are shown in the plastic pot and also the sacks. I find that spuds need a good amount of moisture to grow and fill out. Spuds were recommended to "break up" a clay soil when starting a garden. If you have a clay soil then that is great, but I have a very sandy soil which doesn't hold water so the advice of not to water spuds too much is wasted at Park Ridge. I grow in containers with loads of horse manure (to increase the water holding ability as well as give nutrition).
I find the bags very good for this as they are an open weave which lets water drain away but not too much. The soil retains a good level of moisture. In S E Qld we will never get the sort of crops that those in southern states get, but I still will grow spuds, because as you say " they taste fantastic".
I got another 560 grams from two more little pots yesterday that went into a curry. 1.2 kg overall and I haven't actually harvested any of the bigger buckets yet! One was also much darker and starting to chit. I think it might be an older seed potato that only just figured out how to grow. I replanted it in another spare pot.
Fabulous, You did really well with the size pots you had to work with and what I like about them is how they don't need a lot of nurturing. How did everyone's Potatoes go? Did they produce a good crop?
Pretty good crop from the small pots you emptied.
My understanding is that the spuds don't grow any more once the greenery has died off but storing them in the soil is also a good idea. Lore according to Lyle. My potato growing hero.
You raise the conundrum we were debating at the school garden this morning. What happens with stem die off? Do the tubers continue to grow?
I had an argument with one of the teachers who thought our wee spuds in one spot would miraculously enlarge despite the absence of the paraphernalia of an above-earth plant.
I always assumed no -- and on checking, I am correct.
The tubers experience no further growth BUT the skins will thicken and harden if the plant is left in the soil --thus, I guess, leading to 'old' potatoes which store longer.
But enjoy what you've got: worth all of their 700 grams of delight.Nothing like home grown spuds.
However, the other question is why are the tubers so often so small? A problem we share.
I gather that my problem at least may be not enough Nitrogen . See this LINK.
But that's a guess...as too much only leads to too keen stem growth.
Even Jerry Coleby-Williams says spuds are unreliable in SEQ. Potatoes are a cool temperate crop, so growing them successfully in the sub-tropics can be difficult. Of 5 crops I've grown I've had two really good ones -- and I don't know why the good or the bad.This year so far: very disappointing.
My major experiment was to grow them in semi shade. And I'm not sure if that is a plus.
When you 'may' pay so much for seed spuds (if you can get them when you want them), it is a bit of a downer -- that's why I use supermarket spuds for chitting.
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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion. It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)
GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.
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