Tatties

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Fat Controller, Jan 4, 2016.

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  1. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    For the first time, I am going to give some tatties a try - they will be in my big blue containers, so should have plenty of room.

    I am thinking of going for International Kidney, as they are almost dual purpose - waxy/salad type if lifted young, or floury if left to mature.

    So, any pitfalls I need to look out for?
     
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    • CanadianLori

      CanadianLori Total Gardener

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      I grew some in a laundry basket last year and all I did was make sure they got lots of water. Now it is my understanding that Zigs is the best potato head around....

      Here's mine from the basket which I used because I didn't like it's shape so repurposed this way

      Potatoes in a basket.jpg20150718_143121.jpg
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener

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        I always grow a few containers of early spuds every year, I've gone for 'Rocket' as I've found them the best taste & yield and don't break up when boiled. International Kidney is a good choice too (aka Jersey Royals) - they are second earlies so will be ready a month or so after 'Rocket'.

        Getting them off to a good start and keeping them frost free and well watered are the keys. Last year I started chitting mine indoors on a bright windowsill in late Feb. Then I planted them in mid-April, 2 tubers in old recycling boxes with Wickes MPC. These were in my unheated greenhouse, so I had to cover them once or twice with fleece when frost was forecast. Don't bother with earthing up early/2nd early spuds there is no gain, just plant them half way down the container and cover with compost. The containers come outside when all risk of frost has passed and need a good sunny spot. Mine were ready at the beginning of June. Obviously the longer you leave them the more yield, my first container gave me 1.36kg, two weeks later the second container gave 2.2kg, followed by 3kg from the 3rd container another week later.

        Watering is difficult to gauge in a container, you'll be surprised how much they need once the foliage gets going. If you have a sheltered garden they will do OK outside if greenhouse space is limited, they will just be a bit later.
         
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        • Phil A

          Phil A Guest

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          Don't leave international kidneys in as a main crop, they'll grow into some odd shape that bleeds into another dimension and forces its way thru the earthing up to get exposed to sunlight rendering the entire crop useless.

          Apart from that, go for it :thumbsup:
           
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          • Fat Controller

            Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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            Thanks all :)

            Could I earth them up a few times to build on depth (as in plant them quite close to the bottom of the tub and then build up from there) to give a few layers, or am I best only earthing up once or twice?
             
          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            I've found earthing up doesn't make any difference in terms of yield for early/second earlies, you just need to ensure there is an inch or two covering the tubers to prevent them going green. So just plant in the middle of the container about 4 - 5 inches deep.

            @Zigs has a few photos of Pink Fir Apple earthing up that have caused some 'debate' in the past :)
             
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            • Phil A

              Phil A Guest

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              Agreed :biggrin:

              Did an experiment last year, one plant earthed up to the max and one just earthed up as normal.

              Yield wasn't much difference but quality and keeping length was much better with the maxed earthed one. Didn't loose any to greening with that one either :spinning:
               
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              • Fat Controller

                Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                Hmmmm, I am wondering if I should look at getting some late ones to replace them once they are harvested? How fussy are they for going into a container that has previously been occupied by tatties?
                 
              • JWK

                JWK Gardener

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                Very fussy FC, they will need fresh compost - all sorts of nasty bugs build up in the soil with potatoes (& toms).
                 
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                • Fat Controller

                  Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                  Fresh compost isn't too much of a biggie - I use the spent stuff on my borders and lawn; my thinking being that more organic matter has to be better
                   
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                  • misterQ

                    misterQ Super Gardener

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                    Potatoes grown in a big bin (2014).
                    [​IMG]

                    [​IMG]


                    Nothing special, just two ordinary chitted Morrisons potatoes cut up into halves (two Red Rooster, two white) that I found in the back of my kitchen cupboard and planted up at different levels to space them out.

                    Three handfuls of Miracle-Gro Organic Fruit & Veg Plant Food (ie chicken pellets) were added after two months.

                    Watering was once every seven to ten days.

                    Yield was just shy of 6kg but it could have been more had it not been for strong winds that snapped two thirds of the stems during their growth cycle.

                    I gave some to a fellow gardener, the picture shows my share.

                    I agree with everyone - container grown potatoes don't need to be earthed up. I do, however, advise building a support cage for the foliage.
                     
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                      Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
                    • Fat Controller

                      Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                      Funny you should mention using Morrisons potatoes, as I was just about to ask that very question - I have around 8kg of spuds sitting that are already sprouting eyes; no idea what variety they are without looking, but what differentiates seed potatoes from these ordinary eating spuds?
                       
                    • JWK

                      JWK Gardener

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                      Seed potatoes are 'certified' meaning they are guaranteed free from viruses, bacteria, eelworm etc, grown in controlled conditions away from any disease/pest sources. The seed packet will have a label stating the certification and assuring you of the health and quality of the potatoes. Most seed potatoes are grown in Scotland these days, better growing conditions up there and less bugs.

                      Personally for a few pence more I wouldn't risk growing saved or shop bought seed. You are going to a lot of effort to grow your own so don't gamble on planting something that may result in a crop failure.

                      Another thing is that supermarket spuds are often chemically treated to suppress chitting, so even if yours have sprouts growing already they may be very sluggish to get going if ever.
                       
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                      • Fat Controller

                        Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                        Are there any companion plants that I should be considering to ward beasties off?
                         
                      • GYO newbie

                        GYO newbie Gardener

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                        Ok. Three months the away and I have forgotten bits and pieces. Last year was my first year.

                        So to confirm, I can plant chitted pots in a big bin or container on top of threw inches of compost and then just fill the bin with compost? No need to keep topping it up every time the shoots poke through?

                        Also, there is no need to pull up pots once the flowers die - they can stay in until needed?

                        Lastly, I grew some lates last year and haven't dug the up - will this recent frost have completely ruined them?
                         
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