2012 Gardening Thread (Read 1515 times)

    With Red Pontiacs (all I have grown until this year), assuming a decent growing season, I expect 3-5 nice potatoes per plant.  With so few plants and doting attention on them, you may do better.  I plant a ton (I end up with 4-5 milk crates full on a decent year) so I realy don't take care of them that well.

     

    OK.  That's actually good then.  Not sure if I'll get more than that anyway, I had to space them a little closer than I like.  I don't have much space.  I wanted to expand the garden this year and never got around to it.  I have to take down the "fort" (the youngest is 14 now, so they're not using it anymore), and make a bigger bed.  That's a lot of work because I set the footings in concrete.

     

    Joy.

    Jeff


    Prince of Fatness

      I have been planting Red Pontiacs every year and reliably get good  yields from them.  They are a late variety and usually the last ones that I dig up, so give them time.  Be careful when digging them up.  The skin is really thin and just brushing them with your fingers can peel the skin off.

      Semi-retired.

        I have been planting Red Pontiacs every year and reliably get good  yields from them.  They are a late variety and usually the last ones that I dig up, so give them time.  Be careful when digging them up.  The skin is really thin and just brushing them with your fingers can peel the skin off.

         

        Well, I don't have that variety, I was just assuming that any of them (except for fingerlings) would yield about the same in my crumy little garden.

         

        In reality, I'll take what I can get.  And, when the time comes, I'll be very careful digging anything I get up anyway.

        Jeff


        Feeling the growl again

          I have been planting Red Pontiacs every year and reliably get good  yields from them.  They are a late variety and usually the last ones that I dig up, so give them time.  Be careful when digging them up.  The skin is really thin and just brushing them with your fingers can peel the skin off.

           

          You know I always wondered how the hell you were digging your spuds so early.  My references point was just Red Pontiacs.  That explains it.  Now I know I screwed up...I planted them closest to the pumpkins, and the other varieties between the Reds and the garden edge.  I should have reversed this to keep the Reds as far away from the expanding vines as possible.

           

          Good to know for next year...and to expect to be digging the other stuff earlier.  Thanks.

          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

           


          Prince of Fatness

            You know I always wondered how the hell you were digging your spuds so early.  My references point was just Red Pontiacs.  That explains it.  Now I know I screwed up...I planted them closest to the pumpkins, and the other varieties between the Reds and the garden edge.  I should have reversed this to keep the Reds as far away from the expanding vines as possible.

             

            Exactly.  My potatoes take up roughly half of my garden, so I plant late to early from one side.  The Pontiacs are always along the fence on one side.  Yukon Golds are usually the first row in the middle since they are ready the earliest.  I have them dug up by the time the pumpkins are put in (Late June / Early July).  Pontiacs are by far the latest variety that I plant,

            Semi-retired.


            Feeling the growl again

              I studied plant biology for a time so it annoys me that I don't know and can't locate a definitive answer on this (in all of 5min I looked).  I would hypothesize that there is some sort of necessary dormancy time, or that they must experience some sort of cooling then warming to "reset" them to grow.

              .

              .

              Fortunately for us, my sister has a PhD in botany and plant pathology.  So I emailed the question to her.  If we do not get a definitive answer she will never hear the end of it (isn't that what little brothers are for?).

               

              Well...that was interesting.

               

              OK...so my hypotheses were mostly correct.  There is a dormancy time for potatoes during which they will not sprout, even under the most ideal of conditions.  According to the University of Idaho (go figure) for Russett potatoes this period is 80-175 days, depending on storage conditions.  Unlike some seeds, there is no requirement to get cold (ie winter) for a period of time, although both temp and moisture can somewhat affect the dormancy period.  Dormancy time varies by potato variety.

               

              In other words, if you want to grow a second crop you will have to use seed stored from the prior year.  No matter what you do to the ones from the first crop, you will not be able to get them to grow a second crop the same year.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               


                 

                In other words, if you want to grow a second crop you will have to use seed stored from the prior year.  No matter what you do to the ones from the first crop, you will not be able to get them to grow a second crop the same year.

                 

                Or, the leftovers from what I bought a few weeks ago, assuming I keep them rather cool in my basement...

                 

                Interesting about the dormancy and stuff.

                Jeff


                Prince of Fatness

                  In other words, if you want to grow a second crop you will have to use seed stored from the prior year.  No matter what you do to the ones from the first crop, you will not be able to get them to grow a second crop the same year.

                   

                  Thanks for the post.  It makes sense.  So basically, the plants that come up in late summer are outliers.  What you say explains why the majority of the volunteers that I get come up the next spring.  I'll also assume that the reason for the crappy yields for late summer plantings has to do with temperature.

                  Semi-retired.

                    So, the garden is now done.

                     

                    Anyway, I went with all plants this year due to the new kitten in our house.  NOT conducive to raising plants from seed.  At all.

                     

                    I went with a really broad bunch of toms this year.  Hope I turn out with something good.  Except for the Brandy Boy, where I went with two plants, everything else is a one off.

                     

                    And, also pretty much, I decided to mess with heirlooms.  Hope the yield is OK.

                     

                    Anyone have any experiences with these varieties?

                     

                    Here's what I went with (yeah, their not all heirloom)

                     

                    Golden Jubilee

                    Mortgage Lifter

                    German Johnson

                    Orange Wellington

                    Mr. Stripey

                    Big Boy

                    Better Boy

                    Jet Star

                     

                    After that I went with a whopping three potato plants.  That's another experiment, never tried them before.  Did some cukes, some red and yellow peppers, and one jalapeno.  Broccoli, only two plants.  I've always had pest issues, and don't want to waste too much garden space on them.  A few spinach plants, some lettuce.  Basil, thyme, rosemary, one plant each.

                     

                    Mostly, I don't have enough space to keep us in vegetables all summer (except for the tomatoes, and if I'm lucky, the peppers).  So, for example, if the broc works, well, it will be a few heads and that's it.    Same with the lettuce.

                     

                    But, I don't really do it to keep my food costs down, I do it as a summer hobby.  It keeps me out of trouble, at least for a few hours a week.

                     

                    Our township does have community garden space, the plots are MUCH larger than the tiny 5x10 in my back yard, which you get via lottery, although it never fills up.  But, of course, the problem with that is, I'd have to drive there daily.  And, the last thing I would want to do after coming home from work is hop back in the car and go tend to a garden three miles away.

                    Jeff


                    Feeling the growl again

                      Have grown Big Boy and Better Boy, standard fare...no issues to note.  No experience with the others.

                       

                      Remember not to give tomatoes too much nitrogen fertilizer or you will get a lot of plant and not many tomatoes.  Plant PhD sister told me that when we were trying to figure out why we had 6ft plants and very low yield last year (but in that case I think we put them where they didn't get enough sun).

                      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                       

                        Have grown Big Boy and Better Boy, standard fare...no issues to note.  No experience with the others.

                         

                        Remember not to give tomatoes too much nitrogen fertilizer or you will get a lot of plant and not many tomatoes.  Plant PhD sister told me that when we were trying to figure out why we had 6ft plants and very low yield last year (but in that case I think we put them where they didn't get enough sun).

                         

                        I am assuming that something like Miracle Grow is a hugh nitrogen fertilzer?  The *do* have (I think I saw it last year) a version for tomatoes.  Or for vegetables.  Can't remember.,

                        Jeff


                        Feeling the growl again

                          I am assuming that something like Miracle Grow is a hugh nitrogen fertilzer?  The *do* have (I think I saw it last year) a version for tomatoes.  Or for vegetables.  Can't remember.,

                           

                          I put Miracle Grow (which contains nitrogen) on the tomatoes ONCE last year in accoradance with instructions.  I got big plants and a terrible yield.  Do I or my sister think that that single application should have caused the observed result?  No.  Do I plan on fertilizing them this year?  No. 

                           

                          Clear as mud?  Confused

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           


                          Prince of Fatness

                            I think for fruit growth phosphorus and potassium are more important that nitrogen.  Here's an article that may help.

                             

                            http://www.backyard-vegetable-gardening.com/fertilizing-tomatoes.html

                             

                            That being said I have never fertilized any of my vegetables.  I do add a couple of yards of home made compost to the soil every year, as well as mulching with shredded yard debris throughout the year.  The plants seem to thrive on that stuff so I don't see a need to fertilize.

                            Semi-retired.

                              I put Miracle Grow (which contains nitrogen) on the tomatoes ONCE last year in accoradance with instructions.  I got big plants and a terrible yield.  Do I or my sister think that that single application should have caused the observed result?  No.  Do I plan on fertilizing them this year?  No. 

                               

                              Clear as mud?  Confused

                               

                              Oddly enough, I used Miracle Grow once a week last year, and I did OK.  On one variety of tomatoes, and the cukes.  All the other stuff didn't produce.  Don't know if it was a coincidence or not.

                               

                              Regardless, I think I'll just pass on the stuff this year.

                              Jeff


                              Feeling the growl again

                                I think for fruit growth phosphorus and potassium are more important that nitrogen.  Here's an article that may help.

                                 

                                http://www.backyard-vegetable-gardening.com/fertilizing-tomatoes.html

                                 

                                That being said I have never fertilized any of my vegetables.  I do add a couple of yards of home made compost to the soil every year, as well as mulching with shredded yard debris throughout the year.  The plants seem to thrive on that stuff so I don't see a need to fertilize.

                                 

                                Yeah, I tend to avoid fertilizers as the soil here is pretty rich...but I had a sandy area in my one garden that I wanted to bulk up.  So I used some cow manure, of which I have a big pile from when I let someone keep some cattle in my barn over the winter.  Big mistake.....wherever they brought the hay from that they fed them, it was rich with the most noxious, spiny weeds I have ever encountered.  3 years to eliminate them.

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand