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Taters for bad backs... maybe!!!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by beebiz on December 21, 2005 01:37 PM
Hello All,

I have a very bad back, but I love fresh potatoes!! See my problem?? :>) I've not raised any in a long time simply because I can't dig them up. I was telling Triss about this over in the Fruit and Vegetable Gardening forum and she said that someone here might could utilize the information that I have come across. So here goes...

According to what I read, one year this lady hilled her potatoes once with dirt and then finished with straw. They did so well that the next year, she planted the potatoes just under the dirt and completely hilled with straw. The next year, she placed newspaper on top of the ground, placed and properly spaced the seed potatoes on top of the news paper and covered them with 5-6" of straw. Shen then used the straw to hill them as necessary. When the time came to harvest the potatoes, she said that you could simply use your hands or a rake to brush the straw aside. Then all you have to do is to pick up your potatoes!! She said that this method of growing easily allows one to check the maturity of the potatoes or to harvest a few early potatoes without having to disturb the whole plant. Just remove some of the straw, do what you have to do, and return the straw to where it came from!

I haven't tried this yet, but I intend to next year. I hope it works as well and as easily as she said that it did! She said that you could use newspaper or cardboard... just which ever one you liked the best or was the most readily available.

I hope this helps someone else out. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Robert

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by comfrey on December 22, 2005 03:38 AM
This is a good way of growing potatoes, I have done this. I made myself a raised bed, placed my seed potatoes where I wanted them, I choice rows, then I just covered the whole bed with straw, the good thing about this is that early in the season when you just can't wait for the potatoes, you can look under the straw and find just the right size potatoes you want, Then when harvest time comes, you will have clean potatoes, and no digging..just move the straw back and pick up your potatoes. The newspaper first sounds like a good idea also. I also have a bad back, so I also look for back friendly ways of doing gardening.

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by beebiz on December 22, 2005 07:34 AM
Hey Comfrey,

I'm glad you posted this. As I said in my original post, I've not done it yet, but intend to next year. With so many bogus "tips & tricks" out there, it is nice to be able to talk to someone else who has already tried it... with success!! In addition to no digging, I also liked the idea of being able to steal a few early potatoes without having to disturb and/or distroy one or more plants.

The idea behind placing the cardboard or newspaper on the ground first is to use it as a weed barrier. The lady who did this said that she placed the newspaper right over the top of existing sod after she mowed it. She watered it down to hold it in place and left it there for a few weeks to kill the grass out, and then "planted" her seed potatoes.

I too am always looking for "back friendly" ways to garden and to do other things. So, if you come across anything that you'd like to share, please let me know. I'll do the same for you!

Robert

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My New Web Site If you take a look, please sign my guest book so I'll know you've been there! Also, check out the new African Violet addition to my site! Thanks
by comfrey on December 22, 2005 12:08 PM
Ok, I will share anything I come up with Robert. I am doing something different this year that a friend did last year...I think it was mentioned in the vertical gardening topics. My friend placed wire..like chicken wire or fence wire works also, between some posts and grew their cucumbers up on them, at first the plants produce a few cukes ground level, but the bulk of the crop is up on the fence wire and easy picking instead of old way of stooping and looking under all those itchy leaves for cukes. Also saves space in a small garden.

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by tkhooper on December 23, 2005 02:13 AM
Back friendly gardening is definitely the way to go. I usually end up doing the soggy bottom style of gardening. That way I'm not stooped over lol.

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by comfrey on December 23, 2005 08:47 AM
LOL..tk I know that style of gardening also "soggy bottom"

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by jonni13 on December 24, 2005 02:04 AM
I've been searching for an article I had about growing potatos in a trash bag. This bag can be set up on a raised surface. Filled with light soil/mulch, plant seed potatoes and as they start to grow you open the bag for light and watering puposes. I can't find the article right now but remember it came from a New Zealand garden site.
I also know that when I put old potatos in my worm farm they start growing in the dark in there. Just an idea to play with.
And welcome, Beebiz, from another newbie.
~Tina

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~Tina
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by Amigatec on January 01, 2006 06:28 AM
quote:
Originally posted by comfrey:
My friend placed wire..like chicken wire or fence wire works also, between some posts and grew their cucumbers up on them, at first the plants produce a few cukes ground level, but the bulk of the crop is up on the fence wire and easy picking instead of old way of stooping and looking under all those itchy leaves for cukes. Also saves space in a small garden.
This works good for me. I grow mine in a tomato basket.

Another thing that might work as well, is plant your potatos in a old tire. Fill the inside with potting soil, plant the seed tators, when it grows out of the tire throw on another tire and fill it up and let it grow so more. I haven't tried this but they say you can go 4 tires high, when you get ready to harvest just knock over the pile and pick up the tators.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
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by comfrey on January 06, 2006 09:30 AM
I have tried the tire method for potatoes, But it didn't work out to well...The potatoes grew and I added tires, and dirt, straw, compost etc as they grew....But what I believe was a mouse or some rodent critter, tunneled all throughout the tire potatoes removing the potatoes while they were small and only left a small handful for me...That was the last time I tried that method.

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by Wizzard on January 09, 2006 10:43 AM
i have grown potatoes in a trash can before. i drilled holes in the bottom, and put about 6 inches of soil in the bottom, then a couple taters. cover the taters with dirt and water. about every week or two, add soil to leave the plant only about a foot tall, until it is completely full. at the end of the season, you can just dump the trash can and out comes lots of potatos. though its not necesarily a good thing for bad backs to pick up a trash can full of dirt though.... oh well, i tried.

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by moon8989 on January 30, 2006 08:29 AM
Oh! Last Year ... Instead Of planting them in Straw (as Mentioned earlier) I planted mine in autumn Leaves! [flower] It worked!
by luckygardnr on February 20, 2006 05:55 AM
How about something like this? This one is from England, but I'm sure you could adapt a barrel.

http://www.gonegardening.com/xq/ASP/dept_id.125/pf_id.1101052/referer./qx/gg_shop/product.htm
by Bestofour on March 31, 2006 08:50 AM
Can I just pile up some leaves and lay them on top and then cover them with leaves? Leaves, I have plenty.

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by beebiz on April 06, 2006 04:35 PM
Hey Bestofour,

I just noticed your post and saw that no one had replied. I have never tried the potatoes in leaves before. But if I were going to try them, the way that you described is just how I'd do it!!

Just my $.02 worth!!

Robert

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My New Web Site If you take a look, please sign my guest book so I'll know you've been there! Also, check out the new African Violet addition to my site! Thanks
by Bestofour on April 07, 2006 08:41 AM
Thanks. I planted them the old fashion way - in the dirt.

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