Potatoes in the same bed next year

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by galiano, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    I have only one place on my property where I can grow potatoes. This year we had an excellent crop but I have heard that you are asking for pests and other problems if you grow potatoes in the same soil without waiting a few years. Can anyone tell me how to treat the soil or do whatever so I can plant in the same patch next year ? How do potato farms do this ??
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i would wait at least one year before growing potatoes or even tomatoes in that spot (they're both in the same family). you want to allow pathogens, if there are any, time to die off before growing anything in that family in that spot again.

    farmers rotate crops or don't plant anything at all - or they use a ton of chemicals to avoid issues.
     
  3. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    If you want to try an odd method, using the same spot but no soil: cover spot with heavy-duty plastic, either black or the new red stuff that creates more heat, and let it sit over winter; any sun at all will help with the sterilizing by heat.
    Then leave plastic in place and stack recycled tires on it. Fill them partway with clean straw, water with fish emulsion, and add more straw as they get taller. I was told this is an ideal way to grow clean, easy-to-harvest potatoes.
     
  4. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion but I'm afraid my wife might leave me if I made our yard look like an auto wreckers just to grow potatoes. :-)
     
  5. wolf

    wolf Active Member

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    I think you should avoid growing potatoes next year at the same spot at all. Also you should avoid anything genetically close to potatoes, such as eggplants and tomatoes. Otherwise you may have serious problems such as blights.

    The best thing to go with is onions or garlic next year.
     
  6. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Once every four years is generally what is recommended in the UK. Container growing is one way of getting round it, obviously only useful on a small scale but good for getting that home grown new potato experience in summer.

    Do you get Potato Cyst Nematode in Canada? They can lie dormant for many years. In his 'Potato Book' Alan Romans states he encountered a field that tested positive for PCN in 1977 that hadn't grown potatoes since the Second World War.
     
  7. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I really no next to nothing about potato pests and diseases so I can't answer your question.

    I will grow a few potatoes in raised beds but as you say it will be for those new potatoes and not for storing over the winter.


    I still wonder how potato farmers manage to grow potatoes. Surely they don't have to use a four year rotation.
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Here's an excellent resource re: commercial potato production: Potatoes via the Gov't of New Brunswick Agriculture and Aquaculture site (and more specifically Nematodes and Soil Management both talk about crop rotation as a management technique).
     
  9. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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  10. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I should add that I broke the rules and planted a row of potatoes this year in the same place as last. I knew for a fact that the garden hadn't been used for potatoes for at least ten years previously and possibly much, much longer, so I wasn't particularly worried about long term residual pests and diseases, just anything carried over from last year.

    Nothing disastrous happened but the yield was a little lower than I would have expected and the cosmetic appearance of the potatoes was slightly worse than those grown in a different area. I knew I wouldn't be using that part of the garden for potatoes again soon, possibly not ever, so it was worth the risk.

    If I was running a proper vegetable garden I would stick rigidly to a rotation system.
     
  11. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    Hi maf. My potato patch was dug last year from a grassy part of our property that previously had always been in forest. Hence it was in vegetables
    ( potatoes ) for the first time ever.

    I suppose what I could do is dedicate half of last years potato patch to potatoes, taking my chances as you did, and the other half I could do a proper rotation, maybe grow some corn. Along with my potato patch I have about 12 raised beds but my frustration is that I'm trying to grow our years vegetables and never seem to have quite enough space.
     
  12. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    We used to do a four year rotation on the allotment if its any help

    K
     
  13. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Is there any reason you can't use some of the raised beds for potatoes, thus bringing them into a rotation system? And grow some of your other veg in the potato patch. Potatoes grow well in raised beds.

    The only reason I risked two years running for potatoes was that the area in question is near my new container tomato growing area and in future I am always going to keep potatoes away from this area.

    If I was growing lots of veg including potatoes as a long term thing I would have stuck to the four year rotation. As Katalina suggests, it is what the allotment experts stick to here and those guys know what they are on about.
     
  14. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    My raised beds are mostly only 8 inches deep which I don't think would be enough soil to grow potatoes. I could be wrong. Anyone had any experience growing potatoes in raised beds with that amount of soil ?
     
  15. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    Remember you can have veg 'between other veg' just pull when the main crop needs to expand.

    I would not risk potato in same spot for blight and other spud deseases.
     
  16. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Is there something preventing the roots doing down below the 8 inches?
     
  17. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    I have used landscaping fabric on the bottom of all my raised beds because we have a terrible problem with horsetails. Without the fabric the horsetails would completely take over the raised beds in a few months. So I now have about 8 inches of soil to work with at most. What I may consider doing is adding a few inches of height to a couple of the beds. I think a foot of soil might be enough for potatoes. There is the thought of giving up and simply buying our potatoes but as I said earlier, we are trying to grow all our vegetable needs for the year. I think we may be close this year. I believe we have enough potatoes, and our freezer is full of frozen fruit and veggies while our pantry is packed with home grown canning.

    Crop rotation now seems in the works for next season so it may hve to raise the height of the beds or don't grow potatoes.
     
  18. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Another 4-6 inches would probably be enough dept for potatoes. Carrots would probably grow better in deeper soil too.
     
  19. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    For potatoes you could probably get away without altering the structure of your beds. Just plant the spuds shallowly and add a little extra soil/compost/whatever on top. As they grow bring in extra soil or mulch to earth up the rows instead of digging it out of the sides of the rows. You could possibly create an effective soil depth of 12 inches in an 8 inch bed this way.

    You can even place the tubers on the soil surface with compost and cover with a mulch such as straw. (Although straw is not a good idea if you have pests such as mice and slugs).
     
  20. Vancouver Island

    Vancouver Island Active Member

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    I have grown potatoes in different areas of the garden for years. What I find amazing is the little potatoes that were missed from the previous year digging come up and provide a better crop than the seed potatoes I paid for and planted. I have had potatoes in two spots for about 4 years that come up year after year by themselves.

    I sometimes think some of these so called "seed potatoes" that are "government inspected" really aren't better than the ones that sprout from small potatoes left in the ground. In fact, one year the best potatoes were the "wild ones" not the planted ones. The planted ones had warts of some sort. Now I select the best of the baby potatoes and plant those. No more "seed potatoes"!
     
  21. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    You can't do that shallow dig Maf or the potatoes will be vitims to a possible blight attack, or green stolens which are poision spuds because the light got to them.

    Also digging shallow me and you would be forever using the spade to cover.

    Two spades deep a trench for potatoes minimum. Use a drawing/earthing up tool to cover the potatoes if any try to protrude the stack.This was done on my alottment.

    When harvesting mind how you go.
     
  22. Jeanery

    Jeanery Member

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    Hello

    I grew three varieties of potatoes in a small plot last year with good to excellent results depending on variety. I will be extending the plot on three sides, and was hoping to grow potatoes again in the new areas. Although the potatoes were pest free all season, should I not plant in the same space, and what type of barrier is needed if any to discourage pests? The plot has never been used for potatoes before, previous orchard more than 70 years ago, then just an over grown lawn
     
  23. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Potatoes grow anywhere quality potatoes take a bit of care.

    21 August 2009 How a Potato Plant Grows. 21 August 2009 How a Potato Plant Grows
    There is a great deal of information on the Internet about growing potatoes in tires, boxes and indicating that large quantities of new tubers can be produced with high vertical hilling. The view propagated is that potatoes grow from branches all along the main stalk. This is utter nonsense, as the pictures indicate. New tubers are formed around the seed potato and always slightly above it.

    My potato growing test box was opened today. The pictures speak for themselves. Clearly there is no advantage in carrying out excessive hilling when growing potatoes. The purpose of hilling is to insure the tubers are covered, since light affects potatoes producing a green appearance, which is an indication of solanine, which is harmful if ingested in large quantities.. For comparison one Pontiac Red was dug in the same row, which was almost identical to the test box potato in appearance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  24. Raingirl

    Raingirl Member

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    Durgan: I also was very disappointed in my attempt to grow potatoes in raised boxes here on Vancouver Island. (my great hubby built 4 sets to be placed around the garden: they were all 'empty' but for a few around the original seed potato; I think that the boxes will serve better as flower containers this year) Thanks for the pictorial. Cheers
     

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