I’ve been planting potatoes in every available space, trying a few different ways. Raised beds… in the ground… buried in straw.. and in our mosaic garden bed:
I had poor luck with them last year because the aminopyralid manure screwed them up, along with our hot spring weather… but I have high hopes for this year. They’re really the gold standard of survival crops, even though Florida probably isn’t an ideal climate for them.
The place I usually buy seed potatoes from sold out in January… and didn’t re-stock. So I bought a few different brands of potatoes and the ones that made eyes quickly I used for seed. Yeah, I know all about sprout inhibiting chemicals and all that jazz… and that you’re not supposed to use store potatoes… but I had good luck with them in TN so I’m trying again.
I later managed to get a few bags of seed potatoes from Aldi’s of all places… then got a few more bags at Tractor Supply. I’m planting like a madman, even though it’s a little late.
Does anyone have a good potato success story to share? I’m eager to know if any of you guys have had good luck. If so – post away, please!
UPDATE: Here’s more on growing grocery store potatoes:
All of my white potatoes have fallen due to Sciuridae/Didelphimorphia predation. I no longer attempt this plant. It can remain a survival food for yanks, but sweet potatoes are our survival food. and taro and cannas. lilies. cattails.
at home depot the other day, they had 6 varieties of white potato. surprisingly.
i'm surprised your kids dont have a rabbit as a pet. the manure is pesticide/herbicide free!
"Sciuridae/Didelphimorphi." You made me work on that one.
6 varieties? That's wild.
Rabbits are definitely on the list of things to do next. I want cheap protein! I've heard they're worth keeping just for the manure… now you've got me thinking again…
No success stories from here, but I have a good failure story. I tried the potatoes in a barrel method using a 30 gallon trash can for two years in a row. The first year it yielded about a half dozen potatoes. Thinking that I couldn't do worse than that, I tried again the following year. The result – 1 potato!
That's incredible depressing. Sounds like some of my own failures.
I love the blocks in the center photo BTW. Are they yours? Did you make them?
Yep. Check out a full post on those here:
Bro, I can't even get a dang sweet potato to sprout on my windowsill, much less these regular potatoes…lol.
Doing fine with potatoes and sweet potatoes here in central FL. Red Potatoes are in the ground now (from Walmart). But, don't ask me to grow a tomato, pepper or eggplant, the stink bugs are winning.
The stink bugs are evil. Unbelievable little buggers. From what I've heard, they tend to overwinter in mulch and debris from the previous year's garden. The only luck I've had is… pick and kill. Repeat. ONE MILLION TIMES.
Last year I planted in the ground. This year I’m doing the barrel thing. Their vegetative growth ID great! I have hilled them a couple times and will do another one in a week or so.
I thought sweet potatoes were normally grown from slips, and later in the year.
My question is in N. Central FL, how do you store seed potatoes from your harvest if stores are no longer an option?
Storing white potatoes would be tough because of how long they’d have to sit. Storing sweet potatoes is easier, as you can grow them right up until frost, then pull, dry and box them. There will still be good seed by the time the frosts end. I also keep them growing in pots in the greenhouse or on the back porch so I can make my own slips.
Also, I plant sweet potatoes as soon as the danger of frost is gone. White potatoes can be planted as early as January up here.
I am doing potatoes in 5 gallon buckets indoors under grow lights and they are doing so good that they are so tall now they are falling over. Should I cut them back? Should I support them with stakes? This is my first time growing them and I dont want to screw it up. HELP!!!
Let them fall over – they’ll be fine, provided they’re getting enough light. Sprawling is common with potatoes.
Scott, what kind of light do you use to grow potatoes indoors. I bought a 30 galon plastic/black trash can, organic/compost/soil, peat moss, got coffee ground from a cafeteria for soil acidity, and have worm casting. But I would love to try growing indoors to avoid the insects. Could you please help me with what you experienced and about the light source you usted ?