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advice on potatoes in sheet mulch?  RSS feed

Posts: 1537
Location: Denver, CO
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I have some questions on sheet mulching with potatoes.

It makes a lot of sense to include seed potatoes in the new mulch. Should the tubers go: 1 under the cardboard with a slit above: 2 on top of the cardboard with a slit above: 3 On top of the cardboard without a slit: 4 somewhere in the middle of the mulch?

Would aged but not composted manure be dangerous in this sort of setup? Would it spread e coli to the potato eaters, or scab to the potatoes? Should it go under the cardboard?

Would leaves smother the potatoes trying to come up? All I have is leaves, manure, and wood chips, no straw or hay, which is very expensive here and likely to be contaminated with persistent herbicides.

Posts: 70
Location: New Jersey
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I am a beginner and I am doing potatoes for the first time this year. I pulled back the leaf mulch that I laid in the Fall and put whole potatoes right on top of the soil in my garden bed. I covered them each with a shovel full of compost(leaves, manure, garden waste) that I made last Fall. On top of that I further covered the compost with wet leaves that I kept separate from my compost pile. Looking at my potatoes a couple weeks later I cannot imagine that they will not actually make it through that mulch. I will point out that the leaves I used on top of the compost were partially mulched so they have not matted down as unmulched leaves tend to do. They havn't sprouted yet but I will keep you posted when they do
Posts: 20
Location: Southern UK
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I would put them above the cardboard without a slit, maybe with a little compost on first, then cover with as much manure/compost/mulch as you can. I don't see much/any risk from e-coli as the spuds are going to be cooked before being eaten anyway. Scab should not be a problem as your mulch is likely to be slightly acid. I would never add any lime to mulch or soil for growing potatoes.
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