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My Potato Experiment  RSS feed

 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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I buy the cheap cat food(for my herd of devil cats :evil that comes in the woven plastic with the sewn shut ends. This stuff is really tough, and I use it for many things--saving the recycling, storing garden amendments like moss or sawdust from doing the fire wood, etc. They make good weed blockers, I clip them to the tomato supports in later summer to keep the rain off to help prevent blight. All sorts of uses. They seem to last at least a year in the sun before getting rippy(haven't had one yet get rippy actually, been using them around for a few years). The sewn ends with the thread and paper seam binding DOES rot off(duh).

The other day I got to fill the bags up with more dirt. The ones on the left haven't been filled up yet--about a month ago I put about a third of the bag worth of dirt in there and nestled a sprouted store bought potato in there. There are no holes punched in the bag, the bottom is still shut. We got about 8" of rain in the last month, and the dirt inside was just right for moisture, not soggy at all, so the bags drain well even though they are still sewn shut. I got more dirt from the woods, and mixed in grass clippings and topped off the bags, and put about 3" of clippings on top for mulch. The volume of the cat food bags is close to a five-gallon bucket. As I filled the bags I gave them a little shake to settle the dirt a bit. Also there were lots of worms in the soil I got from the woods.

You can see some peas planted on the south side of the bags. I'm thinking in about a month I will tug on the bottom of the bag to see if the thread has rotted and pull them open so the roots can go into the soil below(which by the way, this bed the bags are sitting on top of is a small hugelkultured bed I put together last year, about 3 x 6 feet or so). If it's not rotted I'll slice it open.


bush beans(yellow and purple), and love in a mist, calendula on the end, one strawberry to colonize
peas on the wire, sedum, cosmos
potatos
pole beans(green and yard long), daylily, nasturtium, red currant, bouncing bet, self heal and a mystery plant(it's a native swamp thing from the Siskiyous--that's all I know)

In the last row there is a trellis which you can't see, made from fallen oak boughs.

I put the fir branches there to break the fall of the rain which came after I planted the seeds, and also to keep the cats out of there. I also put a piece of scrap wire fencing on top of the potato bags to keep the cats out.

Once the seeds are up I'll start mulching it well.

My theory with the potatos is when it's time to harvest I'll just pull the bags up and loads of glorious spuds will fall out.

SO far the bag thing has kept the soil nice and fluffy, warm and not water logged. Even though my clay dirt has nice tilth, when it is SO saturated I have to stay out of it, and certain things rot. I did try doing potatos long ago and it was a big FAIL, ha, even though I planted in compost! I'm thinking cold and rot was the issue, so this def helps.

The board is there to step on. The bed are edged with small logs(which are sending out fungus) and rocks.

I suppose I could have turned them inside out so they were showing white instead of the cat food label...
 
fourteen McCoy
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Hello , I have raed your subject; it  is  interesting!! yaeh~~~
I woud like to tell you I am new here and  I am a Chinese girl.

"I did try doing potatos long ago and it was a big FAIL, ha, even though I planted in compost! I'm thinking cold and rot was the issue, so this def helps"
 
 
      Do  you feel a little tired after that?  Or just feel very happy?
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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I think Permaculture set-up makes for both tired and happy! 

Welcome fouteen! Do you have a garden yet?

Chelle
 
fourteen McCoy
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    Thanks  for your reply.
    When I was about 10, I had a garden, a  small  one.  I  plant  some  flowers  in  it.But  I  do  not  konw  much  about  planting.  I  want  to  learn it~~Maybe I  can  learn  from  you.    Yes?!
      So  you  have  a  big  one? That  is  very  fun!!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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wyld, I think it is a wonderful idea..let us know how they work out for ya. i put some of my potatoes in a new hugel bed this year and the rest of them went into an area where i raked a compost pile out over an area about a foot deep, so it was compost "last year"..both are growing quite well
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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fourteen, you have come to the best place to learn!

wyldthang, you seem to have hit on a really neat solution to preventing cold and rot in potatoes. Fast and simple to do too. I love being able to turn waste into wealth. 
 
fourteen McCoy
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hei~Chelle Lewis ,
      I want to know why some flowers always die? Because of the soil/ sunshine or something else.I want to save my lovely flowers...
      What is the the best tool for flowering?
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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While removing spam from this thread, I deleted the wrong post.  I caught myself just a moment after clicking the mouse, but it was too late.  The screen reloaded too quickly for me to catch who made the post.

Apologies to the affected user.
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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No probs ....... try again....

Fourteen, you need to start your own thread to ask your questions. Click on this link .... http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?board=2.0  .... and look at the top where it say NEW TOPIC Then ask your question. This thread is about potatoes so we try not to discuss too many other things or it gets off topic. We try to keep everything neatly on topic so that when we go searching for something it is easy to find.

Hope this helps...  




 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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Welcome fourteen! it will be fun to hear about your gardening adventures!

the leaves are just starting to pop out of the dirt today!

I also had this wild idea for making a shopping bag(you know the reusable ones like they sell at the grocery store) out of the cat food bags. I'll post a pic when I do it, and I'll post more pics when the leaves are all up and see how many potatoes I get in the end.

Those dang cat food bags are really great "fabric".  I'll have to play around with sewing up a pot, or sewing some together to make a bigger container. Just need to find the right plastic thread...

I'm really surprised how the bag keeps the dirt at a really nice moisture level! The dirt feels noticeably warmer too, next year I'll have to try a tomato and peppers (things that love warm dirt)
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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wyldthang, is the "fabric" made of plastic? I ask because I have successfully joined plastic ........  I ironed 2 pieces of thick plastic together......... by putting it between pieces of paper ...... to keep the plastic from melting on the iron or onto the ironing board. Maybe this could work for you if you want to join two or more bags.
 
                              
Posts: 262
Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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yup, it's woven plastic. Thanks for the great fusing tip!
 
fourteen McCoy
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oh  yes. Thanks for your kind help. I would like to learn something more at first.
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