Nothing special to growing them, they're actually really easy overall. Now, personally, I've had trouble the last couple of years with voles/mice eating the tubers right in the ground. I don't have a solution to that problem, but voles are the bane of my gardening existence anyway. Been overrun with them for close to 20 years now, ever since they developed the vacant land around me, I fight them but they usually win more battles than I do.
i loved the way mine grew last year, just not where they were..they made beautiful mazes of my garden..over my head..very private and great windbreaks !!
put them in the ground right away, they DO NOT keep long
brice Moss wrote:
how do they tolerate heavier soils? I've got to much clay to easily grow potatoes so I'm looking for a substitute, and crowds out the weeds sounds perfect for me for a starch producing patch
the ones i bought from the store had some serious clay still stuck to it.. so maybe so.
Yup, organic ones will grow just fine. Just plant them, really any time you can work the soil. They don't hold well in storage, tend to mold and rot, so plant them pretty fast.
maybe if they are from the store. i've had a bunch in the crisper since i dug them out in the fall and they are fine. i don't like them much except as a substitute for water chestnuts.
Brenda Groth wrote:
i have also read they grow well with groundnut vines which i have yet to try..
i am doing that this year! oikos has groudnuts.
Rather than worry about the possibility of a useful, beneficial plant becoming overly successful, I plan on trying whatever I feel looks useful and promising. If it turns out to be crazy aggressive wild and rampant, then I may have to beat it down, but I will not hold off planting anything just because someone else didn't like the way it behaved. Like Mark Shepard says, why try to kill off something that wants to live and put on life support something that wants to die?
I keep trying because I figure if I get a good year or two with unseasonable summer rains, they might get established better. And there are way fewer gophers in places I don't water. My ultimate goal is to have some "no attention needed" well-established perennial patches as a survival food stock and permanent propagule bank. In a time of need I could then transplant and/or hand water them for better production, and take "proactive measures" to protect them from the gophers as well.
For your circumstance, have you tried starting the plants from seed to get several varieties to try at a time? Maybe a seedling would have the correct combination of genetics to thrive in your conditions. Right now I'm looking at a tiny packet of seeds and three tubers.
Huge haul of chokes and radishes, good breakdown of compost, lots of stalks for the bunnies.
Buckets have been less successful for me.
I also have had them in my little girls vegetable bed. They could have taken over,but we broke off the stalks and fed them to the bunnies,at least once a week. Not really a problem, the veg grew fine.
Only problem I did have was tons of tiny black bugs on many of the patches.
My wife took to washing the stalks she brought instead for the bunnies.
I didn't. They were plant pests, I saw nothing to fear from them for us or our animals.
They did a fair amount of damage to the chokes, so I am curious what they were.
This year I will throw the buggy stalks to the chickens as a tasty treat.
Casie Becker wrote:I'm actually pleased to hear they do well in buckets.
I should not overstate. In smaller containers they thrive if watered but their yield can be limited by the lack of root space. I grew one plant in a three-gallon clay pot this year that (a) broke the pot from the root/tuber pressure and (b) yielded a bunch of small knobby tubers with flat surfaces from being crowded against each other and against the pot walls. Plant got to be seven feet tall and flowered profusely. I had four meals from the tubers (basically each meal was as many tubers as I could put on a dinner plate to pop in my microwave) but they were more work than usual to clean because they were small with many dirty crevices.
Casie Becker wrote:For your circumstance, have you tried starting the plants from seed to get several varieties to try at a time? Maybe a seedling would have the correct combination of genetics to thrive in your conditions. Right now I'm looking at a tiny packet of seeds and three tubers.
I'm jealous! I do not actually have any seeds, or a source for them. I know our Joseph may have sometimes made a few available but I didn't get my act together to get some from him. I am working with a variety of tubers sourced in different grocery stores, and there's a patch of wild natives about a mile from my house that I want to bring to my garden for the genetics, but I keep flailing that project due to other life complications. They actually do come back year after year so I know it's possible in this climate! But their tubers are very small. I figure if I can get them growing in my garden I might be able to get some hybridization and some true seed of my own going, but that's a long-term ambition of course.
I've got a set of self watering planters that I hardly ever use and I've pulled them out for the sun roots and dahlia's. I'll watch for over crowding and divide them if necessary. I think I know where they should go, but I have to do proof of concept for other family members. They have to be pretty enough to go outside of a bedroom window and tasty enough to become a staple. It's possible I'll find them for sale (never have before) early enough to transplant them directly into the garden this growing season. Otherwise it's full growing season as a test plant, and I don't want to take a chance that we'll be wasting valuable garden space on them if they fail.
edit: If they pass on taste but fail on looks then we can give them their own bed in the back yard.