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Old 05-23-2012, 07:54 PM   #16
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


Well potato farmer, you are doing very well. I haven't even got mine in the ground yet...I've been busy. In fact the only thing I've got in yet is sugar snap peas. I still have to put in carrots peppers potatoes and beans

You are doing great with the hilling. When you start to get flowers you can sneak a few, but they will be little
The skin will be very delicate so don't wash off the soil until you are ready to cook them.
I have a bad habit of waiting to long to harvest them and then they get too huge and are rotten in the centre half the time...disppointing!!

Delicious and easy recipe for baby new potatoes.

Place in a shallow baking pan (tin foil cake pan if you are too lazy after dinner to face a mess)
coat spuds in a small amout of cooking oil
sprinkle club house garlic plus seasoning
cover tightly with foil
bake at 400 for 40 min..test with a fork

Melt in your mouth!!

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Old 05-23-2012, 07:57 PM   #17
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


Don't worry about disturbing them too much, they are quite hardy and can take it. My plants get so big they just flop over on each other.
Now is the time to keep an eye out for colorado potato beetle

I put mine directly in the ground and the kids just tear the hills apart at harvest time. We always miss a few and the next year a random plant will pop up.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:41 PM   #18
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


Well we had hardly any snow last winter and several hot spells (90F+) since early spring, so I planted a lot of stuff early, crossed my fingers and watched for frosts. We probably got a 2 month head start vs. where we normally should be. I've already had a few salads' worth of greens from the spring garden.

The potatoes have been easy and fun so far. I check them out as I walk out to the car in the morning/ The leaf litter pile is next to it, so I can just tuck in a handful or two of fill without too much difficulty. These potatoes definitely aren't hot-house orchids - they grow like some of the more aggressive weed vines around here.

Gardening is still better than TV
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:49 PM   #19
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


I agree. I can be in the garden for hours and hours on end and not get bored. I never get finished, it seems the day is over and there is still a lot to do.

Also, there are no mistakes in gardening. If you don't like the result its easy to change a plants location or variety for the next season. Its all personal
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:37 PM   #20
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


May 26, 46 days in the ground. Just filled the can to the top with dried grass clippings. We're getting some heat today (85+) and the leaves looked a little wilted so I gave them a good drink and put them under one of the cedars for shade. The heat is supposed to break tomorrow.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:38 AM   #21
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


TC:
Just today I finally had an opportunity to get to my veg patch. In this pic you can see where we are planting them right out of a left over bag I saved over the winter. They say those kind are treated to stop them from growing so you have to buy seeds, but we will see.

In the distance you can see ( besides my small helpers foot) a couple of plants that have come on their own. Those are from last years crop that were never found at harvest time. They must have been tiny at the time. I find that kind of amazing because the frost depth in this region is supposed to be a couple of feet anyway. This discovery happens every year but never fails to delight me.

The big fat worm is a sign of healthy soil
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Last edited by creeper; 05-27-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:24 PM   #22
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


Those are some happy worms! I've got some good ones like that in my rhubarb patch, but the rest of the yard it tough dirt. Our frost depth here is technically 4 ft, but if the top inch froze last winter I'd be surprised. Where are you in Ontario - north, south, or central?

One of the plants that was up looks like it died. I'm not sure what happened - it looked really wilted the other day and I gave it a drink, and now it looks like a goner. The other plants are up and seem OK. I'm now wondering if it was actually overwatered, or maybe the drainage is clogging up. I shoved my hand down through the grass to the bottom of the barrel and it feels moist, but no standing water.

I am also wondering if it was such a hot idea to use grass clippings. I let them dry out on the lawn before using them, but I am wondering if they could burn the plants. Things were good when I was just grabbing some old stuff out of last years' pile, but I had a lot of clippings on the lawn and I decided it wouldn't hurt to throw them on. Anyway, it's done and the barrel is full, so we'll see how the other plants do. They still have a lot of growing to do.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:22 PM   #23
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


T.C.
Your spuds bud should be okay. Grass has a lot of nitrogen, which is good for green plants, but a bit much for flowers. Potatoes can take it, you're fine

I'm located in Central Ontario. You can ammend your hard soil with compost or manure. Dig it in with a garden fork.
Every fall I make a big pit in the middle of the veg patch and toss in all the pulled annual flowers, veg stalks or perinnal scraps.,pumpkin, ect. as long as its not too woody. Cover over with a few shovels of earth and by may or june its instant compost. I just plant right on top even if its not quite broken down yet

The thing to remember about clay soil is not to work it or step on it when its really wet. It will harden like cement
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:50 AM   #24
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


Here we have a lot of fine sand. It drains well but there are hardly any organics in it. That's pretty much my first order of duty when I extend the bed, to dig down about 18 inches, pull out about half the sand and replace it with compost and peat. It's pretty good after that. The lawn was pretty sad when I moved in, but topdressing with compost has helped a lot.

That corner of the yard used to be perennial flower beds. Now we keep it pretty neat but I put in rhubarb, raspberry and strawberry instead of flowers. Now it looks nice and tastes nice! We have a separate raised bed for greens and tomatoes, and of course the experimental potatoes.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:18 PM   #25
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


May 29, 49 days in the ground. Lost one plant completely, and the other is flagging. After the one plant died I stopped watering to see if the problem was due to overwatering. The other plant was doing well until we got some rain last night. Now it is flagging a bit, so it definitely seems to be due to overwatering. I put the can under a tree to reduce exposure to rain as we're expecting storms today.

I thought I had enough drainage holes in the bottom, but perhaps not. Also, after putting in all the grass clippings and mulch it simply doesn't need that much water. I am going to just leave it be and see how things work out. It is hard to judge how much water it will need. Live and learn.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:35 PM   #26
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


Too much water. I hope they dont rot on you. If I were you I would get up right now and punch some holes in the sides too. And then just leave them alone until the soil is almost bone dry. Those stalks need to thicken up

At any rate, if it doesn't improve in the next couple of days, just try again. There is plenty of time left
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:29 PM   #27
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


I propped the can up on some lumber so the holes are free draining. It was wet under the can, but water didn't drain out. We'll see how things look in a few days.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:48 PM   #28
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


Well, the trashcan experiment has officially failed. The last plant was found shriveled up to nothing this morning. I pulled out all of the mulch and found it to be sopping wet and warm, actually close to hot (composting). The plant stems were pretty much all rotted away.

Standing back a bit, I have to think that a black plastic trashcan makes a better composter than a pot. You'd think that I'd have realized this as I put the can next to my actual composter (see first picture).

However, I was thinking about my leaf litter pile in the cage in the right of the photo. That pile has been sitting there since last fall and has remained dry and really hasn't broken down much.

So begins Potatoes Part II - the Resurrection!

I got a 5 gallon pail full of excellent compost from a local farm. I dumped that compost in a little nest of dried grass to hold it in place (second & third pictures) and put my remaining 5 seed potatoes out in the compost. These seeds were stored in my refrigerator and came with the original seed order. They had good sprouts on them so I put them right in. I then put the cage over it to hold it all together and put about 6 inches of leaf litter over top of it all.

Hopefully practice makes perfect. I'll keep you all updated of the progress.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:00 PM   #29
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


Why not mix some of the leaves with the contents of the trash can and use the mixture to build up the hills as they grow
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:28 PM   #30
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Trash Can Kennebec Potatoes in Zone 6


That's exactly the plan. I basically put all of the leaf litter into the can and put the lid on it so it can all cook. As I need to hill I'll grab some out of the can and throw it on the potatoes.

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