Growing your own potatoes!

Australia
July 1, 2010 7:11am CST
I live out in the country and we have so much room for growing our own vegies here. However I'm a little low on cash so I want to know what vegetables I can grow without having to buy seeds. I have successfully grown my own potatoes before but they only yielded small ones. Have any of you ever grown your own beautiful, big potatoes before? It is currently winter in Australia but the garden bed at the side of the house gets full sun for a good part of the day. Please share your hints and tips!
3 people like this
8 responses
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
3 Jul 10
When you buy a bag of potatoes in the grocery store check them to see if they have "eyes." These are where the new sprouts grow from, and when you are peeling the potatoes make the peeling thicker under the eyes. Save this part of the potato peel and plant it in your garden. You must not plant it too deep because there is not much nourishment on the thin peeling. As the new shoots come out gradually heap the earth up around the plants. This covers the new baby potatoes as they grow, and keeps them from getting sunburned as they mature.
1 person likes this
• Australia
5 Jul 10
Great advice Barehugs!
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Jul 10
Personally, I think the trick is lots and lots of manure or quality compost dug into the soil at planting time, and a good mulch. I have an entire field of potatoes planted at the moment, and am enjoying watching them flower, knowing that this means harvest time is approaching soon. a whole field of potatoes is allot of work come harvest, but they should keep us going for the whole year. I just finished last yearĀ“s crop a few weeks ago.
1 person likes this
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
1 Jul 10
You can grow cheap potatoes, but you cannot grow free potatoes. You need to nourish the soil of your garden. And you need to buy potatoes plants, which looks like your odd potatoe with some sprout on it. But it is not any potatoe. This should give you two kilos of real potatoes per plant. Which is worth 4 or 5 dollars in the shop. You also need to rotate your planting every year for all your vegetable in your garden. Never plant potatoes two years in a row in the same spot.
• Australia
1 Jul 10
And you need to water them if it is dry and hot.
• Australia
1 Jul 10
I do recall my father telling me that you shouldn't over-water potatoes because they will rot under the soil. I also wait for the potatoes to get really old and sprouting eyes before I plant them. I just don't know how to grow nice big ones!
• Australia
1 Jul 10
They don't need much water, but they need some. Potatoe plants are not old potatoes. They are small fresh potatoes, nice and firm, with sprouting on the top only. The size of your potatoes will be reflected by the size of the foliage. Healthy potatoes grow a foliage of two feet tall. Those of my grand-father were three feet tall, and he was getting almost 3 kilos per plant.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
1 Jul 10
we always grow small potatoes too, but we do the fancy expensive ones as you can get russets pretty cheap at the store. You could also grow onions, garlic, beans and peas from what you buy at the store!
• Australia
1 Jul 10
Ooh, how do I grow peas and beans?
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
1 Jul 10
Drop the peas in the ground and the beans, you want to open the pod, looks a lot like a pea. Plant that! They are very yummy!
@derek_a (10902)
2 Jul 10
I have grown potatoes here in the UK, and they needs lots and lots of furtilizer or they will come out of the ground quite small. Also if there have been vegetables in the ground the year before, potatoes won't to very well. Carrots on the other hand don't do too well with lots of fertilizer, and like a lighter well-drained soil. I don't know too much about growing stuff down-under as your climate is so different to ours. I will follow this discussion though out of interest, even though all I grow in my garden now is flowers. _Derek
• Australia
3 Jul 10
Thanks for the advice Derek. I have access to a lot of cow/chicken/horse poo. Do you think that will make good fertiliser? Luckily we haven't grown too much in the garden so far so the soil should be ok for potatoes.
1 person likes this
@derek_a (10902)
3 Jul 10
I don't think it matters too much what sort of poo you use. I always had it delevered from the local horse-riding stables. Having grown up looking after horses, I think horse poo smells better than that of other animals. If I remember correctly I used to dig it into the ground just after a crop of another type of vegetable and let the ground have a rest from planting for a few months. But the time it came to planting the potatoes, I could hardly smell a thing because most of the poos had rotted into the ground making it more furtile. _Derek
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
1 Jul 10
When I was in junior high, I had a fairly large garden in which I grew tomatoes, green beans, sweet peas, onions(even though I don't like onions), maybe some other things I don't remember, and, yes potatoes. For the potatoes I cut eyes out of the older potatoes my mother had in her pantry and planted them along a fence row at the back of our property. Like you I only got small to medium size potatoes but I always wondered if that was only because I didn't wait long enough for them to grow larger. My whole garden was where a lot of trees had been and had some trees around it still. I plowed the whole thing with a hand plow that my father had which was very difficult because there a lot of roots from there having been trees there. I had the garden for about 3 years before I gave it up for lack of time.
• Australia
3 Jul 10
Yeah I wondered if I should have waited longer for them to get bigger but I was worried about them rotting! I also wonder if cutting the eyes out is better than just planting the whole thing/ I m ight give that a try!
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
17 Jul 10
I get most of my seeds from the dollar stores sometimes for as little as ten cents a pack. How about some cold tolerant greens like mustard or spinach? My favorite fast growing cool weather edible is Swiss Chard. But my favorite vegetable of all is purslane, which grows from cuttings so once it is established you never need seeds. It is highly prolific. In fact, most people regard it as a weed, but it is exceptionately nutritious, being high in Omega-3. The golden purslane is tasty in salad and also delicious in soup. Whatever you grow, enjoy!
@Shar19 (8236)
• United States
1 Jul 10
I have never grown potatoes before. I don't even know anyone who has. I think that would be neat though. I wish I lived somewhere that I could grow my own produce all year round.