Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Potato Experiment

I wanted to update those that were interested on our potato experiment. Sandy Oklahoma Transient and I are both running the same experiment with growing potatoes in straw. She is also experimenting with sweet potatoes. A week or so before St. Patrick's Day, O Wise One and I planted our chitted potatoes. Same potatoes in both instances saved from our potato crop last year. One planted in soil in our newest garden plot north of the chicken yard. Grown traditionally in that they are planted in rows and the soil pulled up over and around the growing plants as they get taller.   There are 2 rows that are 100 foot long. As you can see in the picture above they sprouted well and have filled in the rows. We have had to pull dirt up on them twice now. 

The other row of potatoes are planted in our smaller original garden plot east of the chicken yard. This is the garden we are trying to convert to a no till garden. These same seed potatoes are being grown also in a row but instead of pulling dirt around them we are growing them in straw. The ones in straw right now are actually outgrowing the traditional plants. We contribute some of this to a more established garden plot with a better soil. After all we have had 14 years to amend this soil with goat, cow, rabbit and chicken compost and  the new garden we have only started last year. Never the less it should be interesting to see which bears more. Which are easier to pick and the difference in pest problems between the two.  

Anyone else growing potatoes in straw for the first time? I would love to hear and compare experiences!

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. One year when I had a particularly good amount of compost (and time), I dug the rows, planted the potatoes and covered with a mix of seasoned compost, shredded leaves & shredded paper--and slowly topped that with straw. No dirt. This was probably my best crop. Added bonus was that the potatoes came out of the ground completely clean, even in wet conditions. With our typically clay-like soil, that was a wonderful suprise! I use as much straw as I can now but I just haven't had the time and resources to put into it like I did that year...but we're slowly getting back to that. Maybe next year?

  2. CQ, Your potatoes are looking good girl! I have one section that is growing and another that just decided it wasn't going to do a darn thing. Here's hoping, the one section that is growing will amount to something this year. :-)

  3. I have never grown in straw but had a co~worker at school who swears to the straw method. Once she tried it she said she'd never plant 'em any other way!!!

    Yours are comin' along magnificently sweetie!

    God bless ya and have yourself a sunshiny kinda day!!! :o)

  4. Straw is hard to come by here in my area, so I have never grown potatoes that way. Looks like yours are growing beautifully!

  5. Everything looks great, CQ! Have a wonderful day! :o)

  6. I've always wanted to try straw-but never have-let us know how it all turns out!


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