Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Jan 3, 2016 14:05:22 GMT -5
When I plant random varieties of potatoes that have been jumbled together from seed swaps, about 5% of the tubers are plain old nasty. About 10% are less than desirable. The great majority taste fine. Potato poisons are well behaved. They taste super bitter. Except perhaps in ripe fruits, but then they are highly emetic, so no worries.
Silt/clay, high-altitude, super-arid, sun-drenched, irrigated-desert garden. Cold radiant-cooled nights. ~100 frost free days. Grow most of my own locally adapted landrace seed. GDD10C ~1300. Buy my book or subscribe to my newsletter at Lofthouse.com.
Yes, their numbers have always struck me as very high. Then again, they have been experimenting and refining the system on their site for 25 years, and improving the soil at the same time. So they have every little detail down pat and excellent soil to work with. Their method is a lot of work.
Since I want my system be be usable on pavement, I'm not using Bio intensive techniques. And I'm not using them on my farm system because it is such a lot of work, and needs daily sprinkling with water. (Though it uses less water overall then other methods, due to the high yields per square foot.)
It is the the book "How to Grow More Vegetables" by John Jeavons.
They have charts for yield per plant, yield per hundred square feet, calorie per pound, etc. for lots of different plants. And they have three yield levels; beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
Consider me a skeptic. That sounds like propoganda to me.
I grow potatoes in fairly deep trenches that I make and fill with corn stalks, bean vines and the like in the fall covered with dirt and then plant early spring. I might get four, five gallon buckets full in an approximate 2' x 50' row, around 100 sq ft. I don't know how much four buckets of potatoes weighs but I'm pretty sure it's way, way short of 700 lbs, not even 200.
My math is similar, but I doubt I've ever had 100lbs from a similar row.
Here is an interesting link and picture of a Chaquitaclla, sometimes spelled differently or abbreviated to Taclla. It is the traditional "Andean Foot Plow" that is used for cultivating ground for potatoes and for harvesting them. Essentially, potatoes have been selected for traditionally in their native land by land that has been plowed with these, and by digging with these. This is kind of off topic, I just think it's interesting.
Wow, interesting video! Those are really efficient looking tools. Nice black soil, too. Especially interesting were the guys coming along after them to turn over the chunks of sod. And the fact that they were also using pickaxes of some sort.
Starting to think about why a potato type plant would want to grow higher stolons like I want them to. Most potato plants wouldn't see a need for it. I suppose floodplain potatoes, if there are any such in the wild, would be able to use it to climb above a new layer of silt and leave tubers at a reasonable depth.
Curzio's piece was interesting too. Looks like the main problem with potatoes in containers is the lack of water.
Where did you get the Popa Chonka potato? Did you get it from Curzio's SSE listing? I can't find it anywhere else.
The long stolon trait tends to be found amount potato varieties that sprawl. They can sometimes get more than 6' wide. Other varieties can be very tall, sometimes 5 or 6 feet.
Most commercial potatoes, because they want to harvest mechanically, find those to be difficult traits to deal with. They want uniformity across their entire fields, and plants that set tubers in exactly one location.
I have some Papa Chonca, and I did get it from Curzio originally. It is basically a perennial, difficult to get rid of in the soil. It is too late to mail any tubers this fall, but if you want some in the spring I may be able to send you some.
That is a kind offer. I will let you know if I need to take you up on it.
As far as getting stock, it looks like SSE is the only option. As you point out, commercial varieties can't have these traits.
I will probably become an SSE member again. I was a member but let it lapse when Glen Drowns and Will Bonsall broke up with them. It just seemed that the group was becoming rather pointless. But for almost every variety on my list, they (mostly curzio) are the sole source I can find.
Almost all the potatoes were in the bottom of the tower.
The upper areas of the tower were extremely dry despite top watering. That last aspect is a major concern for you gilbert given the video was from the humid UK and you are in arid Front Range Colorado. How are you intending to maintain adequate water across the vertical profile of the tower? This is an aspect I have never considered regarding potato towers (never having seriously considered growing in them) you are dramatically increasing the surface area for evaporative water loss from the soil. System design for adequate and even watering is a major concern IMO.
I think that after unsuitable varieties, lack of water is the second biggest problem in potato towers. All that increased surface area is a liability unless you cover it with potato vines.
To solve this problem, I plan to do three things;
Line part of the towers with plastic; use a good water retentive soil and or mulch, instead of straw; and include a water reservoir of some type, either olla or wicking bed, in each tower. I will also increase the tower diameter compared to what most people use.
That was a fairly depressing video as far as yields. I wonder if the temperature just got too high inside the upper tires.
OK, this thread has gone from a head shaker to me to inspiring an interesting idea. Sweet potato towers. Or at least container sweets. It seems like several negatives of tower growing for potatoes are possible net positives for sweets in this climate. Hot, dry conditions at the soil surface are something I am given to understand that sweet potatoes like very much. It is worth an experiment.
keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.): Looking for Goldini Zucchini again. Thinking of setting up my own seed shop for OSSI varieties in the future.
Apr 2, 2022 3:58:57 GMT -5
gratefulseedsaver: I have Goldini seeds. email@example.com
Oct 8, 2022 18:46:12 GMT -5
wilscase: Hello all. My name is Casey Wilson. I'
Oct 18, 2022 21:31:32 GMT -5
wilscase: I'm a graduate student at Oregon State and have been working with populations segrgating for different color genes such as the B gene in Cucurbita. I'm curious if anyone has experience with crosses in Cucurbita maxima between grey blue types and orange?
Oct 18, 2022 21:33:14 GMT -5
wilscase: I have been backcrossing to the grey parent for 4 generations and have finally selfed the heterozygotes (for the Bmax gene) the populations have segregated for diffuse bicolor (pink/blue, orange green), blue green, blue, green, pink (salmon) and orange
Oct 18, 2022 21:36:29 GMT -5
wilscase: The genes involved are Bmax and bl. I have observed that Bmax is incompletely dominant to wild type (green). I have read that bl is incompletely recessive to Bl(wild type). I'm curious if anyone else has observed the behavior of Bmax in a grey/blue type
Oct 18, 2022 21:38:28 GMT -5
wilscase: It appears that bl and Bmax are interacting to produce different shades of salmon and pink.
Oct 18, 2022 21:38:52 GMT -5
wilscase: I'm also interested in any other color genetics, especially the relationships between B and L genes. In the right background these genes can dramatically increase Carotenoids (vitamin A)
Oct 18, 2022 21:40:09 GMT -5
wilscase: I have lots of germplasm and would love to exchange anything that people are interested in
Oct 18, 2022 21:41:56 GMT -5