Best Potatoes for Zone 8b ?

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I have tried Yukon Gold, Kennebec, Red Norland - in fabric pots and in ground and I just cant seem to get the plants to go through the full life cycle without dieing early, stalks getting limp and yellowing to die off. I guess some of this is blight. Is there a variety that grows really well in Zone 8B and make this easier for me ?

Another question...Can I grow another potato batch in the same fabric pot (or same soil in the ground) right after I harvest this batch ?
 

Meadowlark

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I've always had success in East Texas with the red Pontiac variety but just for fun this year I'm doing my own experiment to try to somewhat factually determine which variety is best. See the thread: https://www.gardening-forums.com/threads/in-search-of-potato-for-east-texas.27137/post-240571

Results coming in the next three weeks so stay tuned if interested. 12 varieties under study both in ground and in Hügelkultur containers comparing production, quality, taste, etc.

It is normal in this growing zone for spring potatoes to start getting limp and yellowing starting about now and continuing until hot weather finishes them off.

My answer to your question: No, we are heading immediately into the HOT zone and potatoes just won't fair well now until fall. Aso, I strongly advise against growing potatoes in the same spot/soil consecutively. That is just begging for disease problems...blight, rust, scab, etc. They must be rotated to reduce/eliminate that problem. I use a minimum of three-year rotation and almost never have any disease problems or insect problems.

p.s. here is a sample from today's robbery of the "Caribe" variety. Delicious. I've also robbed some dark Red Norlands, Kennebecs and the Sarpo Mira for tasting. The Sarpo Mira was fantastic tasting, the others not so much...but I have several weeks to go with data gathering.

TP caribe.JPG
 
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Man thanks ML. Great reply. If its normal for the yellowing and whimpy stalks more caused from the warmer temps....then that makes me feel better. I do want to hear all about your testing too. Where would I get Red Pontiacs if you like those so much. I dont see them in our Lowes/Depot or Tractor Supply.

Let me ask you this...are the sweet potatoes the same and dont like the heat ? I think the sweets are different and like the heat since ours did better last summer if I recall. It was our first year too though so I am still learning. We ordered slips for the sweet potatoes as soon as they were available and they are in the pots doing fine so far (still small of course right now).
Paul
 

Meadowlark

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The best source for local seed potatoes are your local feed stores. They generally only carry the ones that work well in your area. Lowes/Depot not so much.

Sweet potatoes are a completely different "animal". They love the heat and need several months of it to make a bumper crop. Zone 8 is ideal for growing sweet potatoes. Grow them all the way to first frost when they can be harvested. Long growing season.

The problem I've had with sweet potatoes is that we don't much like the standard orange sweet potato taste. So, not worth growing...but "new" to us varieties such as the Murasaki are said to solve that problem. It is purported to be a highly delicious, purple-skinned sweet potato with white flesh and very good yields. I have several slips going this year for late fall harvest. In addition, for comparison, I have several slips of the Asian sweet potato out in the garden. I'll make a post this fall on the results of this sweet potato trial.
 
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Since it is the case that nasties can be carried around a plot by wind, by your footwear & tools & by water running or splashing, it really isn't worthwhile practicing crop rotation on small areas; you have to forego growing certain crops for three out of four years.
The best way to ensure against disease on your plot, is the quality & assurance of what you plant in it:
DON'T:
Buy in plants or sets if you can avoid it.
Seeds have very few diseases, & you won't get onion white rot from seeds.
Garlic: I grow my bought seed garlic in tubs first year, so I can be sure there's no visible fungal diseases, & only if it's safe do I plant it in my plot.
I grow my onions in the same two 12x6 beds beds every year, without trouble, because I keep trouble away.
Potatoes, similarly, I grow certified seed potatoes & my own saved seed potatoes only.
Brassicas, again, clubroot affects ONLY the roots of brassicas, so seeds WILL be free of that.
I grow all of them in the parts of the plot best suited for them (light, drainage etc.) year after year
The only proviso with this is that if you get carrot or onion root flies, or other pests like eelworm, you have to abstain from growing the affected crops for a couple of years, however, if you have a small plot, you'd have to do that to eradicate them anyway, as they will very quickly sniff out new sources of food.
You also have to be very careful about maintaining soil nutrients, especially in the case of potatoes, which are heavy feeders.

Meadowlark is an excellent food gardener, but his plot is like a small farm, almost, & rules which he will benefit from do not always have the same value for smaller plots.
I fully intend to grow two successive crops of first-early potatoes in the same ground this year, just re-layering with seaweed & comfrey in between.
 

Meadowlark

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...if you get carrot or onion root flies, or other pests like eelworm, you have to abstain from growing the affected crops for a couple of years, however, if you have a small plot, you'd have to do that to eradicate them anyway, as they will very quickly sniff out new sources of food.
You also have to be very careful about maintaining soil nutrients, especially in the case of potatoes, which are heavy feeders.

...

QED! Proved my point precisely.

Rotate to minimize disease and/or insect problems and always renew that soil after potato harvest. I will immediately plant Sunn Hemp in my potato rows to start that renewal. Soil tests don't lie...and I have them that show "No N-P-K required" in exactly the same senario. Good garden practices are good regardless of size.
 
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QED! Proved my point precisely.

Rotate to minimize disease and/or insect problems and always renew that soil after potato harvest. I will immediately plant Sunn Hemp in my potato rows to start that renewal. Soil tests don't lie...and I have them that show "No N-P-K required" in exactly the same senario. Good garden practices are good regardless of size.
On the contrary.
If you get insect or fungal problems in a small part of a small plot, you WILL get them all over that plot, because they can be moved, on your shoes or tools or spread through the soil, so your WHOLE plot is automatically infested.

Note that I did say that because your plot is a farm, & thus far bigger than most people's plots, this did not apply to you, & that you are absolutely correct in what you do, but it does not scale down to people using a few yards of garden.
 
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Since it is the case that nasties can be carried around a plot by wind, by your footwear & tools & by water running or splashing, it really isn't worthwhile practicing crop rotation on small areas; you have to forego growing certain crops for three out of four years.
The best way to ensure against disease on your plot, is the quality & assurance of what you plant in it:
DON'T:
Buy in plants or sets if you can avoid it.
Seeds have very few diseases, & you won't get onion white rot from seeds.
Garlic: I grow my bought seed garlic in tubs first year, so I can be sure there's no visible fungal diseases, & only if it's safe do I plant it in my plot.
I grow my onions in the same two 12x6 beds beds every year, without trouble, because I keep trouble away.
Potatoes, similarly, I grow certified seed potatoes & my own saved seed potatoes only.
Brassicas, again, clubroot affects ONLY the roots of brassicas, so seeds WILL be free of that.
I grow all of them in the parts of the plot best suited for them (light, drainage etc.) year after year
The only proviso with this is that if you get carrot or onion root flies, or other pests like eelworm, you have to abstain from growing the affected crops for a couple of years, however, if you have a small plot, you'd have to do that to eradicate them anyway, as they will very quickly sniff out new sources of food.
You also have to be very careful about maintaining soil nutrients, especially in the case of potatoes, which are heavy feeders.

Meadowlark is an excellent food gardener, but his plot is like a small farm, almost, & rules which he will benefit from do not always have the same value for smaller plots.
I fully intend to grow two successive crops of first-early potatoes in the same ground this year, just re-layering with seaweed & comfrey in between.
Kind of scary thinking same as me there is many bugs and have to be vigilant.

I know you tried them but I found with Kennebecs I have left them in the ground until freeze and they did just fine.

big rockpile
 

Meadowlark

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.... but it does not scale down to people using a few yards of garden.

How about a container? Here's the soil depletion for a container that started with "No N-P-K required" and finished with potatoes:

Element % Reduction

Total Nitrogen 91
Nitrate 84
Ammonium 94
Phosphorus 29
Potassium 94
Magnesium 60
Iron 93
Manganese 63
 

Meadowlark

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...

I know you tried them but I found with Kennebecs I have left them in the ground until freeze and they did just fine.

big rockpile
I don't doubt you can do that in Mo. but absolutely not here in Texas. If I don't get my spuds out of the ground by Memorial Day, they will quickly rot within days...nothing worse than a rotting potato.
 
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I don't doubt you can do that in Mo. but absolutely not here in Texas. If I don't get my spuds out of the ground by Memorial Day, they will quickly rot within days...nothing worse than a rotting potato.
Most around here say have them out of the ground before Dog Days.

We like having the extra space for Fall Garden. I know lots of water.

big rockpile
 
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How about a container? Here's the soil depletion for a container that started with "No N-P-K required" and finished with potatoes:

Element % Reduction

Total Nitrogen 91
Nitrate 84
Ammonium 94
Phosphorus 29
Potassium 94
Magnesium 60
Iron 93
Manganese 63
So, potatoes are heavy feeders.
Are you going to tell me that you are going to solve this depletion by crop rotation?
I have a plot which is approx 20ftx50ft.
It already has club root in more than half, (prior to my getting it).
Do I use crop rotation, & if so please detail, do I stop growing brassicas altogether, or do I keep them on the patch already infested, using lime to keep the pH well above what other plants like, so that the clubroot spores won't open?

I have been using the last, but if you can suggest better, bearing in mind the size of the plot, I'll be glad to hear it.
 

Meadowlark

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Are you going to tell me that you are going to solve this depletion by crop rotation?

Yes. Solved in less than one day, in fact. Problem completely solved. Containers ready to plant anything I want.

This is how...Remove the depleted soil in the container, replace it with replenished "No N-P-K required soil" that hasn't grown potatoes in three years. Problem solved; containers ready to grow anything...even potatoes, in less than one day.

But what about the removed soil, you argue?

The removed soil went into an area (30% smaller than your plot area) for replenishment. I covered it yesterday in several inches of well composted manure. Soon it will be planted in Sunn Hemp for soil rebuilding. That will be mowed this fall and the green manure turned into the soil. Then a fall cover crop of alfalfa will be planted there. By next spring that soil will be 100% "No N-P-K required". I am now so confident in this approach that I no longer need to do soil tests to prove it. It works, every time.

But, but, but that can only be done in large areas, headfullofbees proclaims.

Nonsense, absolute nonsense. If I only had one container and had another 5 sq. ft. of ground for soil replenishment, this approach would work indefinitely. Of course, one container would limit production, but NOT because of fertility, insects, or other disease.

Here is where my container soil went...in with other soil depleted by potato and onion crops that yielded well over 600 pounds of produce this spring.

soil cycle.JPG
 

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