Growing my own.


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We live in a small apartment, that has a large balcony outside.
I want to make use of that area by growing my own veggies, i.e potatoes, tomatoes,
radish, lettuce etc. I already have some very large deep plastic tubs, which would be
ideal for my project.
For the tomatoes, i just want to start a plant off, by planting half tomato into soil, where
as the lettuce and radish would have to be grown from seed packets. I don`t think i could
dump an old rotting lettuce or radish by itself, and hope for the best.
So my first question is this:
To start any veggie off healthy, which soil would be the best to plant them in?. As they
progress, can i keep them in the same soil, or empty the soil, and put in something different,
to help them progress further?
My second question is this:
I have seen, and tasted, what the British people call "new potatoes".
How are they different from any other potato? Is the growing method and date of planting
different, can i grow them here in the USA, and if so, how?.
Many thanks.
 
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I would think potting soil would work, and for plants from seed you may want some seed starter soil to put on top. Starter is sterile and has no fertilizer like potting soil.
 
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What zone or area do live? I’ve never planted half a tomato in soil. That would be cool to try. Generally this late in our planting season you’d need to buy a tomato plant from a nursery where I live. But may depend where you live. Our weather is too hot right now to do lettuce.

Never heard of a new potato. Interested to hear what that is...
 
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New potatoes are just small potatoes! They are harvested before the potato plant completely dies off. As far as planting half a tomato, better off to buy a plant or clean and dry some tomato seeds and start them early next year. You will be amazed at what you can grow in containers- I've got zucchini, cukes, tomatoes, peppers, corn and herbs!
 

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New potatoes are special varieties which mature quickly.
We have four main classes of potatoes:
1st Early = these are the varieties we call new potatoes, and they mature, usually, in ten to twelve weeks from planting, the seed potatoes being sown from late Feb to April, taking longer to mature the earlier they are planted. A few of these varieties can be left in the ground to grow into bigger potatoes, but only a few. I've been harvesting them since early May, and have loads, because, with the poor growing season we had last year, I knew that spuds in the shops would be either poor quality or high priced. I've seen potatoes at £5 per kg, approx. US$6.50.
The yield is lower but the quality is superb.
2nd Early/Salad potatoes take 15-20 weeks to mature. Salad potatoes are similar in size and yield to new potatoes, but they tend to be waxy and they are distinct. 2nd Earlies tend to be bigger, like maincrop potatoes, but bulk earlier. Usually planted from St Patrick's Day to the end of April. They can be planted later, but don't have much late blight resistance, so earlier is better/
Maincrop: often divided into early maincrop and late maincrop. These are potatoes for chips (fries) mashing, boiling, baking etc. take 15-22 weeks to mature, and usually have the highest yield.
To give you a more in-depth idea of what we mean by those different classes of potatoes, I'm posting a link to the seed potato merchants where I get mine:

 
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What zone or area do live? I’ve never planted half a tomato in soil. That would be cool to try. Generally this late in our planting season you’d need to buy a tomato plant from a nursery where I live. But may depend where you live. Our weather is too hot right now to do lettuce.

Never heard of a new potato. Interested to hear what that is...
We are in the Eastern time zone, we live in Maryland. New potatoes have a very light skin to them, which means hardly any
peeling is necessary. You wash them under running water, and are ready to cook. The taste is something to die for. With
melted butter and a softer taste than ordinary potatoes, they are really good.
 

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New potatoes are special varieties which mature quickly.
We have four main classes of potatoes:
1st Early = these are the varieties we call new potatoes, and they mature, usually, in ten to twelve weeks from planting, the seed potatoes being sown from late Feb to April, taking longer to mature the earlier they are planted. A few of these varieties can be left in the ground to grow into bigger potatoes, but only a few. I've been harvesting them since early May, and have loads, because, with the poor growing season we had last year, I knew that spuds in the shops would be either poor quality or high priced. I've seen potatoes at £5 per kg, approx. US$6.50.
The yield is lower but the quality is superb.
2nd Early/Salad potatoes take 15-20 weeks to mature. Salad potatoes are similar in size and yield to new potatoes, but they tend to be waxy and they are distinct. 2nd Earlies tend to be bigger, like maincrop potatoes, but bulk earlier. Usually planted from St Patrick's Day to the end of April. They can be planted later, but don't have much late blight resistance, so earlier is better/
Maincrop: often divided into early maincrop and late maincrop. These are potatoes for chips (fries) mashing, boiling, baking etc. take 15-22 weeks to mature, and usually have the highest yield.
To give you a more in-depth idea of what we mean by those different classes of potatoes, I'm posting a link to the seed potato merchants where I get mine:

TIL about potatoes!
 
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Fond memories of my mom fixing them for me swimming in butter and a toothpick to eat them with!
It`s probably all that butter my mum gave me with them that gave me my heart problems today lol.
I would still have them to eat, minus the butter, and if i knew how to grow them from pots.
New potatoes are special varieties which mature quickly.
We have four main classes of potatoes:
1st Early = these are the varieties we call new potatoes, and they mature, usually, in ten to twelve weeks from planting, the seed potatoes being sown from late Feb to April, taking longer to mature the earlier they are planted. A few of these varieties can be left in the ground to grow into bigger potatoes, but only a few. I've been harvesting them since early May, and have loads, because, with the poor growing season we had last year, I knew that spuds in the shops would be either poor quality or high priced. I've seen potatoes at £5 per kg, approx. US$6.50.
The yield is lower but the quality is superb.
2nd Early/Salad potatoes take 15-20 weeks to mature. Salad potatoes are similar in size and yield to new potatoes, but they tend to be waxy and they are distinct. 2nd Earlies tend to be bigger, like maincrop potatoes, but bulk earlier. Usually planted from St Patrick's Day to the end of April. They can be planted later, but don't have much late blight resistance, so earlier is better/
Maincrop: often divided into early maincrop and late maincrop. These are potatoes for chips (fries) mashing, boiling, baking etc. take 15-22 weeks to mature, and usually have the highest yield.
To give you a more in-depth idea of what we mean by those different classes of potatoes, I'm posting a link to the seed potato merchants where I get mine:

So could i grow new potatoes from a pot, and if so, what would i have to do?
 
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We are in the Eastern time zone, we live in Maryland. New potatoes have a very light skin to them, which means hardly any
peeling is necessary. You wash them under running water, and are ready to cook. The taste is something to die for. With
melted butter and a softer taste than ordinary potatoes, they are really good.
I should have clarified. I meant your gardening zone not time zone... based on where you live in Maryland. If you look that up you can also find planting schedules that can guide you on what you can grow based on your weather. Maybe you already knew that though? Probably since you’re posting on a garden forum. Where I am I can’t really start much except starting seeds inside for eventual autumn growing/harvesting at this point.

New potatoes sound great though. I’ve never grown potatoes. But now I want to! I feel like the small ones in the store are so pricey.
 
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It`s probably all that butter my mum gave me with them that gave me my heart problems today lol.
I would still have them to eat, minus the butter, and if i knew how to grow them from pots.

So could i grow new potatoes from a pot, and if so, what would i have to do?
Firstly, I believe you call them, "Early Season" potatoes in North America, and you want a pack of these. I consider "new potatoes" to be best when quite small, so wouldn't probably go for "Yukon Gold" (although that does not imply criticism of the variety, just not for this purpose).
You need big pots for potatoes, a min 15" diameter, and 18" deep.
Multipurpose compost and pelleted chicken manure (or fish blood and bone) are your only other requirements.
Put approx. 4" of compost and a handful of fertiliser in your pot, and mix in with your fingers.
Sit 3 seed potatoes, equally spaced, in the compost with "rose end"* up.
Water well, then cover with another 6" of compost.
Keep compost damp
Eventually, you'll see green shoots poking through, and when they reach 6", gently cover them again with compost with another handful of fertiliser.
Protect them from frost, make sure they don't dry out too much, and, after 10-12 weeks, gently poke around in the soil to see if your potatoes are ready to harvest. With new potatoes, it is NOT the case that you need to wait until the foliage dies back.

*Rose end up

 
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Firstly, I believe you call them, "Early Season" potatoes in North America, and you want a pack of these. I consider "new potatoes" to be best when quite small, so wouldn't probably go for "Yukon Gold" (although that does not imply criticism of the variety, just not for this purpose).
You need big pots for potatoes, a min 15" diameter, and 18" deep.
Multipurpose compost and pelleted chicken manure (or fish blood and bone) are your only other requirements.
Put approx. 4" of compost and a handful of fertiliser in your pot, and mix in with your fingers.
Sit 3 seed potatoes, equally spaced, in the compost with "rose end"* up.
Water well, then cover with another 6" of compost.
Keep compost damp
Eventually, you'll see green shoots poking through, and when they reach 6", gently cover them again with compost with another handful of fertiliser.
Protect them from frost, make sure they don't dry out too much, and, after 10-12 weeks, gently poke around in the soil to see if your potatoes are ready to harvest. With new potatoes, it is NOT the case that you need to wait until the foliage dies back.

*Rose end up

Thank you so much for that information.
What time of the year would be best to start planting, based on your info?
 
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I should have clarified. I meant your gardening zone not time zone... based on where you live in Maryland. If you look that up you can also find planting schedules that can guide you on what you can grow based on your weather. Maybe you already knew that though? Probably since you’re posting on a garden forum. Where I am I can’t really start much except starting seeds inside for eventual autumn growing/harvesting at this point.

New potatoes sound great though. I’ve never grown potatoes. But now I want to! I feel like the small ones in the store are so pricey.
I found this, which gives me an idea of what to do, and when.

 

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