In search of potato for East Texas

Meadowlark

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I've always had excellent production on red new potatoes (10 to 1 production ratio average) but poor production on white potatoes (3 to 1 ratio at best). This is for potatoes planted in late winter and harvested in late May. I have never done well on either type planted in the fall. So, I'm looking for a magic white or off-white potato that will produce in fall as well as late winter plantings. I'm also interested in determining which type of potato, red or other, is best suited for Hügelkultur (HK) containers.

I'm getting together the seed potatoes now to start an experiment next Feb. The following types are on-hand now or on order. I'll compare HK production to Garden production and assign a subjective taste and quality rating to each type. First round of results should be next May and the second-round next year late fall/early winter.

Here is the current line-up:

TypeHK proGar ProPro RatioTasteQuality
Sarpo Mira
Huckelberry Gold
Elba
Baltic Rose
Caribe
Kennebec
Russett
Yukon Gold
German BB
Reds

Comments/questions welcomed.
 
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Everyone like taters! Detailed pictures of the huelglekulture(?) and garden setup would be great.
 
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When I lived in Phoenix AZ I planted potatoes November 1st. When I lived in Illinois we planted in May 20. Now I live in TN if I plants May 1st or later rain stops in June we have 95° to 100° weather for 4 months with almost no rain garden is desert all summer. Potatoes need lots of water in TN. RED Pontiac are HOT weather potatoes they grow good in TN but white potatoes are not easy to grow in TN. Our TN soil is too heavy for good crop of potatoes water will not soak into the soil I spray plants 5 minutes water only soaks in about 1" deep. A soaker hose planted along side seed potatoes works great this is the only way to get water to the plants June to Sept. 5-20-20 fertilizer needs to be tilled into the soil before planting potatoes. I refuse to be a slave to my garden I seldom spent 5 to 10 minutes a day in the garden. Some times I do nothing to the garden for a week or May to July is a very good time to go camping. Red potatoes out produce white potatoes 4 to 1. If you plant seed potatoes in potting soil, water & fertilize 2 times a week Red potatoes out produce white potatoes 10 to 1 in TN. We like white potatoes best so I don't grow many red potatoes. Potatoes are tricky to grow if you don't do them right you have very few new potatoes. This year I try something new, I hope to grow 200 lbs of potatoes in a double row 34 ft long and grow 4 different kinds of potatoes in the same row.
 
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Meadowlark

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LINEUP:

I've assembled my seed potatoes now for each variety shown below and have begun the process of chitting them in preparation for planting in another couple of weeks.

My intent is to normalize the production results per pound of seed potato and subjectively assign a taste/quality rating for each.

TypeHügelkultur proGarden ProTasteQuality
Sarpo Mira
Huckelberry Gold
Elba
Baltic Rose
Caribe
Kennebec
Russett
Yukon Gold
German BB
Charlotte
Rose gold
Dark Red Norland
Red Pontiacs
 
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Is the "Hugelkultur" method going to be in a container/grow bag or in the ground? I assume the "Garden" method is normal planting in the ground?

Can you post pictures of exactly what you are doing with them and of the layers of materials?
 

Meadowlark

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See the thread "An experiment in Hügelkultur in containers" for detailed pictures of the containers I'll be using for part of this experiment.

Questions I hope to answer:

1) What's the best overall potato for my area
2) What's the best overall red potato for my area?
3) What's the best overall white potato for my area?
4) What's the best potato for container growing in my area?

In addition, I'm looking to grow my own seed potato for fall planting depending on what the answers to 1,2,3,4 above. I have found that the only way I can be successful with fall potatoes here is to plant active, growing eyes in August. Since potatoes need up to two months of dormancy and no one that I can find ever has any active seed potatoes for sale until Sept and Oct, I have to grow my own active eyes.

It's a good bit of effort required to carry this out, but I'm hoping the effort will be worth it.
 
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Since potatoes need up to two months of dormancy and no one that I can find ever has any active seed potatoes for sale until Sept and Oct, I have to grow my own active eyes.

I didn't know they had to be dormant for two months. I bought some Walmart Russet potatoes this year to grow. They sprouted eyes in a week in a dark closet, way sooner that what I expected. I don't expect them to sprout on cue so that may be a problem for Fall potatoes. I stuck them in the fridge drawer for now. I'll do some Kennebecs too I guess. Anyways now you have another possibility for seed potatoes.

Here is your other thread.
 
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These are the potatoes most often grown in Cyprus for their heat tolerance amongst other qualities.
I don't know if you'll be able to get them where you are, but might be worth a try.
People try to grow them here in the UK but it's mild and very damp here, so they don't do well.
Although they're not the easiest to harvest, my thought is that the way you'll be harvesting them, they should be OK.
I wouldn't grow Sarpo Mira if you paid me.

 
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I stopped buying over price seed potatoes years ago. Grocery store potatoes are $3 for 5 lbs. Seed potatoes are $28 for 5 lbs. Commercial grows stopped using chemicals to prevent eyes from sprouting years ago. I am going to grow 3 different kinds of potatoes this year, Dark Red Norland, Cobbler, Kennebec. I hope potatoes I use for seed potatoes don't all grow eyes at the same time, it works perfect to plant 5 cuttings every week for 3 months then harvest 15 lbs of potatoes every week for 3 months.

Red Pontiac are very easy to grow here in our hot 100°f summer desert weather a 1 eye cutting will grow 4 lbs of new potatoes but we don't like Red Pontiac potatoes.
 

Meadowlark

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For those interested in this thread, below is the "data sheet" for this experiment showing the type, maturity (Late, Mid, Early) classification (White, Gold, Red) and planting data for the 13 varieties chosen for this experiment.

There are 5 white, 5 gold and 3 red and 6 late, 4 mid, and 3 early. I think it represents a good cross section of varieties.

The planting weights are in pounds and all results will be normalized to 1 pound. Each type is planted both in a Hügelkultur container and in garden soil for comparison.

Questions/comments welcome.

TubTypematureclasseyes hkeyes garweight hkweight garplt date
1​
Sarpo MiraLR
8​
10​
1​
1​
8-Feb​
2​
Huckleberry GoldMG
3​
3​
1​
1​
10-Feb​
3​
ElbaLW
6​
6​
1​
1​
8-Feb​
4​
Rose GoldMG
6​
6​
1​
1​
10-Feb​
5​
CaribeEW
5​
5​
1​
1​
12-Feb​
6​
KennebecLW
8​
8​
1.2​
1.2​
8-Feb​
7​
RussetLW
8​
8​
1​
1​
8-Feb​
8​
Yukon GoldMG
5​
5​
1​
1​
8-Feb​
9​
German BBLW
5​
5​
1​
1​
8-Feb​
10​
CharlotteMG
6​
6​
1​
1​
12-Feb​
11​
Prairie BlushEG
3​
3​
0.7​
0.8​
13-Feb​
12​
Dark Red NorlandER
6​
6​
0.8​
0.8​
12-Feb​
13​
Red PontiacsER
3​
3​
0.7​
0.8​
13-Feb​
 

Meadowlark

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Status update: All 12 varieties are up and growing. The Sarpo Mira shown in the foreground below has shown the most aggressive growth right out of the shoot.

The plants are all shown both in the Hügelkultur containers and just to the left of them their counterpart in-ground plants.

Off to an excellent start.

pot experiment.JPG
 
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That took good, very good. I wish I could fine black color pots like yours for less than $20 each. Do your pots have bottom drain holes or drain holes 4" from the bottom?

Your potato row looks great, our TN soil is, hard, dry and heavy, if I do rows like yours I get very few new potatoes unless I place a soaker hose next to potato cuttings then cover them up with soil. TN rain stops about May 20 garden is dry as desert and 100°f for 4 month.
 

Meadowlark

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My containers are free...left over from cattle feeding. See the thread "An experiment in Hügelkultur in containers" for detailed pictures of the containers and how I construct them.
 

Meadowlark

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First results are coming in. Each variety will be photographed with the HK produce on the left and the in-garden produce on the right.

It will take awhile to process all 12 varieties including taste tests, but I'll try to show these production photos as I go along and build my spreadsheet.

First up, the variety "Rose Gold":
Rose Gold.JPG


Next view the "German Butterball" results:

German BB.JPG



The third variety for today is the "Charlotte" potato. Notice the presence of a good bit of green in these:


Charlotte.JPG
 

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