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  Growing potato and garlic

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damethod blog photos
Joined: 5/04/2008
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 637
Posted: Jun/17/2008 10:05 AM PST

I am going to try growing potato and garlic in my garden. I have a few questions for those of you that have experience with these veggies.

1. Once I slice off a piece of potato that I want to plant..how deep do I plant it?...and most importantly...do I place the cut(raw) side down or up?

2. As for garlic..do I just plant a bulb?..the whole head of garlic? seeds?(as u can see..I'm clueless)

3. What should I use to fertilize them?

4. How long more or less until I can harvest the entire plant?(number of days/months)

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
Lesverts
Joined: 6/02/2008
Location: Brantford
Posts: 15
Posted: Jun/17/2008 10:18 AM PST

For garlic you plant the clove to produce a bulb. You plant the clove point end up just visible above the ground. You can us bulbs from the grocery store but I wouldn't recommend any elephant varieties (the ones that are purple). You should plant garlic in the fall in your area, it needs to cooler and drier fall/winter months to produce the best bulbs.
stereoman blog photos
Joined: 3/17/2008
Location: beautiful southern appalachians
Posts: 2168
Posted: Jun/17/2008 11:49 AM PST

Potatoes are so much fun to grow, dame! Both the stem and the roots sprout directly from the eye, so it hardly makes a difference which side you plant "up". With just a tablespoon size chunk of potato and nothing else, an eye can throw off a foot-long stem. Having said that, I think most people plant "eye up". "Eye" do! You should plant deep enough to keep the sunlight from penetrating to the seed, two or three inches is plenty.

Once the potato plant gets nice and bushy, you'll see its little flower buds showing. Takes about two months to get there. Look down at the base of the stem, you'll see little bumps on a happy plant. If you mound up some soil over the bumpy part, new roots will sprout from the stem, and of course new roots means more spuds!

Once the plant has flowered, the foliage will begin to die back as the plant concentrates all its energies on producing tubers. Now is the time to keep their thirst well-slaked - more water means bigger spuds! They will continue to grow even after all the foliage has shriveled up and browned.

When you dig them up, think about how much fun it is to hoist your dinner from the ground. Think about how happy they were to grow in that space. Think about how beautiful the foliage, how delicate the flowers, how strong the stems. If those thoughts are all with you, be careless about your digging. Next year, you won't have to plant again.

Happy gardening!
carolyncat353 blog photos
Joined: 4/29/2008
Location: Westlake, La
Posts: 10091
Posted: Jun/17/2008 5:45 PM PST

Damethod, it's too late now to plant potatoes where you live. Wait until mid-late August to plant-Or, because you're in Miami, which is even further south than me, best to check with your local Ag. office. I think garlic is supposed to be planted in the fall, also.
damethod blog photos
Joined: 5/04/2008
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 637
Posted: Jun/18/2008 4:13 AM PST

Thanks for the info! The only question left unanswered is..fertilizer? Do I need any?

I was thinking of mixing in some blood and bone meal into the dirt where I'm going to plant them. Would this be a good idea? Is it necessary?
gardenbook photos
Joined: 5/31/2008
Location: South Florida - Zone 9B/10
Posts: 782
Posted: Jun/21/2008 6:52 AM PST

Damethod, I am 1.5 hours north of you and wanting to plant potatoes and garlic also. I have read on sites specific to growing potatoes that you should only use seed potatoes. Stereo and carolyn, are you planting potatoes purchased in the grocery?
damethod blog photos
Joined: 5/04/2008
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 637
Posted: Jun/21/2008 7:24 AM PST

My grandfather planted pieces of store bought potatos and they produced well. I was thinking of purchasing organic potatos and trying them out. I haven't seen "seed potatos" anywhere.

I don't think he used any fertilizer..but, I won't see him again for another few days. Do any of you use any? How long do I wait before harvest?
stereoman blog photos
Joined: 3/17/2008
Location: beautiful southern appalachians
Posts: 2168
Posted: Jun/21/2008 7:36 AM PST

I'm going to be digging my first potatoes of the season today. Yippee!

"Seed potatoes" are simply potatoes that have been harvested for the express purpose of selling to growers. They are no different from the potatoes in the store EXCEPT . . . they're generally small, so they don't have to be cut up before planting, AND they don't have growth inhibitors sprayed on them to keep the eyes from sprouting.

If you buy organic, untreated potatoes they will grow just exactly the same as seed potatoes. Only trouble is you may not find the variety you want. If you're variety picky. I favor Kennebecs, but I will try some yellow Klondikes next year because Beloved wants them.
carolyncat353 blog photos
Joined: 4/29/2008
Location: Westlake, La
Posts: 10091
Posted: Jun/21/2008 8:45 AM PST

I haven't planted potatoes in a few years, but yes, use fertilizer as you would any vegetable. We always got our "seed" potatoes from the feed store in the spring. We'd cut chunks so there was always at least 2 eyes on a piece. In the fall we would use potatoes saved from the spring crop, and do the same.
damethod blog photos
Joined: 5/04/2008
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 637
Posted: Jun/25/2008 9:01 AM PST

I decided to wait until the fall for the potatos. Besides, I need to make more room in my garden first. However, I'm going to give garlic a try just for fun. I've planted six bulbs in a small space in my garden.

How often should I water?..fertilize?

Can I mulch once the plants start to grow?

Any advice on care for the plants? Critters to watch out for?

As far as harvesting..I've read somewhere that you wait until the plant dries up and then harvest. Is that the case?

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