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4650Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Soil disturbance and potatoes

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  • jo li
    Dec 6, 2004
      Hello all, Here in the midwest of the u.s. (missouri)
      my wife and I planted potatoes using the mulch method.
      We simply lay down a thick layer of wet newspaper to
      smother the grass and weed, lay the seed potatoes on
      top of the wet newspaper and covered with a 1 foot (30
      cm) layer of straw. they grew beautifully, maybe just
      a tiny bit smaller, but absolutely delicious. Only
      issue is to check straw periodically to make sure
      potatoes themselves are covered and not exposed to
      sunlight, only the foliage above. cheers, John
      --- pollywog <debhlv@...> wrote:

      > ---I have visions of one of my favorite garden
      > gurus, Ruth Stout.
      > Although many folk use the mulch/aboveground type of
      > tuber raising as
      > she did, I will not enquire as to how many enjoy
      > doing it in the nude,
      > as she did. <G>
      > I plant potatoes in the soil. I have used the Stout
      > (mulch-only)
      > method, and was not particularly pleased; although I
      > certainly do use
      > mulch for the taters that peek up through the soil.
      > As Stephen (I
      > think?) said, that is how root veggies grow
      > naturally.
      > I think it is the broad disturbance of the soil,
      > rather than the
      > specific dig areas, that proves to be the problem.
      > That is one reason,
      > I think, for the idea of rotation. Just as Mom
      > Nature does it. She
      > will grow good grasses and clovers and such right in
      > with the tubers-
      > arrowroot, groundnut, potatoes, etc., and those
      > critters that
      > naturally go for the tubers for food will indeed
      > disturb the soil
      > where they dig. I have seen stands of arrowroot, for
      > example, slowly
      > move a few feet at a time over the years, as some is
      > dug up, and the
      > outer tubers and parts, not harvested, create more
      > plants. Natural
      > rotation, if you please.
      > In the case of pigs, I have mixed feelings. A
      > (domestic) pig that
      > "visited" here last year sure wasn't sniffing out
      > potatoes, and it did
      > plenty of plowing as a matter being a pig. He was
      > not exactly a
      > welcome visitor, after I tripped over one of his
      > burrows early one
      > morn and he damaged the siding of my already
      > pathetic domicile. <G>
      > But, the almost surgical precision of many other
      > critters' root
      > harvest, is amazing to come across.
      > That is one reason we grow a good diversity of
      > crops. It's not the
      > digging itself, it is the large areas of uneeded
      > disturbance, that
      > creates a problem. At least, that is what I am
      > thinking after paying
      > closer attention.
      > As far as rodents: we have fox, coyote, and other
      > rodent-eating
      > critters in abundance here; I catch glances of one
      > of my favorite
      > foxes often when working in the garden, looking at
      > me through the
      > perimeter plant growth. Those voles and mice still
      > have themselves a
      > great time in their mulch tunnels. In some ways, I
      > think the
      > mulch-only technique of growing root crops possibly
      > creates an
      > imbalance in itself.
      > The idea is to observe, and adjust to how Mom Nature
      > is telling you to
      > get things done; according to Her dictates, and as
      > as best as you can
      > fulfill them. deb
      > In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Andres Rattur
      > <Andre66@h...> wrote:
      > > Hello, Lubo!
      > >
      > > I haven't jet had such possibility to grow
      > potatoes under straw, but
      > here in Estonia (small country in Europe) I know at
      > least two persons
      > who have tryied this and it came out very well. One
      > other friend has
      > grown potatoes near sea under seatang (seaweed,
      > tang), because at her
      > field there is only a small layer of humus (<10 cm).
      > She is also
      > pleased with this method and her potatoes grow
      > nicely this way.
      > >

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