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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Soil disturbance and potatoes

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  • Andres Rattur
    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
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 2, 2004
      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.

      I read about growing potatoes under straw from russian article, where it has been an old tradition.

      I haven't heard about any damage by rodents. I don't know in what climate do you live. If rodents damage your harvest maybe their amount is in your area to high and there is not enough natural enemies, who would keep their quantity at the right level. Maybe for you it would be possible to get yourself a cat. Or make living places for weasels.

      With best regards,
      Andres


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    • pollywog
      ... 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.
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 2, 2004
        ---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.
        >
      • jo li
        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
        Message 3 of 7 , 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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