[permaculture] No-till potatoes - surface cultivation and deep mulching
diebrand at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 27 05:02:49 EDT 2007
You dont need shallow cultivation nor to burry them below
the soil, you can simply put them on the ground. I put them
on a field with grass and weeds without even cutting the
weeds or the grass. I have a heavy clay soil. Rows are not
needed, except for convenience of harvesting, perhaps.
Spacing can be as little as a foot or less. I spread some
compost over the potatoes before adding the mulch. One
thing is important though: be sparing on woody mulch or
your potatoes risk developing a fungus. As Lisa said, you
need to make sure that the mulch layer is always thick enough
so that your potatoes dont go green. For harvesting you
simply dig into the mulch with your hands. You can use the
mulch and/or compost again for other purposes. But make
sure that some mulch remains in place to cover the soil, since
this method doesnt only give you potatoes, but also some
very good soil for further cultivation.
Lisa in Oregon <lisamaciver8 at yahoo.com> wrote:
We use old hay, tucking it up around the plants as they grow so just
a few inches of leaves peek out, leaving some in flakes, and shoving
some down between the stems as they get large. I toss on weeds from
other areas too. We grow in beds and the mulch gets 2' high, might
be harder in rows. It eats up several bales for 100sgft. I bury the
seed potatoes barely below the soil level (clay), the potatoes grow on
the dirt-mulch boundary and if the mulch isn't think enough, the
potatoes get green. We don't seem to end up with weed problems using
old hay for potatoes (but then, this is all drip, no rain). When
potatoes are harvested the mulch is reused on winter crops.
Lisa in Oregon
> > I am growing a test plot (about 18 row feet) under shallow
> > cultivation. No trench, seed taters buried 4 inches, and mulching
> > with straw. My question about specific mulching technique: how
> > dense? How closely packed between plants? Should I lay down and
> > bury side shoots, or gather the plant into a central bundle and
> > mulch around it?
> > If anyone has experience with this, I would greatly appreciate any
> > help!
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