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Thread: Potatoes 2019 questions and comments

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    Default Potatoes 2019 questions and comments

    The wife and I purchased an old homestead somewhere between Glacierview and Eureka 4 years ago and we are gradually getting it back into productive shape. Itís about 2,800 in elevation with perfect southern exposure. We have put a lot of effort into potatoes and have had success each year. Last year was especially good, but we are looking for some advice and input on a couple areas.

    Soil:

    The soil is rocky and we ended up hauling in topsoil, compost and peat moss for our gardens. We have ample solid material now. What is the best method of maintaining the soil season to season? As a kid growing up on a rural farm, we would mix in everything from grass clippings, manure, scrap vegetables, etc. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Itís been instilled as a kid that you donít mix manure with potatoes. I donít necessarily want to depend on store bought fertilizer (alaska mill and feed sells potatoe specific fertilizer). Is potatoe blight an issue in Alaska? I havenít set up a crop rotation system yet, but in the future I will do so as we develop our gardens.

    Potatoes:

    Yokon Gold have produced exceptionally well and this will be about 50% of what we plan to plant this summer. We planted Gold Rush last year as an experiment in diversity. Gold Rush was a great producer, but the flavor of Yukon Gold is better in our opinion so we think we ought to stick with a winner. Any ideas of another potatoe in this variety to try?

    Magic Molly, a great purple fingerling potatoe was a surprise hit this past year. The yield was phenomenal and the size was larger than you would expect of a fingerling. The flavor was great too. We will definitely plant more this year, with about 25% targeted with this variety. We also planted Purple Magic, but the flavor and meat color was as impressive as the Magic Molly. We wonít be planting Purple Magic even though the yield was impressive.

    We planted about 25% of last years crop with Red Chieftain. The yield and size were great and similar to Yokon Gold. However, the flavor was not ďknock your socks off.Ē I would love to get ideas of another red variety that grows well in our location. With the impressive yield, we may plant some more this year, but suggestions of an alternative would be appreciated!

    Alaska Mill and Feed is an excellent store with a lot a variety and expertise. However itís a long drive. Any great store with dependable potatoe seed stock in the valley or Glennallen? Last year we bought our potatoe seeds in early May, and I thought that was a bit late for optimal eye development. When do most by their seed stock?

    Thanks!

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    Why would you not mix manure with potatoes? I put in a garden for my wife with local topsoil/black dirt. First year was kind of slow. That fall I got a load of horse manure and dug it in. The production the next year was great!!
    DENNY

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    I dig put manure in to my garden every fall, and potatoes are my primary crop.

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    Its itís fairly common practice to not mix manure with crops that grow in the ground such as potatoes. Some mixed studies, but the risk is of contamination from the manure to the potatoes. But I am very open to input and new methods. Some mix the manure in the ground in the fall after harvest to let it compost like you did. This is probably what I need to do. Others mix in well composted manure to an active potatoe beds, but never fresh manure.

    We have plenty moose manure all over the mountain. My wife collects it and composts it for her flower garden with good results. Anyone use moose manure? Iíve not read anything on this.

    Thanks for everyones imput!

    Quote Originally Posted by boneguy View Post
    Why would you not mix manure with potatoes? I put in a garden for my wife with local topsoil/black dirt. First year was kind of slow. That fall I got a load of horse manure and dug it in. The production the next year was great!!
    DENNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hkrjohn View Post
    Its itís fairly common practice to not mix manure with crops that grow in the ground such as potatoes. Some mixed studies, but the risk is of contamination from the manure to the potatoes. But I am very open to input and new methods. Some mix the manure in the ground in the fall after harvest to let it compost like you did. This is probably what I need to do. Others mix in well composted manure to an active potatoe beds, but never fresh manure.

    We have plenty moose manure all over the mountain. My wife collects it and composts it for her flower garden with good results. Anyone use moose manure? Iíve not read anything on this.

    Thanks for everyones imput!
    Very good point John, I only use composted manure.

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    Does anyone have a favorite potato other than the great Yukon Gold?

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    My day in day out favorite potato is Yukon Gold. I never get tired of them! I usually plant reds too, and like Delta Red and Chieftain. This year I'd like to try some Red Gold if I can find them. http://plants.alaska.gov/PotatoSeedProduction.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hkrjohn View Post
    Does anyone have a favorite potato other than the great Yukon Gold?
    I haven't grown them so I can't say anything about yield, but German Buttterball are great. The ones we buy are grown in Palmer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    My day in day out favorite potato is Yukon Gold. I never get tired of them! I usually plant reds too, and like Delta Red and Chieftain. This year I'd like to try some Red Gold if I can find them. http://plants.alaska.gov/PotatoSeedProduction.html
    Great information. Already excited about trying the Delta Red!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    I haven't grown them so I can't say anything about yield, but German Buttterball are great. The ones we buy are grown in Palmer.
    Thank you! Any particular farm in Palmer, assuming they sell to the public?

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    I plan to grow some Yukon Golds this year. Seems like the stores are running short on them. Small bags and more than twice the cost of Russets.
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    When is the best time to purchase seed potatoes and where are you getting them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hkrjohn View Post
    When is the best time to purchase seed potatoes and where are you getting them?
    I purchase seed potatoes at any of the local garden centers. I get them as soon as they're available because they tend to go fast and selection is limited. Hereafter, I'll probably start ordering them directly from the Division of Agriculture.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I had good luck with the German butter balls this season.
    Taste was great and better yields than the Yukon gold's.
    Granted the Yukon Golds are a determinate potato and the Butterball an indeterminate.
    That can certainly effect yields.
    I grow mine in 1/2 drums adding soil as the plant grows so I expect more from the indeterminate.
    I also tried Cal whites. Yield was good but flavor not as good as the Butterball.
    Late blight is a serious threat in AK and several valley farms have had issues over the years.
    I buy certified seed potatoes locally at Cad-Re feeds in Soldotna.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I had good luck with the German butter balls this season.
    Taste was great and better yields than the Yukon gold's.
    Granted the Yukon Golds are a determinate potato and the Butterball an indeterminate.
    That can certainly effect yields.
    I grow mine in 1/2 drums adding soil as the plant grows so I expect more from the indeterminate.
    I also tried Cal whites. Yield was good but flavor not as good as the Butterball.
    Late blight is a serious threat in AK and several valley farms have had issues over the years.
    I buy certified seed potatoes locally at Cad-Re feeds in Soldotna.

    Sent from my S60 using Tapatalk
    Thank you for your response, it was very helpful!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hkrjohn View Post
    Thank you! Any particular farm in Palmer, assuming they sell to the public?
    Rempel Farm. All organic. A bit spendy but their produce is second to none - organic or not. We buy them at the South Anchorage Farmers Market in the summer and the Center Market (Sears Mall) in the winter. They have other varieties too that are very good, I just can't remember the names off hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I had good luck with the German butter balls this season.
    Taste was great and better yields than the Yukon gold's.
    Granted the Yukon Golds are a determinate potato and the Butterball an indeterminate.
    That can certainly effect yields.
    I grow mine in 1/2 drums adding soil as the plant grows so I expect more from the indeterminate.
    I also tried Cal whites. Yield was good but flavor not as good as the Butterball.
    Late blight is a serious threat in AK and several valley farms have had issues over the years.
    I buy certified seed potatoes locally at Cad-Re feeds in Soldotna.

    Sent from my S60 using Tapatalk
    I did not know Cadre sold seed spuds. Guess I better visit them this spring. I did know they have taps for getting birch sap. Really looking forward to drinking fresh sap again.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Yes they have a good selection of probably close to a dozen varietys of certified seed potatoes.
    Sell them by the pound.
    I don't use their Birch syrup spiles though.
    I prefer 5/16 as they are easier on the tree and they only stock 7/16.
    Granted I make more birch syrup than the average guy so order up all my supplies from an American company in Vermont called Leader Evaporator.

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    little late now but theres a fella in fairbanks who grows a great variety of potatoes for seed - Pingo Farms is the name of his operation and he would love to talk to you about potatoes. shoot me a PM if you arent able to find his number online.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Cadre feed her n Soldotna has certified seed potatoes in stock right now.
    Picked mine up over a week ago.
    They have 23 different varieties in stock so lots of options.

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