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Hay/straw bale potatoes??

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by FG21, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Hay/straw bale potatoes??

    Anyone done this? Grown potaters in straw or hay bales? I'm going to give it a try this year...any ideas/advice welcome!
  2. That would probably work pretty well.
    My only concern would be that Hay and Straw will spontaniously combust when they are damp.

    I'm growing mine in soil, but in used tires. Start the first tire, when you get the green shoots, stack on another, fill with soil, plant.... continue stacking. 4 or 5 tall should be enough.

    Come fall, push over the pile and pick out the taters. Also the black tires hold in moisture and heat, so the decomposition is more efficient.
  3. Up here in western WA we don't have to worry about that like you do over in KS. Even our hottest days are nothing compared to summer there (I was stationed at McConnell AFB way back in the day).

    My parents used to tell me that the manure and shavings pile would catch fire but I think that was just to keep me off of it. My friends and I would slide down it, spread it all over and make a huge mess. Yes, I like the smell of horse poop;).
  4. So do I ! :D

    But mom wasn't foolin ya. They will catch fire.

    There are two main advantages to the tires, or the bales.

    First is is the ease of harvesting your potatoes.
    The other is larger spuds. Even in the ground, you will get a much better yeild the looser the soil is. Sandy is good, but not so sandy that you lose nutrients. You want nice soft, almost "fluffy" compost.

    This is also true of carrots, the softer the soil, the larger the carrots.

    But just to clarify, it isn't the external temperature that causes combustion, it is the internal temp created by the cemechal reaction of the compost. Compost piles catch fire and smolder even in the dead of winter, and I have seen many hay barns catch on fire in late fall and early winter caused by putting the hay away when it is still damp after a rain.

    One thing is for sure though, if the cows get out and find your bales, they're going to love all the little surprizes they find in the hay!! :D
  5. Large spuds are awesome! Thanks for the advice....and I do need to make sure I have carrots for (cough) certain special four legged pals.
  6. Are you planting the potatoes in one tire and then starting another tire with soil and potatoes on top. Won't the sprouts from the first potatoes die?
  7. It is my understanding that after the plants in the first tire get tall enough, you set the tire ontop of the first and add the dirt. I am not sue how many tires high you can go, but as you cover the plant stems with dirt, potatoes should sprout out of the vines. The more tires, the more stem to produce potatoes,
  8. I ran out of room! I gots no taters LOL!!! I gots plenty else!

    Ride 4, my broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, brussels sprout, cabbage, beans and peas are doing well. Among others, carrots, etc.
  9. Boy howdy, this got buried.

    Sorry I missed your question...
    Yes, just leave the top sticking out of the new dirt. The potatoes will sprout straight up toward the sun, than add tires as needed.

    Don't worry, I'll share. :D

    Did you see my little back yard garden?


    That was weeks ago, It's looking much better now.
  10. Ok...I'm just gonna say ewwwwwwwww about liking the smell of horse poop. :eek:

    I think the tire thing for planting taters is a great idea and would suggest to hubby that we try that. However, what about when they are done making taters? One of the problems with old tires is they gather water and breed mosquitos. So what do you do with the tires when not planting in them?

    Thanks, Cheri
  11. I've got straw potatoes. It's winter here but we don't get very cold, a few light frosts is all usually. Last week we got three good frosts in a row, which is very unusual, luckily I guessed they were coming and covered the potatoes with old sheets torn into strips, and they look fine, apart from the leaves that were holding the sheets up. It's not normal to grow potatoes through the winter, so I'm interested in how well these do, maybe they won't make tubers, they are a good size now but no sign of flowers yet. I haven't got any real straw, but just use grass hay which is all I've got. It's not as good I think, because it gets more soft and soggy when wet, and is likely to sink down and rot, probably. Straw is much more resilient, and rain resistant.:)
  12. ??????/ :confused: :confused:

    Ya, hang em back up on the fence post?
    What else would ya do with em???


  13. Ummm, that's a beautiful shot, but what if ya don't have those fancy fence posts to hang em on?

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