Growing Potatoes - SE QLD

Fish Heads

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Hi there,

As stated in the title, I live in South East Queensland and I'd like to try my hand at growing potatoes. Specifically, I'm intending to attempt to do so within a food grade barrel (I've found a company in Brisbane that sells them), mainly due to the fact I don't have a garden bed, and it's easier to harvest the booty as you just have to tip the contents onto a tarpaulin; no pitchfork required. I did buy a packet of seed potatoes a few weeks ago; 'Otway Red'. I've been doing a bit of research, and I've found a recurring theme that red potato varieties don't grow particularly well in warmer climates, so I'm intending on exchanging the bag for a different variety at the nursery I bought it from, probably a white variety of some sort.

My question is has anyone in this forum who lives in South East Queensland, or similar climate, attempted and had success in growing potatoes within a container, and which varieties did you grow? Any feedback would be very much appreciated.

Best Regards,
Fish Heads
 

Massivebarra

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I live in Brisbane and trying sebago potato in a bucket for the first time. They are just starting to emerge from the soil now. I used osmocote premium potting mix.

My theory thought atm is to just give it ago. Get them in the bucket and see what happens. I'd do it sooner rather than later too with the climate we have
 

Letsgokate

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I’m also in SEQ and have grown potatoes several times. I’ve grown Otway Red and Sebago both with equal success and have not heard that red one don’t go well here.

I’ve tired growing them in big pot bags with little success but I think part of that was me learning how to grow them best not so much the method.

Last time where I got great crops I grew them in raised round garden bed. I put perlite, coco peat mixed in with the soil to give a nice light free mix for the spuds to grown in.

Mixed through some blood and bone and always throw in some gypsum.

I plant the spuds down about 300-400mm and just cover them with soil and leave them be. No more topping up as they grow. I’ve found this method has worked for me.
 

Kasalia

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I am in the Coffs Area, still subtropical but not as hot. I have grown all sorts of potatoes, white, red, purple and salad. In pots and in ground. The ground is far better but I am always short of room so pots have been my choice in the last few years. The trick is not to plant too many in the one pot, it is easy to think putting 4 normal size in, when it should be only 2, some pots I put one. They are heavy feeders, but overfeeding causes green leaf. They need to be watered regularly, but not so they rot. So it gets tricky.
Some years I have done well, others not so, this year with all the smoke around was terrible, emptying several pots to get a couple of meals. There are lots of videos and articles on growing them in pots so look at them all, I think they do a lot better in colder climates, going by the fact that they grow them in Dorrigo which has chilly winters.
You will get some but don't expect miracles. The thing is, no matter what the size, they taste absolutely out of this world, boiled, with a bit of butter and chopped parsley.
Potatoes Pots.jpg
 

ClissAT

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Yes to everything those before me wrote.
I've grown them sometimes with success-sometimes not so much.

Leaving them to chit before planting is one way to ensure they don't rot.
Chitting is when you leave them in a shady place or your pantry until they have nice purplish or white shoots.
Most varieties will grow ok in subtropical all around the world these days because they have been re-engineered for farming purposes.
Those into GMO free eating will say that the modern white potato is a toxin to the body and only to buy heritage.
If you do buy heritage then you must be careful to only buy varieties that will grow in your area or season.
So you can grow varieties that require more chill factor in winter in subtropical.
Whereas you can only grow varieties that don't need any chill factor in our spring or autumn.
You won't be able to grow anything in summer until around March which is the usual planting time for potatoes in most of Australia.
 

Fish Heads

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Wow, thanks for the replies!
I had viewed numerous sources that indicated red potato varieties were unsuited for growing in warm regions, but if there are people here who have done it, then I guess other factors are involved. In any case, I swapped the Otway Reds for a bag of Kennebec; it's the Mr. Fothergill's brand, which according to their website is non-GMO.
I'm planning to get these planted within the next fortnight, given the cold season (if you can call it that) doesn't last that long here, so I want to research as much as possible for best results.

Here's what I've got in mind. As I said initially, I don't have a garden bed, hence container growing is my only option. I'm quite taken with the results in a particular video I saw where a 35 gallon barrel was used to yield 20kg of potatoes using something called the 'Mittleider Method', so I'm hoping to see if I can replicate something similar (I'd post the link to the video, but it seems I don't meet the requirements to be able to do so). The lady who made said video lives in an area with a long cold season, so I will probably have to tweak certain things to make this method work.

I have a few further questions:
1. Does anyone recommend keeping the seed potatoes in the fridge for a few weeks before planting them? I've read that this can help with chitting. Has anyone tried this?
2. What kind of soil did you use, and how did you layer it? Sawdust? Sand? Heavy Clay? Initially, I was thinking mushroom compost mixed with some other kind of soil (50/50 mix), and maybe using straw or sugar cane mulch to separate layers and 'hill up' the container as the foliage grows. I'd like to use whatever works best for the heat/humidity we have here.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Fish Heads
 
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Fish Heads

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I'm quite taken with the results in a particular video I saw where a 35 gallon barrel was used to yield 20kg of potatoes using something called the 'Mittleider Method', so I'm hoping to see if I can replicate something similar (I'd post the link to the video, but it seems I don't meet the requirements to be able to do so)
I don't know why I didn't think of this before, but type into the Youtube search field 'High Yield Potato Barrel Moms Simple Life' to see the video I'm talking about. Apologies for the double post, but it seems I can't edit posts after a given time from when they were made (I'm still getting acquainted with the board setup).
 
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ClissAT

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Fish Heads you should now be able to add links to your posts.
After 3days membership, you can use the full suite on the message board.
It's just a preventative method to stop spam posts clogging up the boards.


As for fridge chitting, yes you can do that. But be sure to keep your potatoes in a dry container.

re soil type and separating layers. Use well-aeiated mix rather than heavy soil in a container situation.
A good quality potting mix with about 40% coir. Set the spuds on course sand and water minimally.
Don't bother separating the layers as the plants grow. Just add more potting mix and coir.
Some people grow them completely in chopped hay of some sort.
Others have made a 3ft tall (90cm) tube from half-inch (1cm wire netting) lined with black shade cloth or weed mat, put the spuds in the bottom on 4inches of potting mix or 1 spud in a 6inch black plant pot with 4-5 pots in the bottom of the tube. Fill the tube almost completely with sugar cane mulch or barley straw water sparingly. Then just let the spuds grow up through the hay and come out the top and don't worry about layers at all.

There are so many ways, experiment with a few to see what works best in your space.
Its got more to do with the environment of your space than anything else. Does your space get 6hrs sun, too much rain, gets too hot, not enough water, cold, hot, not enough light, blasting cold winds, etc, etc.
 
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The Rubber Kitty

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I have kipflers growing! ... not harvested yet .. I put them in soem 44gallon drums ... so it 'should' theoretically frost up/get cool enough in there for them ... some I planted them out of season and let them died back btu now they are going great guns ...

I tried to dig some up a while ago and found lots of little baby kipflers about the size of jelly beans and just reburried them until now ^_^ ...I have 'topped' up with some clay soil and sugar cane mulch... will be my first attempt at growing potatoes!

I guess all places have different micro climates and finding an area that will suit your taters would be the thing.
 
Feb 16, 2020
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Since you guys are talking about potatoes. Does anyone know a good supplier of sebago potatoes to buy (not seed potatoes). There the best for chips and bugger me impossible to find.
Please help :eat:
 
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Fish Heads

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As for fridge chitting, yes you can do that. But be sure to keep your potatoes in a dry container.
I've had them in the fringe since last week, but I've kept them in the bag I bought them in rather than a container. I checked today and there's no moisture on them , but I'll put them in something else just to be safe.

re soil type and separating layers. Use well-aeiated mix rather than heavy soil in a container situation.
A good quality potting mix with about 40% coir. Set the spuds on course sand and water minimally.
Don't bother separating the layers as the plants grow. Just add more potting mix and coir.
Some people grow them completely in chopped hay of some sort.
I have an abundance of heavy, clay-like compost which I was planning to use, but from what you've said I'll likely have to mix it with something else to lighten it a bit. I have heard of people using hay, but I'm thinking I'll just use soil.

In regards to sunlight, the spot where I'm intending to put the barrel gets at least 6 hours daily. One thing that concerns me is that given it's a barrel, the depth from the bottom to the top could obstruct light reaching the bottom where the foliage will be at the beginning. Although, the colour of the drum I'm intending on getting is listed as 'natural', which I'm wondering if that means 'translucent', where the light will pass through the barrel making this problem redundant, otherwise I'll have to be strategic with my hole drilling to allow for light to enter at certain points. I'm planning to have them planted this week, so watch this space.
 
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Cheryl Smyth

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Planted potatoes in one of my compost piles
They our thriving. We plant potatoes here in central Louisiana on valentine day, makes it easy to remember!
 

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Thomson

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Jun 17, 2020
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Hi there,

As stated in the title, I live in South East Queensland and I'd like to try my hand at growing potatoes. Specifically, I'm intending to attempt to do so within a food grade barrel (I've found a company in Brisbane that sells them), mainly due to the fact I don't have a garden bed, and it's easier to harvest the booty as you just have to tip the contents onto a tarpaulin; no pitchfork required. I did buy a packet of seed potatoes a few weeks ago; 'Otway Red'. I've been doing a bit of research, and I've found a recurring theme that red potato varieties don't grow particularly well in warmer climates, so I'm intending on exchanging the bag for a different variety at the nursery I bought it from, probably a white variety of some sort.

My question is has anyone in this forum who lives in South East Queensland, or similar climate, attempted and had success in growing potatoes within a container, and which varieties did you grow? Any feedback would be very much appreciated.

Best Regards,
Fish Heads
Hey mate
I also live in SEQLD. Sarabah near Gold Coast,A subtropical frost free climate. I've been growing potatoes for few years in both raised garden beds and bags. in my experience Dutch cream potatoes do well in bags. I get about 4 kilos per bag and do two harvest per year.
20200617_080545.jpg
20200617_080855.jpg
 
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