Best way to improve soil for potatoes.

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LILLILEAF

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Best way to improve soil for potatoes.
« on: November 20, 2019, 20:28 »
I have an area of ground that was nothing but weeds for more than 15yrs,so I cleared the ground dug it over, I have had runner beans peas and pumpkins, and potatoes strawberries and raseberry's .
 But now I have noticed the potato crop is getting very small and amount of potatoes per plant is perthitic how can I improve it.
help and advise would be great.Lillileaf

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John

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Re: Best way to improve soil for potatoes.
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2019, 11:07 »
The good news is that potatoes can do well on Anglesey, so your basic conditions are there. You don't mention what you're feeding. Potatoes are hungry plants and need plenty of nutrients & water to produce their large crop. Water is rarely a problem around here, as you know! :)
The fact that yields are falling year on year would point to the soil being exhausted. The ideal would be to add a large quantity of rotted manure in the autumn and then more in the trench at planting time.
There's an in-depth article on feeding potatoes should be helpful: Potato Fertiliser Program Program & (NPK) Requirements
Just a thought, if you're rotating around the plot then probably it's all in need of a feed.
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JayG

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Re: Best way to improve soil for potatoes.
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2019, 11:59 »
I've noticed (and replied to) your question about soil testing - if you go ahead and test the pH, if your soil turns out to be quite acidic, don't be tempted to lime the soil you intend to grow your spuds in, at least in the first year following liming (it's likely to cause scab.)
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

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rowlandwells

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Re: Best way to improve soil for potatoes.
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2019, 16:45 »
we always use a balanced fertilizer when planting our potato crops we have used a potato fertilizer that was low in nitrogen but the potato growers that I bought from packed up growing potatoes so hence as I said we now use a balanced fert

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TonyB.

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Re: Best way to improve soil for potatoes.
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 14:03 »
Cow manure - if your able to dig it in and break it up it does not even need to be well rotted.

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LILLILEAF

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Re: Best way to improve soil for potatoes.
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 19:39 »
The results are in they are as follows,
PH - very acidic
nitrates - very low
Phosphorus - high
Potasium -low.
 So it looks like I need to put plenty of good nutrients back in the soil, does it have to be a well rotted manure as I may have a problem digging it in, I will of course give it my very best effort, will a fertiliser granule do the same or can I use poultry manure pellets.Lillileaf

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John

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Re: Best way to improve soil for potatoes.
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 23:14 »
You say Ph acidic - for potatoes you can get away with an acid soil but ideally take it up to 6.0. So I'd lime the plot now and then add some fertiliser in the spring.
There's info on lime here: Lime the Vital Fertiliser!
And on fertilisers, NPK etc here: https://www.allotment-garden.org/composts-fertilisers/
You could make up a specific high nitrogen & potash fertiliser but I think I'd just give around 3oz / yd2 of growmore and any compost / rotted manure I could get hold of.



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