Row by Row Episode 91: Using a Fertilization Schedule to Maximize Pota
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Row by Row Episode 91: Using a Fertilization Schedule to Maximize Potato Harvest

Row by Row Episode 91: Using a Fertilization Schedule to Maximize Potato Harvest

Best Potato Fertilization Schedule

Unlike heavy feeder crops such as corn that requires lots of fertilizer, potatoes are a little different and need a certain range of fertilizer in the vegetable garden. When discussing the nutrients that potatoes need to have successful growth Travis talks about the maximum amount and you can scale it back to the desired amount you need for your garden area. The potato fertilization schedule starts with major three nutrients which is nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. On the higher end of the scale, nitrogen is 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet, phosphorous is 1.5 pounds per 1,000 square feet, and potassium is 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet. For the home gardener or small market farm, it is recommended to use a complete fertilizer like 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 to ensure you get all the required nutrients. Overall, if you had a 1,000 square foot of potatoes in the garden area you would need about 25 pounds of 20-20-20 throughout their lifetime growing span. Next for the fertilization schedule, we don't need to give all the nutrients at one time in the area. Therefore, the first application should be when planting potatoes, you need to put 1/3 down which can be sprinkled along the furrow. The second application of 1/3 fertilizer can be applied at emergence or around the first hilling process. The final application of the 1/3 should be applied at your last or second hilling assuming you hill potatoes at least two times. Along with the three major nutrients, potatoes also need micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, zinc, and boron. We recommend using Calcium Nitrate Fertilizer to ensure you get all the calcium you need and use the Micro-Juice for the other needed micronutrients.

Indeterminate vs. Determinate Potatoes

When talking about determinate and indeterminate potatoes it is rather different than discussing types of tomatoes. Indeterminate potatoes are described by having a later maturity date than most other varieties. While the red potatoes like Red Norland, Red Pontiac, or Red Lasoda are all early varieties, therefore, known as determinate potatoes. Some people also believe you don't need to hill determinate potatoes in the garden. However, in order to have a successful bumper crop, you will need to hill potatoes whether they're determinate or indeterminate.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, the guys discuss not plucking the greens off rutabagas to help get a large size crop in the garden. Travis shows off a Texas Legend Onion that he grew in early November that has excellent flavor and great storage life after harvesting. Travis also talks about some new flower seed varieties such as Marigold Sparky Mix, Bachelor Button Polka Dot Mix, Cosmos Bright Light Mix, Snapdragon Tetra Mix, and Zinnia Cactus Mix.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment this week, the guys answer questions about where to get vegetable bags, mixing sand with soil for growing carrots, tips for growing squash. Travis mentions when doing his weekly produce bag operation he recommends buying produce bags from Amazon which tend to hold vegetables a little longer than other bags. Greg mentions that instead of mixing sand in the soil he suggests adding a good compost to improve the nutrient value for growing vegetables in the garden. Travis and Greg suggest that the number tip when planting squash is plant them early in the spring to ensure you avoid harsh disease and insect pressures. They also recommend applying some pest control like Spinosad, Neem Oil, or Monetery BT.

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