Growing Potatoes, beets and carrots and onions questions though.

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joy112854:
This fall, as in next month I can plant beets, carrots and onions and then later on in January can plant potatoes.  Now, I am going to be planting them in smart pots (www.smartpots.com).  I have the #15's and the #10's and wanted to plant my potatoes in the #15's.  I thought since potatoes don't like dolomite lime; love compost, you can't water too much or they rot, so you water once a week and make sure water gets drained properly.  Here is what I thought about doing:  Partially filling the smart pot up with compost and perlite (50-50 mixture); adding the proper fertilizer, then contnuing on.  Now, people say you cannot use straight compost as it is too heavy, and that would present a problem with the drainage, the reason for the perlite; but, do they make a light weight compost and will this work?

For my beets, carrots and onions, I'm going to use the smaller #10 smart pots and for them I'm thinking a combination of potting mix, compost and perlite with dolomite lime and fertilizer the potting mix, compost and perlite will be about a 30-30-30 mix. 

Does that sound right or can someone correct me here?  I have not grown any carrots, beets or potatoes before and want this to be right.  I know this is an earthbox forum; but, I know there are  some professional gardeners on here that could give me good advice.

Thanks
joy
 

grandmamac:
I am new to this as well but grew potatoes and shallots earlier this year and this is my second year of trying to grow carrots in a container. It's worth doing - they have so much more taste when fresh.

In the UK there are some potting mixes which are soil based [John Innes] and some peat or peat substitute based. I grew the potatoes in fabric bags with a soil-less general purpose compost. The soil based ones are too heavy. I added liquid high potash fertilizer to the water in my watering can to feed them. I have heard that you can use spent potting mix in with the fresh to start with. I will grow them next year in a less windy spot to increase the yield. The weather was very unsettled and some of the haulms [stems] broke. I found the bags OK but I'll use large plastic tubs next year. There wasn't much support when the haulms got heavy.

I grew the shallots [small onions which divide in growth so you get 7 small ones]in individual terracotta pots in a soil based mix and they were very successful. Just needed watering sometimes and a little fertiliser added once after 3 months.

The beets and carrots are root plants and they are supposed to be more difficult in containers. Last year's carrot results were depressing - this year I had a germination problem but the few that grew were wonderful. I grow beets in a raised bed and have had good results.

The EBs are giving the best results by far - I found out I like zucchini after all, I'd never tasted a fresh one.


dancing lemons:
IMO you will not need dolomite for carrots or beets.  Please post some photos when you get up and running.  I'd love to see more root veggies growing in EB.

DL

joy112854:
Dancing Lemons:  I love my EBs better than anything I've grown with; but, for the beets, carrots, onions and potatoes I think I'm going to use smart pots instead, they are a pourous pot (see www.smartpots.com) for more information on them and to get an idea of what I'm talking about here.  I bought 5 of the 15 gallon ones and 4 of the 10 gallon ones. 

This container is an aeration container that releases the heat and aerates the root zone, it helps prevent root circling as it air-prunes the plant's root structure.  Garden Supply sells it for growing potatoes in. My problem is figuring out what medium to grow the potatoes in, as I'm inexperienced at gardening, I've only worked with EBs and such.  From reading up on how potatoes are grown, I've read that if they get too wet, they rot and no good potatoes, I've read that they need good drainage to prevent this from happening.  Now compost would be an excellent medium I think, except that I believe it's a bit too heavy isn't it?  And to remedy that I thought perhaps if I added perlite in with the compost at a 50-50 measurement it might work? 

grandma mac:  You apparently are thinking what I'm thinking here that perhaps compost alone as a medium would be too heavy for potatoes too right?  So; do you know of a soilless general compost here in the US perhaps that might work?  This will be my first time ever planting potatoes and I won't be doing it in the EB, so that makes me a little more nervous. LOL  Thank you for sharing with me.

Garden Doc:  Where are you, please help here will ya?  I know you can answer this for me????  Anyone???

joy     

gardendoc:
Ok, Ok.  I grow spuds in big rubbermaid tubs (holes drilled in the bottom) using the cheapest peat, bark, FBP mix I can find.  Nothing fancy.  This year I found a Scotts mix for lawn renovation  that was $4.97/1.5 cu.ft., no problems with excessive moisture.   I know folks who put the seed potatoes in a mix and then "hill" using straw or hay (easy, peasy cleaning)

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