Potato Plant

Turn 1kg of potatoes into 20kgs without divine intervention!

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Kate, I think straw recycled from the cook pen would be fine and is a really good idea. Yes, of course watch the raw stuff doesn't come into close contact with the plants. I would also add some compost into the straw mix (either purchased or homemade) because I find this helps add extra nutrients......
  Kate — Hi Mark, I've always wanted to grow potatoes in old tyres with the no dig method. Since we are about to move onto some semi acreage I can get back into growing some fruit and veg. Question re the no dig method, could you use the straw/hay/sawdust etc out of the chook pen? I know you have to watch th......
  Mark Valencia — Hi Tina, thanks heaps for your kind comments about the site we always "try" to keep the site current and interesting. With regards to your corn, I also find corn a challenging crop to grow but here are a few ideas that may help: grow the corn in blocks/squares about 30cm/12inches apart this helps wi......

This oblong tuber is a good source of vitamin A (one of the best) and is high in dietary fibre with versatility for cooking and medium term storage. Read on and see why you should grow it!

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Lily, 7kgs of sweet potato wow great stuff! Some good winter crops following sweet potato would be peas (both telegraph and snap) or any brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc), and even onions. One day I'll have articles on all these veggies - just have to find the time Cheers, Mark......
  Lily — Hi Mark, My children and I dug up our sweet potatoes and they were glorious! We got seven kilograms. I have cleared the raised garden bed and are preparing for my next crop...probably not sweet potatoes... checking out your site for ideas... Talk soon Lily...
  Mark Valencia — Hi Fran, the black spots on your community garden's sweet potato could also be made by one of several fungi, which attack tubers. To answer your question about leaving the sweet potato vine as a ground cover or not, it depends on the "main" purpose for growing the sweet potato (food or ornamental). ......

What to plant in small spaces? Well, here's a few ideas!

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Frances! Yes I think milk cartons are a great idea as a frugal way to grow food plants in smaller areas. Most crops will be happy and there isn't many vegetables which require more than 20 - 30 cms of growing medium so you should be fine. Just make sure you keep the water up in smaller container......
  Frances — Thanks. I've moved from a moderate yard to a teeny tiny one. I got the trampoline set up and there was no room left! I knew when I bought the place I'd have to give up my patch. But as time goes on and I have to (gasp) buy my veges, and I can't on a whim go out foraging for dinner or snacks, have b......
  Mark Valencia — Hi Pink, thanks for the feedback. I've actually used "Birdies" raised beds. Mine are about 4 yrs old now and they show no signs of rust and are a very strong build (the accessories are a little too expensive though and I tend to make my own nets to go over them). If you place the raised bed anywhere......

It seems the trend in tasteless vegetables and fruit is becoming prevalent particularly in the major supermarket chains and there are reasons why blandness is the new era of retail fruit and veg.

I love tomatoes – I really do. This post is about tomatoes and is also one of my very first blog posts on the internet ever.

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  Mark Valencia — Hi Lily, this wet season around SEQLD has been awful! If you live in the subtropics you can almost give-up trying to grow large tomato varieties through summer it's just too humid, wet, and fungal. Now (coming into winter for the subtropics)is the time to get some large variety tomatoes going - try ......
  Lily — I wasn't so pleased when I read 'tomatoes are so easy to grow'. Is it the right time to plant seeds? (Mar/April)or should I wait until Spring? My plants always wilt (except for the prolific cherry tomato plant)and on average produce one tomato (yes you read right). If it's a good time to plant, I'll......

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