I'm going to grow my potatoes in straw this year.
Anyone in SE Massachusetts know of some places where I can get some bales of straw? I'm in Brockton(city) so I am not really familiar with where to go.
Try Agway if there is one near you.
Another option for you, Wiilliam is seaweed. I go to a nearby beach and, using a manure fork, scoop up lots of free seaweed to use as compost and mulch. To transport it, II stuff it into large, heavy duty leaf bags which came from a hardware store. It's pretty easy.
Nearest seaweed is over 20 miles and I'm a cyclist(out of shape one lol)so that is a little impractical. I'd love to have Seaweed. My grandmother is from the west of Ireland that's what people used to do out there because the soil is more rock than dirt.
We have an Agway several towns over. I'll be paying them a visit for fertilizers. For the straw though I'm really looking for under 10 miles away like in the Bridgewaters. I'm know there are several farms. I just don't know where and also would appreciate opinion on quality.
If getting straw or other mulch turns out to be difficult for you, I would suggest using the conventional method of hilling the potatoes with soil. That's the way potato farmers do it and it works fine. I doubt that the straw method gives a better yield although it may have other advantages.
I planted lots of stuff in straw bales last year, in southeast Michigan. And I found my straw on craigslist. Right now, it looks like you can get wheat straw around here for about $2.00 or $2.50 per bale, delivered. But the price can vary. I got some delivered last year, and I think I paid $3 per bale. But it was a little later in the season.
Im going to try building a potato box (maybe 2) and try growing potatos up. I believe that the ideal size is 3' x 3' Made of 2x8's as they grow up you fill with dirt then stack another box on top (rinse and repeat several times) I like potatos but dont want to give them an entire bed, and recently read in another forum of the sucess with the potato box.
Last year I grew potatoes both in a potato bin (white Kennebec) as gardenman mentioned and in 5 gallon buckets (Red Pontiac & Yukon Gold) using regular soil with pretty good sucess. My problem was getting more soil to pile on them. I live on 21 acres, but most of it is lawn and woods that DH doesn't want holes in. Anyway, this year I'm doing the same thing, but I'm using a layer of straw, then a layer of soil, then the rest will be straw and grass clippings. I put the RP and YG in buckets because they usually only produce in the bottom 6". The Kennebec will keep producing all the way up the stems in you keep piling on your soil or straw. One nice thing I noticed was I didn't have any potato bugs like I did when I had them in the ground. Don't know if it was coincidence or just a plus from container gardening.