I have planted seed potatoes (Picasso), in the no dig way, by just dibbing a hole , dropping the seed potato in and covering with soil.
The leaves have just started to break the surface (sighs of relief all round!!)
We produce masses of grass cuttings, and I want to ‘earth’ them up using these cuttings.
My question is – will the heat generated by the cuttings “cook” the young plants?
Because I have considered this as a possibility, I have tipped the grass cuttings onto the soil between the rows, planning to rake it over the plants when the heat has dissipated. I guess the cuttings are 12″x 12″ deep at this stage. Unlike being in a compost bin.
Would I be better doing the initial earthing up with (not fresh) straw from local stables?
Your thoughts would be most appreciated….
Brigitte, I think its unlikely that your mulch thickness, once spread, would be hot enough to harm potato roots or stems. Its a good plan except perhaps for encouraging some slugs. Pre-rotting a bit to dissipate heat is a good idea but not necessary if say 6in layer.
Straw encourages slugs, is otherwise good for earthing up.
Last year I used a mixture of grass cuttings, comfrey leaves and rotted horse manure to hill up my potatoes. It worked very well and the added bonus this year is that the tilth of the soil left behind for spring sowings is some of the best in the garden.
I don’t know if you have comfrey and access to manure, but this worked very well for me.
I tried straw bale gardening elsewhere in the garden but was a failure and I am now using the straw to mulch my potatoes this year. No visible slugs in the dry layer but of course not sure yet what is happening below!
This is my last year of sheet composting – will be pre-composting from here on.