Potato info gone into the never never!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Cyngbaeld, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Martin, you posted some very good info on how many potatoes to expect from each of your seed potatoes, and it is GONE! :( Could you PLEASE tell us again? Thanks!
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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  3. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to have made you bump this back up to the top. Outdoors garden time is a lot more valuable than computer time right now!

    For returns on normal seed potatoes, one should expect close to 50# per each 5# of seed. Some will say that that's stretching it a bit but I'd prefer aiming even higher on some late varieties. Much depends upon how close you divide the original tubers. Leaving just a single eye, you could easily end up with 100 small pieces per 5# of seed. In most cases, it's only one or two eyes which becomes plants anyway so it doesn't pay to leave extras if your goal is to produce the maximum number of plants from a minimum quantity of seed stock. The only advantage of a larger piece is in case something happens to the first several sprouts. Then there are reserve eyes to take over.

    For plant production, most normal potato plants will produce only 3 or 4 tubers. One large, one medium, and one or two small. If you have a hill where 3 plants emerged, you can expect to find 9 tubers under normal conditions. The tubers are formed on stolons, which are modified lateral branches and not roots. The number of tubers is limited to the number of stolons produced by the plant. Frequent early hilling allows for more stolons to be produced but the additional ones will still only make smaller tubers. Nothing wrong with that except that it simply lowers the overall average weight. Think of the average size of the largest potato produced per plant. Divide that in about half for the second largest. Then half again for the third. Even if the largest tuber is 8 ounces, your total is still going to have a hard time being a pound per plant. That's why it takes a bit of added initial effort to get at least 50 pieces per 5# of seed in order to get that 10 to 1 return.

    As it is, I was out this morning to have a look at the potato patch. At first glance, wondered what new weeds may be growing in my weed-free garden. Second look told me that they were several Carola potato plants peeking through. They are an early mid-season variety and had inch-long sprouts when planted. They certainly did not waste any time and even beat the Red Norlands. This it the first time in 10 years that I've had potato plants in April and there's still a week to go!

    Martin
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Thanks Martin! That is just what I was looking for. I did a search and everything was gone from that major crash.

    I've been outside as much as possible myself. Just come in to eat, feed the inside birds and DD and cat and take a siesta. Already getting hot here. Up way before dawn and working way after sunset to get the coolest hours.

    I ended up with feed store reds and some whites that sprouted in the pantry. But that will be better than no taters at'all.

    I'll have to try the Carolas! I'll be planting taters again in the fall.

    Farmers already have corn that was a couple foot high last time I drove to town a week ago. Don't even have mine planted yet. Sigh. But I got 3 inches of rain! And the hothouse tomatoes and peppers are in the ground, still have to transplant the heirlooms, they're up, but not very big yet. Might have grapes this summer from the vines I planted last fall, IF I can keep my birds off them. Got piles of mesquite branches all around them and the fruit trees and on top of the pea patch. About to get the fence completed and that will help.

    Corn, beans and squash and melons go in this week. I'm so thrilled to have a garden again!!!

    Thanks again, hope I didn't ramble too much! LOL
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Do try the Carola if you get a chance. They are similar to Yukon Gold in color and texture but much better taste and keeping qualities. It's now also carried by Seed Savers Exchange in addition to a few smaller seed companies. I got my start from Pinetree and this will be the third additional season of growing from that same stock. Despite being done in late July or early August, they store so well that I can easily carry seed over to the following season. If Carola has any faults, one is that they are not tolerant of common scab. Thus your soil must be kept acidic in order to assure scab-free tubers in areas where scab may be present. Another fault is that the size of the tubers is all over the place. It's one of those which will send out more than 3 or 4 stolons and thus there are a lot of extra tubers not much bigger than a pigeon egg. However, with their storage quality, even those small ones are still in fair condition the following spring, albeit a little shriveled. With those small ones having only one good sprouted eye, I merely planted 2 or 3 per hill in order to assure multiple plants.

    Martin
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Sounds great to me. I really like the smaller potatoes. Might see if I can get some to plant this fall.
     
  7. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My raised beds have sunk down quite a bit and after a week's absence my potatoes are all pretty tall and blossoming. Is it too late to put more mulch/dirt around the bottom of the plants? If it won't increase the number of potratos made will it increase the size since now the dirt level is only about 5-6" above (untilled) ground level? Do I need to remove branches and leaves on stem below level of mulch I add? TIA.
     
  8. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Never mind- see in 2006 Paquebot answered this question. Wish I read all that is here, and RETAINED IT, all year long- so have another error to avoid next year.
     
  9. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Martin, I'm not getting it. When do I mound up more dirt on my potatoes, and what if I want to do it repeatedly in a cage setup?