potato's but no plant

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by tobo6, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

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    Today I was going to use my potato bed for a pathway in my garden, but I thought I would dig in the dirt to see what the potato's did. My first shovel full of dirt also showed about 10 little 2 inch potato's!!! I have no plants growing out of the ground, so how did the potato's reproduce and grow? This is my first year trying potato's, and I saved a bag of potato's all winter to plant this spring. They all had sprouts and I was very careful not to break them. I planted the whole potato instead of just making sure there were a couple eyes on each piece. I was so suprised that none of them grew a plant.

    What do I do know? Should I wait and then dig them up later and collect the potato's, or are they not going to amount to anything since there are no plants?

    Deb
     
  2. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    Gosh, Deb, you're really jumping in headfirst, aren't you? :haha: (I'm very jealous of your blueberry find!)

    Are they shriveled? If so, I don't think they did anything. Any small nuggets or just the same ones you planted? I'm not a potato expert but have planted grocery store starts. I always cut them into 1/4ths or so but mine made taters after making plants!

    katy
     

  3. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

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    lol, that's the thing they are new potato's, not the one's I planted!! I thought maybe rabbits or some critter was eating the plants but I'm out there all the time and you would think I'd see a little growth.

    Deb
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    To have new potatos they would have to be planted at least two months. If the potatos didn't grow there, what did? Good ground don't stay bare that long around here.
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Would you believe that on the massive Garden Web Forums there is but one member who handles virtually every potato question? Keeps my fingers busy!

    If there are potato tubers in the ground, they had to have either grown there or placed there. If there was never any plant growth, the first is ruled out. This means that they were placed there. And they got there by being planted this spring.

    Potatoes are a neat item. They have a built-in dormancy period. Some as short as 60 days and some up to 150 days. That's why they have become such an important dietary staple. They will remain dormant for a long time in storage. That storage can even be underground. (Any Red Norland potato missed in yesterday's digging will remain dormant underground and sprout next spring if frost does not go too deep.) What happened is that those two potatoes never broke dormancy after being planted. They indeed would look like new potatoes since you can take a very shriveled potato, soak it overnight in water, and it will return to normal again.

    Mystery solved!

    Martin
     
  6. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I'm either really confused, hallucinating, or no one understands me. :haha: :D

    Last December I bought "Russet Potato's" in 10 lb. sacks. (They were on sale, and I was making Lefse, if anyone is curious, lol) One of the bags started sprouting before I could use it so I stuck it in the bottom of the pantry where its nice and dark and cool. On May 1st, I planted the "big" potato's about six inches underground. The only thing that grew was some grass seed that got blown by the wind when we put our lawn in, and I have picked those out as they grew. I have two weeds growing in there, that I left because I thought they might be potato plants coming up, but they really don't look like what I imagine a potato plant to look like.

    The potato's that I dug up were 2 inches long and almost a inch wide, they looked like baby potato's. Very firm, and about 10 of them in one shovel full. I know I didn't plant them that close, plus these were "big" tomato's that I planted.

    I'm going to dig some more tomorrow and see if they are all over, and it wasn't just a weird spot, lol. I should probable take my digital camera out with me to document this too, you never know maybe I got magical land, and instead of hitting oil, I'll hit potato's. :confused: :haha:

    Thanks you guys, it's great to bounce questions off you, and not be laughed at.
    Deb
     
  7. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    What? Someone who knows how to make lefse but can only "imagine" what a potato plant looks like? You can't even be an honorary Norwegian!

    2" long and 1" wide would indeed be baby Russets. Since we are certain that the trolls didn't create those little potatoes, you might want to take a closer look at those "weeds" which you didn't mention before. Potatoes don't form in a neat little cluster like a nest of eggs. They may form well over a foot away from the plant. When you go looking for more tomorrow, those little potatoes will still have a tiny stem on one end. That's like an umbilical cord which will lead to the parent plant. You'll no doubt find that it leads to one of those "weeds".

    Martin
     
  8. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    Martin,
    Figlets and their fruit follow me like the plague so potatoes and other plebian crops I assign to you. :haha:

    Are you saying that cutting off/weeding potato tops won't kill a crop? I've always done taters in a huge pot so they did cluster, I guess. Never dared weed out the dominant nasties. Could I have?

    BTW, the beans are doing great!

    katy *once rustynail on GW*
     
  9. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh, that could be it, because my so called weed is about a foot away. It's pretty broadleafed though, I thought potato plants looked kinda like tomato plants, lol. I guess that's what I get for doing internet searches at night when I am have sleeping, lol.

    Well, to tell you the truth, I'm a Swede and we call them pottacocca's, but dh is norwegian and everyone knows what I am talking about when I say lefse. Can't say the same with pottacocca's. :haha: THAT is really why I'm trying to grow potato's, it's so embarrassing for me to walk in the stores with a bag over my head trying to hide while I buy bag after bag of potato's!! :D

    Thanks so much, one more mystery solved!

    Deb
     
  10. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Aha, Deb! I somehow knew that if we all stayed up long enough tonight, we'd find the answer. Really rough trying to sleep when the brain is working overtime to solve a puzzle. And with a Swede being involved, this Norwegian will forgive your ancestors for coming from the other side of the mountains! But then, my great-great grandfather fought for the Tre Kronor as a soldier in the 1848 war between Denmark and Germany. We won!


    Katy, after such a high statement of praise, I'll sacrifice my body to a bit less sleep than it should have!

    Your question is a sticky one and normally I back off from it. That's because I allow other fools to answer it and leave the basic potato stuff to this fool! The answer can be found in information regarding successfully growing potatoes in tires. The reason I won't usually get involved is that it is a total contradiction. Anyone who has grown potatoes forever also knows that large healthy vines are a great indication of a good crop. However, the tire method requires that the plant never develops an aboveground stem. Only a few leaves are allowed to grow and never taller than 4 to 6 inches. I never advocate growing potatoes by that method and never suggest any pruning. That's because as soon as the regular stem growth begins, any pruning harms the plant. The trick is knowing when the underground portion stops and the aboveground begins. 60 years of playing with potatoes and even I haven't figured that one out yet!

    Martin
     
  11. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    You guys are all nuts! This is obviously the work of the potato fairy!!
    She flies around in the middle of the night, placing new potatoes in unsuspecting gardeners plots.
    :p
     
  12. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Potato plant:
    [​IMG]
    Potato Flower:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    Well I will throw this out here. Just for fun I placed several large potatoes on the earth floor of my fruit cellar. It is cool, dark and damp. After while, little potatoes started growing out of the big ones. There was not plant or green growth, just small potatoes hanging onto the big one. Actually some of them were 1 1/2 inches across by the time I took them out. They did develop a fine root system, not much of one though. So I am wondering if something similiar happened underground in this case.
     
  14. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

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    Oh Gosh, just when I feel so confident Southerngirl posts pictures of REAL potato plants. :eek: :haha:

    I went out this morning and snapped some pictures. The two so called potato plants are quite a ways away from where I found the potato's. Here is a picture of a couple of the little potato's that I found.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture to the left of where I dug
    [​IMG]

    Here is to the right. That thing growing at the very edge is a plant I stuck there after my pot broke and I was too lazy to go find another pot, lol.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture to the far left, that wasn't even close to the new potato's that has a picture of the two weeds errr...potato plants or whatever you want to call them. It's hard to see the little weed but its about a inch off the edge of the left side of the picture.
    [​IMG]

    So as you can see, I've neglected my potato's, and this area would make a great pathway for me! Feel free to call the national enquirer because I really think the aliens have been playing tricks on me! :haha: :cool:

    Deb
     
  15. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Melissa's got a theory! Ok, I'm not going to question why I have potato's....................


    ATTENTION, ATTENTION: Deb from Oregon is now going to start advertising her magic potato's. She has worked hard, and finally discovered a plantless potato. You too can join in the fun for only $10. That's right for $10 she will send you one plantless potato, and a thank you card!! Don't miss out on this exciting new discovery. Be the envy of the neighborhood, and send your money in now.


    Deb :haha: :haha:
     
  16. Paquebot2

    Paquebot2 Guest

    Potato ferry? No! None of them in Scandinavia. They would have had a potato troll! A pity that such the term "troll" is no longer a nice thing since there are as many good trolls as bad in Norway.

    I've seen the same as Melissa describes but never larger than a marble. That sometimes happened when I was storing seed potatoes for a July planting. It's a very remote possibility in this case except that there would not be enough reserve energy stored to produce 10 tubers, especially of that size.

    It's obvious that the parent plant is now gone. At one time, it had to have been there. It did have to be huge. Harken back to instructions for growing in tires and the 4" heighth. It would have competed with the grass until giving up without leaving a trace behind. And that's the way potato plants are. If you leave them alone long enough, they shrink right down almost nothing since they have no woody material like most other plants.

    But when it comes right down to it, I do think that the good garden trolls had something to do with it. Just ask any old Norwegian, he'll tell you that it is true!

    Martin