Yet another potato question

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by bgraham, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. bgraham

    bgraham Well-Known Member

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    I have planted potatoes for the first time this year.

    I didn't dig..... I put a 6 inch layer of shredded leaves on the ground and planted the potatoes in the leaves. The plants grew. I got busy and did not ever round any more leaves on top. It has been about 2 months. Some of the plants were eaten by animals this week, one got weed eated by my husband :flame: (it was an accident!) and one got ran over by a tractor. The one that got ran over I tried to pull up and see if there were any potatoes under it. There are a bazillion roots running everywhere. A huge criss crossing network of roots. So many that I couldn't gently pull it up. But I didn't find any potatoes. The plants have not flowered. Do I have potatoes down there somewhere? Could they be under the ground? I didn't want to disturb the other plants so I didn't did or pull too much.

    Thanks!

    Beth
     
  2. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Wait a while, at least til they flower.
     

  3. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    I think I may be in the same boat as Beth. I was just out by my potato patch, which DID flower, and I don't see any spuds at all.

    Hm.

    I am beginning to think this straw potato thing is just like a snipe hunt er sumthin'. :(

    Pony!


    EDITED TO ASK: Beth, what zone are you in?
     
  4. ginsengsally

    ginsengsally Well-Known Member

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    When potatoes flower, they are just beginning tuber initiation. Wait awhile, you'll see them. Don't get discouraged!
     
  5. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    Phew! Sigh of relief!

    I was beginning to worry that I'd wasted time, stock, and space. :)

    THANKS!

    Pony!
     
  6. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    No, you do not have potatoes under the ground. Nor will you probably find many later on when the plants finally mature and die. You planted the potatoes IN the leaves. Therefore the plants were obviously expected to find their nutrients in those leaves. You made the mistake that so many others make when they only remember half of the instructions. The potato roots must be in some medium which will supply all of the nutrients needed plus to obtain the water. The best medium for that is the soil. So, the seed potatoes are planted shallow and then covered with whatever you wish the tubers to develop in.

    Remember something always. Potato roots will NEVER be above a seed piece, potato tubers will NEVER be below a seed piece.

    Martin
     
  7. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    I followed the directions from "How to have plenty on next to nothing". The book said to put the seed potatoes ON the ground, which I did. Then I covered them with the straw. I've been keeping the straw piled up around the plants. Got it about a foot deep.

    But if I understand you correctly, Martin, my chances of potatoes are slim because I did not put the seed potatoes under/into the soil. Is that correct?

    Pony!
     
  8. ladyrua

    ladyrua Well-Known Member

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    Is it weird that I don't remember my potatoes flowering? I pulled up one the other day cause it was looking poorly and it had five perfect taters (if a little small). Maybe I just missed seeing any blooms?
     
  9. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Does the book happen to say what that "ground" should consist of? Probably not. If there's nothing for the roots to feed off of, the plants can't very well make many tubers.

    Snipe hunt? That's what a lot of gardeners end up calling many of the non-standard growing ideas. If they were such good ideas, ever wonder why they aren't done by the acre?

    Martin
     
  10. Lynne

    Lynne Well-Known Member

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    I dug potatoes on Tuesday, when I pulled the plant up there was just little nubbings. Then I took a fork and started turning the soil, the mother load was about a foot down. At first I planted the eyes, then when they started growing I piled hay around the plants and added more as they grew.
     
  11. bgraham

    bgraham Well-Known Member

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    Pony,

    I am in zone 6B.

    Martin,

    I've read numerous things about just laying the potatoes on the ground and just covering them with straw or leaves so I though I would give it a try. Though it does make sense about the leaves not supplying the nutrients needed. Ah well, if it doesn't work I'll put them in the ground next year. :shrug:

    Thanks!! I'll let you know if I happen to get any tubers!

    Beth
     
  12. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    Not all potatoes will flower. I had very few flowers this year but quite a few potatoes. Also, if you plant the seed piece of the potato on the ground directly, it is very likely that the roots will grow down into the soil to attain nutrients and water. If the potato plant is growing, it will probably produce potatoes in time.
     
  13. Maple Tree Farm

    Maple Tree Farm Active Member

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    I planted my eyes about 6 inches in the ground. After all the rain we have had, I had about 40 plants some through this week. Do I bury these green leaves completely with dirt or just keep trying to push the dirt up around base of these plants. Or would it be best to just cover the whole bed with a thick layer of hay? First time with potatoes and not sure where to go from here. :shrug:
     
  14. Turkeyfether

    Turkeyfether Well-Known Member

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    I planted Blue Potatoes this year & can't wait to see the results. All of my potato plants are beautiful & full & flowering well.Other things (corn) had to be planted twice because I have a 'following' while I plant( chickens). :Bawling:
     
  15. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We lost all of our potato crop to the heavy rains! They all rotted in the ground and the smell is awful. We planted over 100lbs of seed potatoes, all had flowered and were producing well. They would have seen us through the winter, but all we got to eat was 1/2 a row :Bawling:

    Anyone know of a supplier who still has seed potatoes? I might be able to get the tractor out onto another plot in a week or so, but I need to find seed spuds.
     
  16. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    Oh, that's just awful!! I am so sorry! :(

    When I was at the grocery store the other day (Jewel -- they're owned by Albertson's), they had bags of seed potatoes. Not as many as you probably want (5 lb bags) and they were really sprouting, but maybe you could find something similar local to you.

    Good luck in your search!

    Pony!
     
  17. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    I've planted potatoes on top of the ground and mulched good, and always got a good crop. I do snug the seed potatoes down so they're making good contact with the soil. I've always done this in good garden soil, except for one time. That time I just laid them in sodded ground and covered with an expecially thick layer of mulch. I was surprised, they did well too.
     
  18. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    Normally, yes, you bury the leaves with soil or push lots of dirt around the plants(even better in my opinion-which has limited value) More and more people do seem to be using the hay method but I dont have any experience with that.