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Author Topic: Potatoes  (Read 400 times)

Offline sawdstmakr

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Potatoes
« on: May 20, 2017, 09:52:27 am »
My wife planted potatoes in a raised screen area. How long before they are ready to dig up. Is there a indicator to look for to tell when to dig them up?
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2017, 10:48:55 am »
They bloom out and then start to die back from the tops has always been how I have judged them as ready to harvest. I test on one plant before digging the rest up

Online Acebird

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 06:16:03 pm »
I don't know if this works in FL but my plants are unrecognizable in the fall and mostly covered in weeds so for me there is no hurry to get them out of the ground.  I stake the end of each row so I can line the tractor up for digging.  If you have a tractor I would recommend buying a potato plow.  It saves so much work both in the planting and the harvesting.
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Offline minz

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2017, 12:40:06 am »
Depends on what you want. I keep piling soil up around the plants(hoe 3? of soil to the stems). As the stems get large they start to put energy to the roots (potato), usually about the time they bloom.
The soil is nice and soft so you just reach in and pull ?new potatoes? off the plant. You can dig into the side and do the same. The lady at work last year complained that she went to grow little red?s and she waited until the plant died back and all she got was monster reds. I explained little red?s are just baby big reds!
Bottom line if you want small potatoes dig up one side of the plant (carefully) until you get close. Then using your hand feel to see the size.
You keep watering them  and keep piling soil up and they will keep growing until frost kills them-how does that work in Florida?
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2017, 07:55:55 am »
Thanks all,
I will pass this info to my wife.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Online Acebird

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2017, 09:00:02 am »
The soil is nice and soft so you just reach in and pull ?new potatoes? off the plant.

My soil is not soft in summer, more like a brick, clay.  That is why I try to plant deep and try to cover like you say so the ones that surface don't turn green on the skin.  However about the size, I wish I could get just monsters.  My reds range from 1/4 inch in dia to 2 1/2.  A couple of times I have saved the ones that are 1 inch and planted them the next year.  They do grow but not like the seed potatoes I buy for planting.
When I harvest I separate big, medium and small.  I haven't found the optimum storing conditions because the eyes grow a foot long by the end of February.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline minz

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2017, 11:24:52 am »
Plant new ones every year? I planted Yukon gold and red Potomac one time 10 years ago and I am still trying to stop them from coming back every year. I put black plastic over that area this year and I just uncovered them to find a foot tall plant that I dug up.
Plant them deep, leave the trench open and just keep covering them with a little soil as they grow (hoe it in from the sides) until they bloom. It should be a nice tall mound and well weeded from bringing in the surrounding soil-only weed free spot in the garden. Eating potatoes grow above seed potatoes.
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Offline Captain776

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 04:26:58 pm »
Plant new ones every year? I planted Yukon gold and red Potomac one time 10 years ago and I am still trying to stop them from coming back every year. I put black plastic over that area this year and I just uncovered them to find a foot tall plant that I dug up.
Plant them deep, leave the trench open and just keep covering them with a little soil as they grow (hoe it in from the sides) until they bloom. It should be a nice tall mound and well weeded from bringing in the surrounding soil-only weed free spot in the garden. Eating potatoes grow above seed potatoes.

did u have any problem with worms eating  your plants after 2-3 yrs
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Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Online Acebird

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 09:14:28 pm »
did u have any problem with worms eating  your plants after 2-3 yrs

Yes, that is why I pick them all and don't plant them is the same area the following year.  The thing is the worms don't eat much.  Just cut them out.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Captain776

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 12:59:21 am »
I got worms so bad probably the third year, they ruined the plants but I had no idea not to plant in same location for consecutive years.

As the plants grow, just leave 3-4 inches of the plant showing, mound dirt around the plant and you will increase your yield.
Old Maine Potato farmer trick........when the plant gets high enough, place an old tire around it, fill the tire loosely with soil, as it grows, keep added tires as you can
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2017, 06:13:32 am »
Thanks for all of the replies.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline minz

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2017, 04:28:08 pm »
They chew on the leaves but I have had no issues with them eating the potatos
Poor decisions make the best stories.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Potatoes
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 10:05:47 am »
The little black slugs only ate the leaves as u said, never bothered the taters
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.