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Missed covering potatoes - now what? Toplef10Missed covering potatoes - now what? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Missed covering potatoes - now what? I22gcj10Missed covering potatoes - now what? 14dhcg10

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Missed covering potatoes - now what?

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Triciasgarden
greatgranny
Goosegirl
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ETNRedClay
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audrey.jeanne.roberts
llama momma
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Post  llama momma 5/11/2013, 2:20 pm

What should I do??
It rained a couple of days, then I was away the following day, now the potatoes have grown several inches without being covered up, maybe 5 inches growth or so... Can I still cover them, carefully maybe ???
Missed covering potatoes - now what? 5-11-111
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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 5/11/2013, 2:59 pm

I've done it with a mix of pine straw and semi composted compost. I've had no problems at all with it. Good luck!
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Post  Turan 5/11/2013, 3:02 pm

They are ok. Hilling is usually of the bottom 1/2 of the plant, not the whole thing. So go ahead and carefully bring your mix level up. If you see a frost coming go ahead and cover them totally. At this point in the season either way will work out because they are still feeding off the seed tuber.

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Post  Pepper 5/11/2013, 3:41 pm

+1 to Turan's post

Taters grow above the 'seed slice' so it is important to 'hill'(add layers of dirt) as they grow. I plant my taters in a deep; 11 inch; bed. This year I removed half the MM planted the taters. Then when they were about where yours appear to be, I added the rest of the MM back. When they got this far above the soil I added a 'top hat'(another bed frame). I have filled it with pine straw(needles). You do NOT want the potato to be exposed to the sun while it is growing. Looks to me like you have not missed the 'hilling' window.
Be careful using shredded leaves will NOT allow water to penetrate
Best of luck with them.

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Post  llama momma 5/11/2013, 4:21 pm

Thank you everyone!
Funny thing about square foot gardening. I can often look pretty darn successful going by the book yet a little deviation occurs (my doing..) and quickly be at a loss without years of gardening experience to draw from! This Forum Is So Wonderful for times just like this.
thanks


Last edited by llama momma on 5/11/2013, 4:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : cause I still can't write...)
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Post  quiltbea 5/11/2013, 9:23 pm

Sure, just keep filling. If your plants are 8" above the soil, cover them for 4=5". If 6" above, add about 3-4" of soil. Just leave some green tops.
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Missed covering potatoes - now what? Empty Wire cage over potato bed

Post  ETNRedClay 5/11/2013, 10:38 pm

What critters go after potatoes?

I ask because just today I moved the wire cage off the potato bed and put it on the newly-planted corn bed. It was only on the potato bed as storage until I got the corn bed planted....

So should I be outside in the dark making another wire cage to protect my young potato plants from _______ ?
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Post  llama momma 5/11/2013, 11:33 pm

I don't know what critters would eat potato plants.
The wire critter cage on my potatoes was placed to keep my barn cats out of it especially when the potatoes were first planted. I took it off of my table top strawberry bed temporarily, thats why it's only a foot tall.
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Post  ETNRedClay 5/12/2013, 1:21 am

That's a relief. No cats and the dogs are fenced out of the garden altogether -- they hedge anything that grows through the fence. They love their veggies as much as I do, funny for a bunch of carnivores.
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Post  southern gardener 5/12/2013, 2:06 am

when do potatoes stop growing? My plants are at the top of our big barrels and are still growing. There are no flowers, but I can't add any more dirt since they're full! Now what??
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Post  Goosegirl 5/12/2013, 7:56 am

Now you watch and wait for flowering and dying off. When they start keeling over, it is time to dig.

GG
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Post  greatgranny 5/24/2013, 12:26 am

Quick question.

I planted my potatoes about 2 weeks ago. (just like Mel said) I did it this way last year and had lots of success. None of them are coming up. Being in the upper midwest, we have had cooler than normal temps. Is this the reason? Or, should I replant?

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Post  Triciasgarden 5/24/2013, 12:35 am

Greatgranny give them more time. They need to make roots first, then they will send up the leaves. I was thinking mine wouldn't come up but they did. Also, I have an "early" variety and a "late" variety growing in the same bed. I have to find my diagram of which is which, but one variety came up very noticeably quicker than the second variety and the first variety are also larger than the second variety.
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Post  greatgranny 5/24/2013, 1:02 am

I should have mentioned that these are a late variety. I guess I did not remember that last year was an unusually early spring and was very warm. That could be the reason.

I know, I'm impatient.

Thanks Tricia
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Post  ETNRedClay 5/24/2013, 1:47 am

@llama momma wrote:What should I do??
It rained a couple of days, then I was away the following day, now the potatoes have grown several inches without being covered up, maybe 5 inches growth or so... Can I still cover them, carefully maybe ???
Missed covering potatoes - now what? 5-11-111

Are those asphalt shingles ringing your raised bed? CLEVER.
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Post  llama momma 5/24/2013, 3:58 am

Yes those are shingles. Habitat for Humanity Re-Store had them in original bags dirt cheap. The original intention was to keep the grass from growing up the sides and making it a cinch for the riding mower to zip by leaving a clean edge.

The unexpected bonus is clean shoes even after it rains and clean knees if I end up kneeling briefly. One more thing, worms love hanging out under there. I like to think they are dining out a few inches over and helping the garden.

I use to wonder about possible leaching from shingles but since worm research shows they remediate heavy metals from severely contaminated toxic soils I'm comfortable that a couple shingles will be ok too.
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Post  Goosegirl 5/24/2013, 7:24 am

Have to get ME some shingles! okay

GG
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Post  Triciasgarden 5/24/2013, 2:07 pm

@greatgranny wrote:I should have mentioned that these are a late variety. I guess I did not remember that last year was an unusually early spring and was very warm. That could be the reason.

I know, I'm impatient.

Thanks Tricia

I am impatient also greatgranny! Some of my carrots are popping through but most have not. They are so slow, lol! But honestly I always worry whether my carrots are going to sprout because they take forever (or so it seems)!
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Post  sanderson 12/15/2013, 1:01 pm

I'm growing my first potatoes so this may be a silly question. I'm growing in a bucket and it's time to add some more MM. Do I leave the leaves on the newly buried stems?
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Post  plantoid 12/15/2013, 1:27 pm

Usually you let the stalks reach 5 to 6 inches tall  and fill to the lowest leaf which tends to be 3 inches of fill .
Don't over water or over fertilize or you'll just get loads of greenery and no worth while potatoes.
My seven foot tall glasshouse tub grown potatoes had about six golf ball sized potatoes between two plants .. I'd over watered and fed too much liquid feed to them.
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Post  Turan 12/15/2013, 1:45 pm

@sanderson wrote:I'm growing my first potatoes so this may be a silly question.  I'm growing in a bucket and it's time to add some more MM.  Do I leave the leaves on the newly buried stems?

I always left them on when I was doing potato towers. However I can think of no reason why that would be better than pruning the leaves off, if you have a small enough plot to do that. Leaf pruning should stimulate the plant in some manner and maybe would help the plant switch that stem area to tuber production???? Do you have 2 buckets with the same variety in them? Could you do an experiment and tell us in time for our plantings?

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Post  sanderson 12/15/2013, 2:29 pm

I have a second empty food grade bucket but am waiting for some eyes to sprout on my kitchen potatoes. Otherwise, an experiment would be fun.
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Post  boffer 12/15/2013, 2:50 pm

I've always left the leaves on, but it does feel weird doing so.
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Post  GWN 12/15/2013, 11:51 pm

There was a lengthy conversation here.... or more than one... about determinant vs in determinant potatoes, and my faint recollection, or poor understanding.... was that with in determinant  potatoes, as you hill them the leaves, become new potatoes, whereas with determinant potatoes, you only get what you start with, and SO I wonder if the answer to your question depends on the variety of potato you are growing
article wrote:
Usually the terms indeterminate and determinate refer to the growth habit of a plant in relation to the apical meristem (terminal bud). When the term is used in comparing potatoes, it refers to the setting of stolons under ground that produce the tubers. Determinate types will only produce one set (or flush) of stolons, while indeterminate types will produce multiple sets of stolons. The determinate types are usually early maturing varieties and the indeterminate types are typically the long season types.” 
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Post  sanderson 12/16/2013, 12:45 am

Small reds
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