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Potatoes in SFG

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boffer
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Post  jenjehle Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:06 am

I grew potatoes in Rubbermaid tubs w/drainage holes last year. Got a few but nothing substantial enough for my big family Smile So this year I devoted a 3x5 bed (up agains the house) to them. Got Yukon Gold seed pots from a reputable nursery.



And since I decided to NOT do them in tubs again, I thought I'd use straw to pile up on top to keep them covered. The plant itself popped up within a week or two after I put the seed potatoes in the ground back in March or so.



We put up green, plastic fencing held up by stakes at the corners. Then piled up the straw as the plants grew enormous! Recently, just as others have stated, the greens have started turning to browns Smile The plants themselves have been looking pretty bad lately. Also, I don't remember any flowering on them this year at all.



Well, the curious person I am I started digging around in the bottom. I found ONLY ONE, then I stopped. Went inside to eat it Smile It was great!!! I'm sure there are many more, I'm just thinking about leaving the rest in longer.



Jenny
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Post  Icemaiden Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:23 am

Dunkinjean wrote:


Now the Fingerling plants are just about brown and dead.

Does that mean I should harvest all of them now? Do I wait until the greenery dies down completely to the soil?


Dunkinjean

I think it is up to you Smile
It should be OK to leave them for two weeks or so after the plant dies back - this will allow the skin to harden a bit so they would store better. But I'm guessing you are not planning on storing them?
If you have no trouble with pests or disease then you could just harvest as you need for two weeks, then they would always be freshly picked. Otherwise dig them all up.
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Post  Squat_Johnson Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:04 am

BTW, I neglected to say that the hardware cloth prevented the Voles from eating my potato crop. It was this time last year that I launched into "the war of the voles". I will now quit channeling Bill Murray.
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Post  Dunkinjean Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:17 pm

Thanks Icemaiden.



It is only my husband and I that live at home now. Our "boys" are now married and living out of state.

Since I have them in a long tower box, I was either going to harvest all of them at the same time and then store them (not sure how to??). Or is it better to pick a few every couple days as need for the two weeks? What do I store them in and where?

Thanks - just a newbie at potato growing.

Very Happy
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Post  boffer Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:31 pm

Jean, store potatoes in a cool (<40°), dry, and dark location. If your storage environment is good, they'll keep for 6-8 months.

Or, store them where they are, and dig them up as needed. As long as your ground isn't frozen, you can dig them up all winter. I always miss a few potatoes when I harvest, and they are the first plants to start growing in the spring.
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Post  Dunkinjean Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:39 pm

Thanks Boffer.



The only cool place I have would be in my basement.

What do I put them into to store them?



Thanks! Laughing
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Post  boffer Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:53 pm

Ventilated boxes or trays.

I use an old laundry basket, a couple plastic milk crates, a couple plastic hand baskets from a grocery store, plastic seed flat trays...I stack them up and throw sheets over them.

I've never been able to get them to last past about March 15. The shed I keep them in is pitch black, but they just seem to know when it's time to wake up and start sprouting.
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Post  camprn Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:02 pm

Dunkinjean wrote:Thanks Boffer.



The only cool place I have would be in my basement.

What do I put them into to store them?



Thanks! Laughing
Another thing is that if you have a local coffee roaster they will likely have old coffee bean burlap sacks that are just like the old time potato sacks.
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Post  WendySue67 Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:05 pm

I have been worried about my potatoes (probably needlessly) but it's my first year growing them. They are in a 12 inch deep box, and I filled it with MM as the plants grew. Now the plants are ENORMOUS--about 3 feet tall or more and tipping over. I have seen a few flowers but only on a couple of stems--the majority have not flowered. The plant is still very green (although I've had grasshoppers going to town). I keep waiting for it to start flowering, turning brown or look like it's dying but it doesn't. How often should I be watering it? (I ask, but it's been raining a torrential downpour every afternoon, so I really don't have much control anyway)

I'm hoping I'll be surprised and find a lot of potatoes in there. Hearing that people are finding potatoes when there were never any flowers is encouraging, but why does my plant still seem to be growing like crazy? Too much water?
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Post  Dunkinjean Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:13 pm

My potatoes were also vining alot, green and lush.

They did flower but not as much as I thought they would.

Now the vines of my fingerlings are dead and gone and I will be harvesting them this week.

I am excited and at the same time worried about how many I will get and what they will look like.

So, I think all is probrably well with your potato vines. Best of Luck!

flower
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