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JRinPA June 3, 2020 02:23 PM

expected potato yields
I am new to potatoes. This is the first year I have tried any in-ground. Previous to this, a few years of washbaskets pots that produce wonderful tasting but small potatoes.

I read somewhere that 13-14 lb yield per lb planted is pretty good. The other day I had someone tell me they get 150-200 lb per 5 lb of seed potato, each year. That seems like a lot. Has anyone ever accomplished yields like that? On a regular basis?

rxkeith June 3, 2020 07:34 PM

i will agree that 13-14 lbs yield/lb planted is pretty good.
i would expect to see a range of 5 to 20lbs yield/lb planted.
variables would be soil fertility, disease/pest control, type of potato, and
always the weather. i think the person that told you they get 150-200/bs
potatoes/lb planted is telling a stretcher as huck finn would say. if they get
even a quarter of that yield, i would do whatever they do.
i'm no expert. all i plant is two long rows in the garden. i watch out for potato
beetle eggs, larva or adults, squish any i see, and keep an eye on the foilage
for any disease issues. i had enough potatoes to last till the end of may.
no idea how many lbs planted or what my yield was.


JRinPA June 3, 2020 09:58 PM

Yeah...I am a technical type so I keep numbers grounded. 40:1 return? I wouldn't mind being there when they are harvested...and I'll happen to have a scale in the back of the truck! If it is legit, I'll surely try it that way next year. If not, I don't think it was exaggerating as much as never actually weighing them - maybe not the seed either.

Procedure seemed to be simply tilling and mixing in mushroom compost, then planting about "yay deep" (8"?) and hilling what looks about 6-8" high, all at time of planting. No further hilling necessary. The space is only about 5' by 8' and it looked like 3 rows, 8ft long. Maybe not that big, because that is my whole truck bed. This gardener said they'll set both below and above the seed potatoes. What kind of potatoes? Oh, any kind. I'll have to look at it again a little more closely.

I used 7# in a single row of about 13' with them spaced about 1 ft apart. Took them a week to 10 days to break surface with 5" between eye sprouts and surface. Now I have hilled them once already and want to wall them in while I keep hilling them, but I really don't understand the timing of when they should be hilled.

Honestly, the whole hilling-as-you-go thing doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me if the eye sprouts are indeed strong enough to poke up through 16" from the get-go.

zipcode June 4, 2020 03:23 AM

I thought 1:10 is generally considered a good number to aim for.
A very important thing in this calculation is the seed potato, not just the yield. One can make that ratio bigger by using fairly small potatoes. I see people often using way bigger than they should.

JRinPA June 4, 2020 10:22 AM

I was just reading that thread from 2011 regarding pulling the sprouts off to generate more plants from a small amount of potato seed. It started me wondering... Does the potato plant feed at all on the rotting seed potato? Or will a small piece of seed potato or even a removed sprout grow just as one sprout off a big potato? I've always assumed the former, that the plant feeds on the seed as it decomposes.

The harvest/seed ratio doesn't matter much to me, really. The seed was $.80 per pound. More important is the harvest per area.

zipcode June 4, 2020 10:51 AM

I'm not a potato veteran, mostly what I read, but things are kinda like this:
Some tuber for the plant to feed from at first is beneficial to yield. (so just cutting small pieces is not ideal).
The amount of eyes (place where it sprouts from) increases fast with tuber size but reaches a plateau fairly quickly, so kinda like a 100g potato and a 300g one will have almost the same number of eyes.
Around 50-60g/seed potato is kinda ideal. Or half a 100g one. (I'm guessing this might depend on variety)
Too many eyes is also not good, as the number you get increases but size goes down (total yield goes a bit up though).
And don't forget to have a good amount of K in your fertilizer.

Durgan June 4, 2020 06:46 PM

[B]Yield of potatoes.[/B]

Method weigh a number of potato plants at harvest and average.

I did some tests over several years. The average is less than 3 pounds per plant. I have got a high a six pounds by carefully watering and having ideal weather.

The method of seed potato weight to harvest is without merit. For example a seed potato could be cut into several pieces to enhance the figures.

A field crop is somewhere between 2 and 3 pounds per plant. I have in some cases with good weather and careful watering got as high a six pounds per plant. Rare but possible.

NathanP June 4, 2020 07:04 PM

I only average about 1.5 lbs per hill, which works out to about 10 lbs per 1 1lb of seed tubers (2.5 oz average.

I think this is fairly average. Due to a lot of factors, you can get up to 10 lbs per hill, but no variety I have ever grown has yielded more than about 5 lbs per hill any year.

All the factors mentioned above can affect yield.

JRinPA June 6, 2020 11:26 AM

I checked the other day and it is two row/hills, about 7ft long, total width about 3.5 ft for both rows combined. So about 25 sq ft. It was indeed smaller than my truck bed. I can see 5 lb of seed being enough for that area with cut potatoes.

Can 150-200lb be grown in 25 sq ft...that is a more accurate question of what I was wondering. I, for one, sure hope so!

brownrexx June 7, 2020 08:56 AM

I don't weigh my harvest but this is what I got last year from 5 lbs of Kennebec on the left and 5 lbs of Lehigh Yellow on the right. The red ones in the middle were volunteers.

[url=][img][/img][/url][url=]20190815_182057[/url] by [url=]Brownrexx[/url], on Flickr

GoDawgs June 7, 2020 12:26 PM

Two years ago we got 24 lbs of Yukon Gold and 30 lbs of Red Pontiacs from two 11' rows, 1.5 lbs of seed potatoes each. I like to use small seed potatoes that don't need cutting up. One less possible problem.


Last year was a total bust as we had gobs of rain, the potatoes were in a different location that got some standing water and they all rotted. Never came up.

This year we planted one 18' row in a raised bed using about 8 small seed potatoes each of Yukon Gold and Kennebec. We ended up with 18 lbs of Yukons and 15 lbs of Kennebec. No more planting potatoes in the raised bed as once they were hilled the first time there was hardly any soil to hill them the second time.


Doing a "by foot" comparison, that works out to about 2.5 lbs per row foot in 2018 and 1.8 lbs per row foot this year in a raised bed.

Jeannine Anne June 17, 2020 02:49 AM

I found one lone potato of my fave kind that I cant get in North America in the spring. It was the size of a walnut and I found it in a raised bed when we were moving soil.I planted it in a very large pot and as the greenery grew I kept topping up. I took two cuttings off the plant and put them in water, got roots and planted them in my greenhouse, they are growing well. The one in the pot I harvested 2 days ago and got 2 1/2lbs of lovely tubers, mostly full size , just a couple of little ones. I am hoping to keep these over for next year. I am also going to try and grow a pot for Chritmas with an August planting

Black Krim June 28, 2020 05:54 PM

This is my second year seriously growing potatoes. So a novice.

From my reading, the tubers grow from a specialized stem, a stolon ?, that grow from the stems, just above the roots.

Hilling 2-3 times keeps those tubers from turning green. And I suspect trigger growth of the stolons.And the older tubers are under the younger tubers which are sprouting from stolons higher up the stems.

Have read that some varieties respond more than others to hilling height. The word "Indeterminate" is sometimes used..... but a good resource said this is bunk. IDK.

Pounds per hill varies a lot. Number of eyes seems to be a factor. Seems like there is a sweet spot as crowded plants ( planted 8" apart vs 12") produce less poundage due to competition for nutrients. One variety produces "lunkers" unless planted closely.

Water is a factor, and soil fertility like calcium and the usual suspects. Seems like too much nitrogen makes for a large plant but at cost of tubers.

Variety of potato matters. Yukon Gold loves the NW and produces well. Here in NE , it is lower in production. (Still my favorite flavored spud.) The russets do best in NW, and seems that its best to select russet strains developed for the NE.

Some potatoes need high altitude.

Production varies year to year , too. Tough to get great production year over year for big producers, so I apply this to the backyard grower,too.

I planted all new to me varieties this year. Wish I had planted a repeat, for comparison.

In my reading 10-20 pounds from 1 # seed potato is rather good.

Production per row is tougher to calculate as production changes based on distance between seed potato, variety and much more.

I also noticed that potatoes have eyes primarily at one end---- opposite attachment to plant, where a tiny pigtail can remain. This year to prep for planting only large potatoes were cut nose to tail. Med and small left whole. The fingerling potatoes have eyes the entire length but production ( cwt/acre) is a bit less than other potatoes...but bigger mkt price.

I think I planted too early, and lost many to rot this year as I can see gaps in the row. Suspect seed potato section too small and perhaps other unkown issues. This affects production numbers.

Winter here was warmer than usual followed by April colder than usual.....cannot predict weather. Raining spring followed by very very dry June. Rained yesterday for short time and t-storm today flooding everything. Might be just the right time as one area has already flowered and flowers fading ( tubers forming),and other area planted in late April is at bud stage and rain should promote vegetative growth.

Many factors affect cwt/acre..... my respect for potato growers has grown ten fold.

Again, Im a notice at potatoes, and Im sharing what I remember of my winter reading/ research.

JRinPA June 28, 2020 09:21 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I have three sets. It will be interesting to see what is the most productive.

The row I described earlier is probably more like 15+ ft. I didn't measure and it is tight to step it off. I did use 7 lb of uncut Lehigh. Each put out at least one strong stem. I hilled it with some dirt and compost. Then I built bean teepees over it and planted pole beans on either side of the row. Next I walled in the potato row with picket fence scrap, 8", and hilled it with compost and perlite. Then another 4", hilled it. I put a line of drip tape across. Last I did straw and compost on top. They look awesome. Hopefully it grows some potatoes.

I also cut up a 55 gal drum into 3 slices and planted 3 lb of lehigh. Quartered the bottom out of the barrel, and planted 4 lehighs in softened dirt/perlite below grade about 4". Then back filled and set more potatoes about ground level, then backfilled the lower third of the drum. After they came up, I added the middle section, and backfilled. Some are through that, but I'm waiting for shorter ones to catch up before I add the last section.

Lastly I had 3 lb of russet. I used a composter I made from 2/3 of a plastic barrel, style like an EarthMachine, open bottom. It is about 3-1/2 ft high I suppose. I started some in the bottom placed below vents on the side. Cut the vents to be windows. Then added some dirt. My hope was they would find these "windows" and shoot out them. Then I put the rest of the potatoes in as I filled it most of the way to the top. I don't plan to hill that except for straw at the top. So far a lot are through the top, but I don't see any taking advantage of the windows. I have since theorized, since the sun moves, the bright light moves, so the windows probably won't work. They'll just shoot to the top. Maybe if I had placed them just a few inches under the windows?

The row gets bucket drip, and the barrels get sporadic soaking. Rain has been nearly nonexistent, here. We are in the pattern with SW approach and it breaks up before us and sometimes reforms literally right outside of town and going past.

Pics from last week.

JRinPA June 28, 2020 09:30 PM

[QUOTE=Jeannine Anne;757240]I found one lone potato of my fave kind that I cant get in North America in the spring. It was the size of a walnut and I found it in a raised bed when we were moving soil.[/QUOTE]

What variety is this favorite kind? Great taste or some kind of pretty? Sound like a good job refreshing your seed stock.

I got these seed potatoes down at Agway, Lehigh and a Russet. Lehigh was developed for planting around here. My mom wanted some Russet, and then never planted them. Basically I was just scrambling for places to try plant these.

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