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Old June 28, 2020   #13
Black Krim
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: New England
Posts: 661

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.

Last edited by Black Krim; June 28, 2020 at 07:12 PM.
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