Karl Treen wrote:
Hypothesis #1: Leaves are solar panels. If you bury the solar panels, there is less energy to make the tubers. While you may gain some potatoes growing off the stems, you may lose harvest weight because of the solar energy lost in the process.
Hypothesis #2: A plant can only commit a certain amount of energy to producing tubers. Leaving aside the solar collection issue, it is doubtful that a buried plant will produce more weight in potatoes, unless perhaps it is gaining significant nutrient from the mounded soil or mulch.
Hypothesis #3: The extra human energy, materials, and money spent creating complex potato systems is a total waste unless you need to grow potatoes on a balcony or rooftop and are doing it just for fun.
Skandi Rogers wrote:In my experience constant hilling is counter productive, we have a short season and blight is a when not an if, so anything that delays the harvest like burying all the food creating leaves is a dumb idea.
William Whitson wrote:Those are all pretty strongly supported. Figure there have been something like 10,000 years of potato cultivation in the Andes and no evidence that they developed extreme hilling or towers or other crazy schemes to get more yield. Hill enough to keep the leaves in the sunlight and the tubers out of it.