• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Potato Production per Plant.  RSS feed

 
James D Young
Posts: 64
Location: Brantford, ON Canada
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I started growing potatoes seriously in my backyard garden, I could find no information on what weight to expect from each plant. Finally I started weighing each plant at harvest time. I discovered in general anything over four pounds per plant was acceptable. And weather was a big variable and moisture was critical. Here are some of my efforts.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?BKWAI 11 September 2010 Yukon Gold Test Box Potatoes
Yukon Gold Potatoes were harvested today. A total weight of 23.5 pounds was harvested from the 4 by 4 foot test area. The quality is excellent. Another plant could probably be placed in the center of the area without crowding. The average weight per plant was 5.9 pounds. From my experience anything over 4 pounds is acceptable.

http://www.durgan.org/2015/September%202015/1%20September%202015%20Potato%20Harvest/HTML/ 1 September 2015 Potato Harvest
The vegetation from my potatoes has died off, weather is dry, a perfect time to harvest. Obtained were 70 pounds of Pontiac Red, 15 pounds of Yukon gold, and 20 pounds of Superior. The Pontiac Red averaged 4.5 pounds per plant of excellent tubers. One plant was 9 pounds. I only need about 50 pounds for my Winter use so will give some to neighbors. They will be stored in my basement insulated cold room.
Pontiac Red
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 980
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
122
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I never actually weigh my potato crop. Frankly, I don't have the time. But I do pay attention to the amount of good sized tubers. I look for robust plants that produce good size and numbers of tubers in the shortest period of time. I'll take tubers from those plants to propagate the next generation.

My big producers are Dark Red Norland, La Ratte, Elba, Caribe, Red Thumb, Magic Molly, plus a red one I got from Peru but I don't know the name. I have many others that are decent producers and getting better each year. If the variety doesn't produce well in my situation, then I don't grow it again. I realize that they might be doing fabulous for another grower, but that's life. They've got to do well on my own farm in order to stay.
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1238
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
44
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have heard that the rule of thumb is that you should get 10 pounds of potatoes for every pound planted. I have no idea if that is true, but I would be curious if that matches your yield.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6457
Location: Left Coast Canada
800
books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think it's great you're interested in what your yield per plant is.

It's going to be very interesting to see how it changes over the years. Soil quality, varieties, weather, temperatures, timing, &c. they all have a big effect on yield. The location also makes a significant difference, not just where in the world you are, but even within the same city.

Where I am now, potato volunteers start about a month later than when I lived in town (a bit over 10 kilometers away), so I adjust my planting times accordingly. In town I could get two or three potato harvests a year, on the farm, I get one. Same variety has drastically different yields depending if I plant them in the valley on the farm, or near the house, or with the mangelwurzels. I've given up measuring yield per plant and focus more on larger themes and what effects they have on the overall harvest. If I leave the roots whole, I'll often get a larger yield per plant, then if I cut them up into individual eyes - or two eyes which is my preference. But planting the potatoes whole gives me less yield overall than I do cutting them up before planting.

So you see, there are many variables. But what you're doing is great because you can see what it is like in YOUR conditions. This kind of observation is the foundation of permaculture. Looking, measuring, observing, trying new things and seeing what's relevant to your location. I think it's marvelous.

However, if you do want to know more about yields, varieties, &c, Carol Deppe's Resilient Gardener is a fantastic resource. She waxes poetic about potatoes for a good chunk of the book. If memory serves, there's a bit about yield per plant in there too.
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 778
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
36
bike books chicken dog forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am growing potatoes for the first time this year. I have a single row roughly 50 feet long and the plants range from really large to just a short sprig popping up.I expect there will be huge variation since some of the row gets more sun. But since i saw this i may organize the yields and compare the size of the final plants and the amount of tubers. With this i can get a baseline of what to expect next year in these conditions.

Su ba , you said you take the best and propagate for next year. Whats entailed in that? Just saving it a whole year until its ready to go into the ground again? Is there a special to store it ?
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 980
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
122
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Zach, since I can grow year around, I don't need long term storage conditions. For long term info, Joseph Lofthouse may be able to answer your questions. I just need to store until the tubers resprout. Depending upon the variety, dormancy may last anywhere from 2 1/2 months to almost 5 months. I keep the dormant tubers on my porch, inside a very airy cabinet (it has no solid back) so they are protected from the sun, rain, and rats. I spread them out one layer deep on trays. I had tried cardboard boxes but that didn't work for me. Actually because of my high humidity, plastic trays result in less rot. I check the tubers weekly and remove any that are showing signs of rot.

I choose the best tubers for planting. Disease and damage free. Showing all the variety characteristics. Coming from a robust plant that produced well. Sizewise, I use primarily the medium large tubers......or the largest if the variety tends to produce smallish tubers, such as the fingerlings.
 
Bras cause cancer. And tiny ads:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!