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Tater planting time. What's your method?

 
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Karen Layne wrote:Could it be that the hail knocked off the blooms and that signaled to the plant that it's time to dry up now? Just guessing here.



Quite possible. Still, I would not propagate these particular plants again. Sounds like Tyler's taters went down very fast, and he has others that pulled through the combination of hail and hot, those are the ones to propagate.
 
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@Tyler L: "We had a hailstorm and a few hot days. Could that have told them it was time to quit? Some of the other plants are still growing."

Hail, heat and humidity may be followed by fungal or bacterial diseases, the latter perhaps more important to your beans. It's quite possible that fungal infection invaded the wounds on the potatoes and that bacterial blight hit the beans. Just possibilities....

http://cropwatch.unl.edu/potato/hail
 
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Thank you for your thoughts. We're going to eat all these runts and see how the survivors do.
 
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I did the bag of fingerlings this year and some of my plants are dying down also. No hail here. The fingerlings I'm digging up look like the same variety as yours, so it's likely a variety issue. I think I'm getting about a pound out of each plant, which I think is an okay yield for a fingerling potato... but I don't have experience to draw on here.
 
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hey tyler...
did you calculate how many days of growth your taters had? compare that for the normal days that variety needs and then you ll see how "far off/early" they are.
do you have other plants from that variety still growing?

i think, you should experiment in different locations and maybe with potatoes in containers and see what will work best in your climate. i do not know much about your climate, but maybe you could try to start them very early or very late. maybe you could do several batches and compare them.
 
Tyler Ludens
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These are unknown varieties from a bag of fingerlings purchased at the grocery store, apparently several different varieties in the bag. They were all planted on February 24. I think one variety all died down at the same time, because others survive. I harvested a couple purple ones, but it was because the plants were right next to the dead plants.

The number of spuds was encouraging, but the size was disappointing. If they had grown to full fingerling size, it would have been a nice harvest.
 
John Weiland
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Just some observations after ~20 years in our current garden. We still are using our original stocks of russets, yukon golds, and reds. The numbers and sizes have been all over the map over those years, as has been the environment. Some years are relatively dry, other years the flood waters from the river submerged the tater hills for a day or two before receding. If there is a trend, it's that the reds do best, routinely yielding the highest number and size of potatoes. It's probably the reason that our region is a larger red-producing area than a russet producer. One interesting observation comes from the fact that I was originally told my stocks would have to be replenished by new seed....that if we kept using the previous stocks, we would eventually see smaller and smaller numbers and sizes. We don't feel this has come to pass, but that rather there are good years and bad years for each type. We have had no incentive to date to obtain new seed potatoes. As an aside, we have at times resorted to pyrethrins for control of potato beetle, when their numbers got too high and the vines were being stripped too early, as well as a strobilurin fungicide (the active compound is isolated from a fungal culture), when late blight was clobbering them. We never use these preemptively and only when it's clear that the plants will be dead before harvesting. Fortunately this has only be the case a few times in the 20 years.
 
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Deb Rebel wrote:
I save B potatoes (reds) that I get at the food pantry I volunteer at, that decided to sprout, and some russets too. The russets tend to be fairly small as well. I sprout them for 2-4 weeks whole, then flick off all but 3 on the strong end (best sprouts) and plant. I ended up with 15 pounds of seeds this way. I planted a bunch of different things last year and the best performers were my generic reds and russets. The seeds are golfball to tennis ball sized, and I plant whole. IF I plant cuts, they are still in the realm of golf balls and I leave them to air dry for a few days before they go in the ground.

Fingerings don't give me much of a yield, lots of little bits; and various colored ones didn't produce well. For one seed I get about 2-5# of production, closer to two usually. This year will also be container gardening and hopefully those will give me closer to five than two.



Sounds like Deb wasn't impressed with the fingerlings either. And has better yields with reds and russets (though small), which seems to be what I've experienced too. I have also had good yields from Kennebec (sp.).Mine are just starting to bloom. I haven't hilled up any (has to do with that determinate/indeterminate discussion and whether mine would produce further up towards the top) but I've surrounded the plant beds with the crimson clover we chopped down. It mulches to keep down the weeds, holds in heat and moisture and the honeybees are still really enjoying it.

John,
Sounds like you have been doing very well. If Mother Nature would leave you be. You've got great looking soil and a manure pile I envy.
 
Deb Rebel
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Karen Layne wrote:

Deb Rebel wrote:
Fingerings don't give me much of a yield, lots of little bits; and various colored ones didn't produce well. For one seed I get about 2-5# of production, closer to two usually. This year will also be container gardening and hopefully those will give me closer to five than two.



Sounds like Deb wasn't impressed with the fingerlings either. And has better yields with reds and russets (though small), which seems to be what I've experienced too. I have also had good yields from Kennebec (sp.).Mine are just starting to bloom. I haven't hilled up any (has to do with that determinate/indeterminate discussion and whether mine would produce further up towards the top) but I've surrounded the plant beds with the crimson clover we chopped down. It mulches to keep down the weeds, holds in heat and moisture and the honeybees are still really enjoying it.

John,
Sounds like you have been doing very well. If Mother Nature would leave you be. You've got great looking soil and a manure pile I envy.



I'm sure fingerlings do great in the right places and under the right conditions. They don't seem to work here very well. So back to my big roundish type spuds. I tried lots of different varieties over the last few years and overall the big blocky ones have produced the best. Maybe not the biggest but enough to have justified their care. I lavish love on that plant, I weeded it, I watered it, I tended it; I may have paid for the seed or the plant or division; in return I wish to get a harvest. Is my food cheaper than that from the store? Not really sure. However I know everything that happened to it, what it was fed, etc; and I know what I'm eating then. It's not full of preservatives either and I know how it was processed.

In my trials here, fingerlings do not produce enough to justify their care. If someone is getting great yields off fingerlings, please share. Either it's something I'm not doing or your climate and/or altitude and soil is more to their liking...

Mine are doing best with slight hilling at the start then piling and also caging (old decorative wire garden fence ring) to lift the bottom branches of the plant up. It keeps the plant from sprawling everywhere plus discourages vermin hiding at the ground level and lets me trim down there as needed and mound up as the plant grows. Else it seems they love to stick half the tubers out of the dirt, making them inedible. My 8" inch and taller are just about to get their first mulching, a bottom trim and fitted with their caging rings to be trained onto/over in their next foot. I also need to put the walking pavers in, that allow me to step in without packing down the dirt so bad, and their interplantings are already in cages (tomatoes, marigolds and kale) to control their space. After this weekend I will try to get some pictures.
 
John Weiland
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If you scroll on tab #1 of this thread to April 17th (by hovering the mouse over the date), I've tried to take this photo from the same angle. The frost that hit the potatoes was mild enough for them to eventually recover nicely. Crossing our fingers the blight and beetles will be low this year.
TaterBetter.JPG
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Deb Rebel
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John Weiland wrote:If you scroll on tab #1 of this thread to April 17th (by hovering the mouse over the date), I've tried to take this photo from the same angle. The frost that hit the potatoes was mild enough for them to eventually recover nicely. Crossing our fingers the blight and beetles will be low this year.



Yours look wonderful. Mine aren't nearly that lovely but I have blooms on the first planting. Second planting is just coming up good.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Looking great John! Must be that good, strong seed stock you've been developing. What doesn't kill them will only make them stronger. Right? 20 years and still going!
 
Deb Rebel
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Taken the 16th, I was documenting the single kale plant (third planting, must have been given old seed) showing one of the reds blooming. This week I have small tomato looking seed podlets about the size of a penny. Yes I have buffaloburr, that is the worst stuff on the planet, very nasty stuff and toxic. I remove it with tongs and trowel and carry it to the trash. DO NOT COMPOST IT. I have not had kid incursions after one of them ran into the stuff early this spring and found out the 'pretty watermelon bush' was nasty and spiny. Anyways. Second picture is the 'under cultivation' garden with the interplantings (potatoes, tomatoes, and some Lofthouse landrace climber beans--those are some of the best and most vigorous seeds I've ever planted. Looking forward to the harvest!!!) Going to dig probe some reds and see if there's B potatoes to be had (spouse LOVES THEM).
20160618_16.JPG
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20160618_18.JPG
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Karen Donnachaidh
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Deb,
I've only read a little about buffaloburr, it sounds pretty nasty and is quarantined in some places. Sorry you have that to deal with.

We sneaked a few of our first potatoes last night for dinner. Red, white and yellow "chilli" cheese fries. Kind of. Fries with a ground venison/salsa/cream cheese dip over top. Sooo good! The fries, as you tried to slice them, would pop open. Bursting (literally) with deliciousness.

In years past, we've had lots of Colorado potato beetles. I've yet to see a single one so far this year. We have had flea beetles, grasshoppers and leafhoppers though. Some leaf chewing done but not horrible. Didn't have as many blooms (IMO) as years past. Considering digging all earlier than usual to 1.) harvest while they're still not bothered by any underground pests and 2.) make room for more tomatoes and peppers that are still growing in the seedbed.
 
Deb Rebel
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Karen Layne wrote:Deb,
I've only read a little about buffaloburr, it sounds pretty nasty and is quarantined in some places. Sorry you have that to deal with.

We sneaked a few of our first potatoes last night for dinner. Red, white and yellow "chilli" cheese fries. Kind of. Fries with a ground venison/salsa/cream cheese dip over top. Sooo good! The fries, as you tried to slice them, would pop open. Bursting (literally) with deliciousness.

In years past, we've had lots of Colorado potato beetles. I've yet to see a single one so far this year. We have had flea beetles, grasshoppers and leafhoppers though. Some leaf chewing done but not horrible. Didn't have as many blooms (IMO) as years past. Considering digging all earlier than usual to 1.) harvest while they're still not bothered by any underground pests and 2.) make room for more tomatoes and peppers that are still growing in the seedbed.



Buffaloburr is seen in the plains/east of Rockies from North Dakota through Texas. I don't remember it up north, but it is really ugly stuff. Any grazing mammal that eats it can get very sick and even die from the stuff. And NEVER compost it. Remove it and burn or send to landfill (trash).

Your fries sound very yummy. Very hot today out there but want to get a picture of the seedpods/fruits on the potatoes. They are also poisonous, being that potatoes and tomatoes are both in the nightshade family. Never eat a 'green' spud and never eat potato 'fruits', stems, or leaves.

I interplant so that hopefully the potatoes are coming off about the time the tomatoes truly kick in (since these pictures all have had caging and their bottom leaves and suckers plucked out to promote air circulation at the bottom of the plant) The runner beans are just starting so they will be coming in as the tomatoes finish up (some of those are determinants)

On potatoes I hope the reds will come in soon enough to allow a second crop planting from them, and give me seed stock to winter. I was a bit short on reds seed this spring, so would like lots more.
 
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Some of my semi feral potatoes looked a bit weak so I weeded the ones that didn't survive the hail. I included a picture for reference. Those all came out of about a two square foot section. I did not plant them. Interesting the blues of mine all did just fine.
potato.jpg
[Thumbnail for potato.jpg]
 
Casie Becker
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Okay, my experiment in do nothing potatoes is completed.

For those of you who don't remember, I dug a trench and threw in some organic fingerling potatoes late this winter. It was an unimproved patch of soil that will eventually be converted into a garden bed. At one point (I forget exactly when) we were digging out a swale/path and I threw some of that soil on the plants to hill them. That's it. No watering, fertilizing, or weeding.

I dug up the last of these plants this morning. All told there were about twice the amount of fingerlings coming up as I planted. Worst ones were the red and pinkish variety. The light brown and dark purple both produced two to three times as much.

For some reason I've always thought we weren't in a good potato area. I still need to repeat the experiment in an actual garden bed (developed soil, weeding, watering, maybe fertilizer) but I'm now thinking the only reason my mother never grew them is that they are so cheap in the store.

I plan to try the same do nothing experiment with sweet potatoes in the future. I keep hoping I'll find out that there's a staple crop that's as easy as a weed. I'm much better at identifying seedlings than I am at keeping them alive.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Shawn,
That's not bad for "compost weeds". I love freebies (volunteers).

Cassie,
You came out ahead and didn't have to do anything. Must be a great place to put that future garden bed.

In both cases, you both mentioned how good the blue/purple potatoes did. I really need to try those.
 
Tyler Ludens
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My fingerlings barely produced. I just tried to dig up the purple ones, which are dying back, and they have started sprouting! And they are minuscule! So I'm just going to leave them in the bed and plant sweet potatoes on top of them.

 
Karen Donnachaidh
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I'm still thinking that it may have to do with the hail you got right after they started blooming. Maybe the blooms got knocked off and then they just sat idle until they decided to sprout. IDK. I like the sweet potato idea.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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We have the potatoes planted in four beds, each about 3'x5'. Yesterday we dug all the potatoes from one bed and replaced with tomatoes. I was not impressed with the number of potatoes we found. I guess what I've always heard may be true..."if you have pretty growth on top, you may not have many potatoes below". And like I said in an earlier post, I don't think there were as many blooms this year. Some had a few good size potatoes, while others had only marbles. The Yukon golds seemed to out number the red Pontiacs. There was a white variety seed potato that got mixed up with the Yukons at the store so we don't know exactly what that one was. It produced small/med size nearly flawless spuds. The only ones showing any signs of scab were the reds but that wasn't much. So we had enough to fix for dinner last night and tonight and to take a meals worth each to 4 co-workers. I hope the other three locations produce better. We'll be digging those soon so they don't get scab issues too (or any other issues).
 
Deb Rebel
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Took a few pictures. I am at bloom and fruit stage on first planting.

The white blooms are reds, the russets had a purplish bloom and the first planting has fruited of those... (at the base of my thumbnail the thumb is 1" wide all the way across, so I stuck the hand in the picture as scale)

20160623_36.JPG
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Karen Donnachaidh
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They're mighty pretty, hope they have lots of pretty taters under them as well.

Your pictures bring to mind an interesting question...has anyone here ever tried growing potatoes using true potato seeds (seedpods)?
 
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Karen Layne wrote:They're mighty pretty, hope they have lots of pretty taters under them as well.

Your pictures bring to mind an interesting question...has anyone here ever tried growing potatoes using true potato seeds (seedpods)?



Yes, Joseph Lofthouse, a seedsman who frequents these forums does. There are a few other. but none whose names I can remember off the top of my head.
 
Deb Rebel
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Shawn Harper wrote:

Karen Layne wrote:They're mighty pretty, hope they have lots of pretty taters under them as well.

Your pictures bring to mind an interesting question...has anyone here ever tried growing potatoes using true potato seeds (seedpods)?



Yes, Joseph Lofthouse, a seedsman who frequents these forums does. There are a few other. but none whose names I can remember off the top of my head.



Joseph's Landrace seeds, I've never seen stuff so vigorous and willing to grow. He is in a more harsh environment than I am but there are similarities-so I got seed from him this year. All I can say, is wow. I'm lurching towards harvest and can't wait.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Sounds like he's worked long and hard to breed some great seed stocks. His site is worth a look...check it out here.
 
John Weiland
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The April 17th and June 13th entries above showed the soil prep and mid season growth on the potato vines.  The final updated photos are below, illustrating the extent to which the weeds finally get the upper hand.  Nevertheless, once they are cleared away and the digging begins, there's plenty to harvest below.  This year the Russets were only fair in quantity and size (on the left in the last photo), but the Yukon Golds and Reds did very well.  One row of reds still to pull tomorrow, so we will have plenty for the coming winter.  Once in the root cellar, we use the russets first as they are the poorest storing in our hands....not bad, just not as good as the Reds, followed by the Yukon Golds.
WheretheSpuds.jpg
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WeedsCleared.jpg
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RedvsRusset.jpg
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Karen Donnachaidh
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John vs The Alberta Clipper...John WINS!!!
Looks like a good harvest there. Adverse conditions make for strong seed stock (and, in my case, a few more gray hairs.)
 
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