Digging potatoes

melli

Member
We planted the potatoes (purple and white). We hilled the potatoes when they started to get leaves. When can we dig the potatoes? I want some of them really small (like salt potatoes or new potatoes). I don't want to dig them too early. If I do a test dig and they are too small can I just cover them up again?
 
Potatoes are fully matured whenever the top parts die off after the flowers have bloomed. Basically, for ripened potatoes, you need only to wait until the top parts start dying off. Typically, you will end up having potatoes of all sorts of sizes depending on how you planted them: by planting the seeds or by planting the whole potato.

You can periodically check by digging, but be gentle and careful that you do not disturb, as in totally displace, the potatoes themselves. Yes, you can just cover them again if they are too small.
 

Nicky

Member
you will end up having potatoes of all sorts of sizes depending on how you planted them: by planting the seeds or by planting the whole potato.
Which method produces the biggest potatoes though? I'd like to plant some next season, it would save a ton on my grocery bill, but I don't want tiny ones.
 

melli

Member
We only plant potatoes - not from seed. We plant the potatoes that grow eyes on them. Sometimes we cut them in half if they have a lot of eyes. I'm going to go out this week and dig a small patch of them up.
 
Which method produces the biggest potatoes though? I'd like to plant some next season, it would save a ton on my grocery bill, but I don't want tiny ones.

Well, I had planted whole Yukon Gold potatoes, and their sizes ranged from about the size of a soft ball to a ping pong ball. My grandmother planted some red potatoes, but she cut the original potatoes into seed before planting them in the ground. She had a few that were a bit larger than mine, but she had a ton of medium to small sized potatoes. I think it really depends on genetics and how you plant them in general. If I understand correctly, the looser the soil and the more space available, the larger potatoes you will have; thus you have the option of planting potatoes into the ground itself, into hay, or into a barrel. It all depends.
 

Wine&Chese

New Member
We tried planting potatoes a few years ago but they didn't seem to take. Every once in a while it looks like we have some struggling to come back after all these years, but we never actually saw any potatoes. I'd like to try it again, so I will keep some of these suggestions in mind next spring.
 
Growing potatoes ... first make a trench ( depending how big garden is ) .. 16 t0 18 inches deep. run some 5-10-5 fertilizer
in the trench. cover with 1- 1 1/2 inches of soil over the fertilizer. lay out your seed ( or cut eyes) ..3-4 inches apart in the trench. fill in the trench, and hill as the plants grow....... Goot luck... oh, start your potatoes in May, or as soon as the ground warms ... ;)
 

BrewJen

Member
My parents grow potatoes and they are generally small to medium sized. In the past couple years they started growing them in 5 gallon buckets, so they could just dump the bucket out instead of searching through the ground.
 

Wine&Chese

New Member
How do they grow them in five gallon buckets? That might be easier than the way we tried it before. We seem to be getting lazier with our gardens, the tomatoes came from one of those upside down planters this year!
 
Growing potatoes ... first make a trench ( depending how big garden is ) .. 16 t0 18 inches deep. run some 5-10-5 fertilizer
in the trench. cover with 1- 1 1/2 inches of soil over the fertilizer. lay out your seed ( or cut eyes) ..3-4 inches apart in the trench. fill in the trench, and hill as the plants grow....... Goot luck... oh, start your potatoes in May, or as soon as the ground warms ... ;)

What brand of fertilizer do you use? I used Miracle Grow, and focused primarily on using bone meal to get the potatoes developing well. Also, do you by any chance have any recommendations for preventing scab?
 
Hey spiced, i buy 5-10-5 in 50 lb. bages as i use it in pretty much everything.. you can get your calcium from sulfer a well.
Potato scab can be put in check with a soil Ph. of 5.0 or less. hope this helps ... :);)
 
I didn't know that you could purchase fertilizer in bulk like that. I'm going to have to check that out in August.

Yes, that does help. I'm going to have my soil tested before planting a late summer or fall garden.
 

BrewJen

Member
How do they grow them in five gallon buckets? That might be easier than the way we tried it before. We seem to be getting lazier with our gardens, the tomatoes came from one of those upside down planters this year!

I don't really know exactly how they plant potatoes. I assume they plant as smurfjuice instructed, just in a bucket instead of in the ground.
 

melli

Member
We use buckets for our tomatoes but not potatoes. It makes sense though. I wonder how many they plant? We dug some of ours up and they are a bit too small still.
 

Nicky

Member
If I understand correctly, the looser the soil and the more space available, the larger potatoes you will have.
Loose soil sounds reasonable. Genetics makes sense too. I like mine on the large side, so I think I'll go from there. Thanks for the tip.
 
Some people grow them in buckets. I have even heard incidents of people growing them in tires. I have noticed that if the potatoes are planted in the buckets that they tend to be smaller, however.
 
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