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potato plants falling over!!

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potato plants falling over!!

Post  jennfinn1986 on 5/26/2014, 6:34 pm

Hi everyone me AGAIN. My potato plants are about 2.5 ft tall and I've hilled them up to about 10" to 12" of soil and now the plants are falling over. I been researching and some people say keep hilling and some say its normal to let them fall. Anybody deal with this ? I have them in raised beds with mels mix and anymore hilling will be going way over the boxes top. I've filled them to the rim with soil. Is this normal? I also read that when they fall over and die out is when you harvest but I didn't think it would be this soon. Do they harvest that soon? Sorry if I ask too many questions im new to gardening and a bit of a worrier.... Lol Thanks for any and all help!!
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Re: potato plants falling over!!

Post  jennfinn1986 on 5/26/2014, 6:35 pm

Also the leaves at bottom are yellowing as they are falling over??
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Potato ideas...

Post  Dara on 5/26/2014, 8:55 pm

Wish I could help...but can just make guesses...I would agree that they need to be hilled higher..any way you can add some extra height to your boxes?  I think yellowing leaves may be normal, as the plant ages, they do tend to yellow a bit at the bottom. Have they flowered yet?
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Re: potato plants falling over!!

Post  jennfinn1986 on 5/26/2014, 9:17 pm

Yes they have a lot of flowers
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Want a treat??

Post  Dara on 5/26/2014, 9:23 pm

Depending on the variety...when they flower, there should be tiny little baby taters down there! If you like baby potatoes (especially delicious creamed with new peas)..go ahead and snitch some! Browned in butter until the skin is crunchy...BIG hug 

Unless you can hill them deeper, I guess you go with what you have. Once the flowers dry and the vines all begin to yellow, then sneak down under one hill and see what you have. Not sure in your climate when you normally harvest, but in my zone 5, I leave them until just before frost so they can get nice and big!
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Re: potato plants falling over!!

Post  camprn on 5/26/2014, 9:46 pm

If the potato tubers are well covered with MM and the only problem is the foliage falling over I would suggest simply support the foliage. Place stakes in the corners of the bed and then use string tied at a foot above the ground, then run the string from stake to stake and corral the foliage.

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Potato plants falling over

Post  Rahab222 on 5/26/2014, 10:31 pm

First your potato plants flower (gusty winds blew most of mine off this year).  Then the plants begin to die.  Once the plants are dead, wait two more weeks and then harvest your potatoes.  Don't water two weeks before harvesting.  My potato plants are still in the process of dying, so I dug two, Yukon Gold potatoes out from beneath the first plant that died - all that's left is the stem.  It was raining, so I was just testing to see if there were potatoes down there.  YEP!  They were beautiful.  My red potatoes aren't ready yet, just the Yukon Gold.  I'm going to harvest mine in order of the plants dying.  Unless I start finding mushy ones, I'm going to harvest them as I use them to keep them from going bad; since people keep theirs in root cellars anyway.
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Re: potato plants falling over!!

Post  kensadams on 5/27/2014, 1:30 pm

camprn wrote:If the potato tubers are well covered with MM and the only problem is the foliage falling over I would suggest simply support the foliage. Place stakes in the corners of the bed and then use string tied at a foot above the ground, then run the string from stake to stake and corral the foliage.

I've also had good luck with using a large tomato cage - cutting off the bottom ring for more width overall - fits into a 1x1 square and did a good job with support.
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