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Potatoes?

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Potatoes?

Post  fkarl on 7/3/2010, 1:09 pm

Mine are HUGE!!! like 4 feet tall. I have used the highrise method and they have been in the ground since April 15. They are so tall they are shading the other things.... My wife would like to harvest them so we can start something else. I would like to let them grow a bit because, well, we can. SO, She has pruned back some of the greenery on them to allow light to the parts of the garden they are shading. Is this an acceptable compromise?
When we planted the potatos we used 2 squares, one for me and one for her. I planted two reds and two whites in my square using tubers with large eyes leftover from Christmas dinner. She used "certified seed potatos". Mine took off way before hers and have already flowered. Hers have not flowered as of yet but have caught up to and even surpassed mine a little bit in size.
SHould we just go ahead and harvest mine since they have flowered?? I have never done this before and have no idea what to expect... but the soil they are in is about 14 inches deep after several "hillings" and I don't see anyway to just feel around without disturbing the whole potato cart. OR, should we just continue to prune them as needed to let light into the rest of the garden? Thanks!
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Re: Potatoes?

Post  Megan on 7/3/2010, 2:48 pm

Hi Karl,

My potatoes are huge, too. I am growing Kennebecs from "seed potatoes." They are also about 4' tall but I put another riser on in hopes of getting more taters out of them, so total soil depth is a little over two feet in most of the box.

This is my first year growing potatoes on my own (we grew tons of them, literally, when I was a child). So.... take this with a grain of salt, because I am just going on memory and reason here, and an experienced SFGer may have something else to say. I don't see any reason why you couldn't cut back the greens, so long as you leave enough for the plant to make food with. I am thinking about doing the same thing myself. My understanding/memory is that you normally wait until the vines die back before you harvest, but seems like numerous people here have jumped the gun and had early harvests, so that doesn't seem like an issue either. I suspect you could easily do both -- dig down a bit to grab a few taters, and cut the tops back too, if you wanted to. Good luck and let us know how it works out! Very Happy
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Re: Potatoes?

Post  JAB822 on 7/7/2010, 10:07 am

Karl, it sounds as if gardening is becoming a competitive sport at your house!

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