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Did I screw up my potatoes?

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Did I screw up my potatoes?

Post  WendySue67 on 5/5/2011, 4:36 pm

I am new to this gardening thing... I think I need a lot of help.

I decided to dedicate a whole deep box to potatoes so I got my seed potatoes, cut them up so that each piece had at least 2 eyes, let them dry and planted them in about 2-3 inches of Mel's mix. A friend told me that I didn't need to let the eyes sprout before planting them, so I didn't. Now I am reading that I should have waited for shoots to come off the eyes. Then I found out my "friend" has never grown potatoes so she likely doesn't know what she's talking about. Will they still grow or are they just sitting in my dirt rotting now?

A few other questions about potatoes:

Do they need to be kept moist? The Mel's mix holds moisture pretty well but I'm not sure how often I need to water.

If they are going to grow how long should it be before I see something appear? It's taking all my willpower not to go dig them up and look... if I do and they're growing, will I ruin them?

It's a good thing I found this forum... I need all the help I can get! Embarassed

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Re: Did I screw up my potatoes?

Post  cabinfever on 5/5/2011, 5:14 pm

I don't think you have a problem, they may just take a bit longer.
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Re: Did I screw up my potatoes?

Post  stripesmom on 5/5/2011, 5:31 pm

WendySue, I did the same thing. I'm also new to growing potatoes. I heard, all you have to do is plant them and they will grow. Well, THAT might not be enough information after all. I did dig up a potato and it looks just like it did when I planted it. But, I do see a few leaves-that I hope are potato leaves and not weeds. If I were you, I would put a finger down in the MM a few inches and see if the is wet down there. It takes a lot to get the MM's wet initially. At least farther down it seems to.

Apparently, weather conditions effect how long it will take for the leaves to pop out. But, you should see some thing in a couple of weeks, according to this source.
http://www.gardenersnet.com/vegetable/potato.htm
They don't say you have to srout the eyes, but I suspect if you do, it will make the potatoes grow faster.

If mine don't turn out, then I've learned a lesson and will try again next year. I can always plant some thing else there, even though I did have my heart set on potatoes.
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Re: Did I screw up my potatoes?

Post  boffer on 5/5/2011, 5:50 pm

The very first things to turn up green in my garden every year are the potatoes that I missed harvesting last fall. Through 30 inches of rain and a couple weeks at 8-10°, they weren't cut, dried, pre-sprouted, or pampered. They just do what they do.

Give them a couple or three weeks. The depth you planted them and your temperatures will determine how fast they sprout. Potatoes don't need sun to know it's time to sprout.
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Re: Did I screw up my potatoes?

Post  LentilSoup on 5/5/2011, 10:12 pm

I recently went through the same worries. I planted my seed potatoes in a geopot though. I waited and waited. I told my wife that I think they are probably rotting. Finally I gave in and dug down a bit and successfully located and broke a sprout... darn!

So I at least knew they were sprouting. Still more waiting. Then we had a warm spell. Finally I noticed cute wrinkly bright green leaves popping up! yay! I've since had to bury the growth once, and now I'm overdue to do it again!
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Re: Did I screw up my potatoes?

Post  sceleste54 on 5/5/2011, 10:17 pm

I've not pre-sprouted mine and they have always grown.. Smile

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Re: Did I screw up my potatoes?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/5/2011, 10:38 pm

I planted a square of potatoes we found stinking up our pantry early this spring. When I looked in the baggy, it was grosser than gross. I took the potato out to the garden and buried it in a corner sqare. I started planting things from the opposite end. I got about have my SFG planted, and had totally forgotten about the potato.

Suddenly, something started to appear in the corner square. I thought it was a weed of some kind, but there were so many of them. I waited a couple of days to see what came of that goofy square. Sure enough, I remembered it was my potatoes. It's now the most vigorous, vibrant square I have going.

Yours will, too.
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Re: Did I screw up my potatoes?

Post  middlemamma on 5/6/2011, 1:01 am

IMHO...potatoes are very over thought, .

I panicked last year over mine and asked all sorts of ?'s and everything turned out fine. If something attempts to grow right there in your pantry it shouldn't need much effort to grow when you stick it in something as wonderful Mel's Mix.
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Re: Did I screw up my potatoes?

Post  WendySue67 on 5/6/2011, 12:49 pm

middlemamma wrote:IMHO...potatoes are very over thought, .

I panicked last year over mine and asked all sorts of ?'s and everything turned out fine. If something attempts to grow right there in your pantry it shouldn't need much effort to grow when you stick it in something as wonderful Mel's Mix.

I love this! Thanks... and you''re right... I can't keep them from growing in my pantry so they really should do fine. I'm just a nervous (and impatient) gardener.

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