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When can we harvest potatoes?

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When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 11/12/2011, 2:16 pm

We have some potatoes growing in a barrel. Planted them about 3-4 mos ago? They are well over the top of the barrel, and have been for at least a month. Everything I've read says the plant will produce flowers and die off. Well, we have no flowers, and the plant is still as green as can be, with no signs of dying off. When can we harvest? So anxious to see what if anything we have in that barrel? anyone else with experience? thinking

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  boffer on 11/12/2011, 2:45 pm

You can harvest anytime. Potatoes don't get ripe; they just get bigger. As long as the plant is green, the potatoes should still be growing. The problem with a barrel is it is difficult to reach the lower spuds ie. the ones that will be biggest.

If your barrel is wide enough you might be able to reach down along side the barrel. If you knock loose small potatoes towards the top, eat them too.

You could tilt the barrel to reach in at the bottom, but that will create a void for the rest of the MM to settle down into. This late in the season, that might not be a problem.

Sometimes, people put access doors into their barrels at different levels to make it easy to 'steal' potatoes without disturbing anything.


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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  RoOsTeR on 11/13/2011, 10:12 am

I have never done potatoes in a barrel, but in the past I have generally just dug around the top portions really gently to check them out. I may be in the minority here, but I usually prefer my potatoes on the smaller side. Not tiny, but smaller.
If it was me, as long as they are growing and doing fine, I would continue to let them grow. I have found my yields to be much better with potatoes if I don't rush them.

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 11/13/2011, 10:50 am

Well, tried putting my hand down the side to steal one, but it's too tight...so anxious!! It's still pretty sunny/warm here most days, maybe they're waiting for winter?? What a Face

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  RoOsTeR on 11/13/2011, 11:09 am

I'd leave em be. In my tater growing experience they seem to stay tiny and all at once get big. I like to catch em in between Laughing
But then again, I have never grown taters in Mels Mix before either...
you might have some watermelons down there Shocked

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 11/13/2011, 6:18 pm

ok, ok....I'll wait! lol. they're in straight compost, from our compost pile, so really anxious to see what's in there! one of the neighbor boys wants to see too, sure hope we get some!! I feel like we're on a 4 month fishing trip, waiting for a "bite" LOL!!

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 11/30/2011, 7:37 pm

and.....still green! no wilting or flowers!! come on potatoes!! affraid affraid

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  FamilyGardening on 12/1/2011, 3:15 am

you may not get flowers......most of the time you do....but...i have read that some times you dont....

most taters take about 90 days....but....ours took over 120 days this year

i think the key is to wait until the plants die down....they will look really wilted like they need water....but they really dont....and they may turn a bit yellow....then they will dry up.....when you cant stand to look at the ugly...wilted...sad looking plants....dig them up Laughing and take some pics to show us!!!....Wink

hugs

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 12/1/2011, 10:13 am

thanks Rose...I'm sure it's been at least 120 days..maybe they're loving our California weather too much! They still look like a "shrub". I'm hoping I even get potatoes. It's just about impossible to find "seed" potatoes around here...so these are organic potatoes, not seed. waiting, waiting waiting....

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  Chopper on 12/1/2011, 11:56 pm

It could be you planted too late and will lose to frost before you can harvest. That said, might as well wait and see what you can get. The frost won't hurt the taters themselves, just the vines.

Per my referral chart, the best time to plant potatoes in southern California is Dec through June with Dec thru April being the optimal months. So start a barrel next to the one you have and get planting!

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 12/2/2011, 11:36 am

thanks Chopper!! I need to find somewhere to get "seed" potatoes...any suggestions??

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/2/2011, 11:41 am

@southern gardener wrote:ok, ok....I'll wait! lol. they're in straight compost, from our compost pile, so really anxious to see what's in there! one of the neighbor boys wants to see too, sure hope we get some!! I feel like we're on a 4 month fishing trip, waiting for a "bite" LOL!!

Well, in that case, if you're a "hottie," they may already be baked for you, too!

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 12/2/2011, 12:57 pm

@bbg...lol! Maybe I'll put some butter and garlic in the tub, and they'll be ready to go??

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  sherryeo on 12/2/2011, 1:21 pm

southern gardener - I was kicking around the Territorial Seeds website earlier and noticed they have some seed potatoes. A few have temporarily sold out, but you might want to have a look at http://www.territorialseed.com/prod_detail_list/s?keyword=seed+potatoes. I imagine there are other online seed companies that stock them.

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 12/2/2011, 7:17 pm

ty sherryo....i went to order some, but they don't ship until march/april?? grrrrrrr us CA gardeners are "weirdos" I guess??

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  sherryeo on 12/2/2011, 7:20 pm

Sorry, southern gardener, I didn't notice that. That would be a problem for me, too. I think we're supposed to plant potatoes from January through March. Maybe one of the companies dedicated to the southern region would send them earlier or maybe there's one that specializes in California. Let me know if you find out and I'll let you know if I find out!

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  Lindacol on 12/2/2011, 7:41 pm

Me too - I'm wondering where I can get seed potatoes now. I'm in so CA. Also where can we get sweet potato slips that will ship to California?

I have one potato just starting to grow. I thought it was a wierd weed and pulled it to find a potato. Replanted it in a better place to see what happens.

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  sherryeo on 12/2/2011, 8:00 pm

http://www.potatogarden.com/ says they will ship later or now, as desired - so they might be a possibility. But it also says "Shipping from Arizona - December through February
Due to freezing temperatures in the winter, we only ship 2 to 4 times from December through February. When we have a full load of orders ready to go, we take them in a protected van or truck to UPS in Phoenix, Arizona. From there they ship throughout the Southern States without the worry of freezing. For this reason your shipment may be delayed 1 to 3 weeks or it may even be shipped earlier. (It doesn't specifically mention California - you might have to contact them with a query.)

Even the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange says they don't ship till starting in March!

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 12/2/2011, 8:09 pm

thank you again for the info. I called our local nursery, and they acted like I was from mars!! He did say, get some organic potatoes, and plant those. They will not have been sprayed with whatever they spray with to stop growth. I guess I'll give that a go. The online potatoes were $40 for 6 lbs, plus shipping! YIKES!! I also want to plant horseradish, and he again acted like I was from Mars! Oh, ya gotta love So. Calif ;/

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  sherryeo on 12/2/2011, 8:49 pm

Wow! How many potatoes would 6 lbs of seed potatoes grow? I'm not sure I have room for that many! I ony have 5 4X4s and do want to plant something besides potatoes. I'm thinking of using those planting bags for the potatoes, though!

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 12/2/2011, 10:04 pm

sherry....we planted ours in a barrel as an experiment. We also planted another "batch" in one of our Mel's Mix (pre mixed soil) bag. I don't want to use our SFG for potatoes, our beds are only 6" deep. So far the barrel seems to be working, but the darned things wont die off!! LOL What a Face

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  sherryeo on 12/2/2011, 10:19 pm

Well, I'm know that's a bit of a bummer. I've been plenty impatient about waiting for my harvests, too. But just remember - at least you have some 'taters planted now and, hopefully, a harvest to look forward to even if it does take longer than you'd like! I don't even have any 'taters planted now! Sad

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  donnainzone5 on 12/3/2011, 2:38 pm

Last year, I purchased a small quantity of seed potatoes from Armstrong Garden Centers. I visited one store last week, but they were not yet in stock.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if a few companies offered several varieties in a package, say two each?

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

Post  southern gardener on 12/3/2011, 3:52 pm

I agree Donna...and also to send to areas according to our planting schedules...

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Re: When can we harvest potatoes?

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