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my potato flowers are dropping!

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:28 pm
by scot29
This is my first year growing potatoes, & they really took off. They are big healthy vigorous plants with tons of buds all over them. However, I noticed today that the buds seem to be falling off before they open! What would cause this to happen, and is there anything I can do to fix it? Tks.

EDIT: sorry guys, I just saw the same topic a little further down. So I guess this is quite common? Heat can be one factor? FWIW I'm growing Red Pontiacs & Kennebecs.

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:09 pm
by DoubleDogFarm

Solanum tuberosum
( Kennebec Potato )

'Kennebec' is best harvested late. It is a large potato, especially fine for baking. Its skin is tan, and its flesh white. Potatoes are perennials grown as annuals. They are related to eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. Potatoes need a frost free growing season of 90 to 120 days. They are a cool weather crop and grow best in areas with a cool summer. Ideal potato growing temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees F. Hot weather reduces tuber production. Traditionally, potatoes are grown in the summer in the North and during fall and winter in the South. Potatoes are grown from whole potatoes or pieces called seed. Each seed must have at least one eye. Potatoes must have well-drained, fertile soil that is higher in organic matter and having a pH between 5.0 and 5.5. Plant in full sun, 4 inches deep and 18 inches apart in rows that are 3 feet apart. Potatoes are usually planted on hills or raised rows, to allow for drainage. Fertilize again around midseason. Even moisture and a good thick layer of mulch will result in a better crop. Harvet time ranges from 75 to 130 days after planting. Dig up new potatoes after the plant blooms, or if it doesn't bloom, after the leaves start to yellow. Potatoes that are sold in grocery stores are usually dug two weeks after the vines have died in the fall. Rotate crops to prevent pest build-up in the soil.

Solanum tuberosum
( Red Pontiac Potato )