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Senior Member
Posts: 195
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm
Location: Florida

Volunteer potatoes

We have a few volunteer potatoes growing in our garden that look really good. Would these produce? We're thinking of putting some more scraps of potatoes in the ground to see if they grow too. Would we be wasting our time or would they produce? The volunteers are from some potato peels we buried.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

If they are volunteers from a previous planting they may be deep enough that they don't need to be hilled, but if they are volunteers from surface "planting" then you will need to hill up a bit of dirt or mulch around them to protect the developing tubers. New potatoes can be dug between flowering and plant die back.

Because potatoes tend to leave diseases behind they are generally rotated to differnet soil each year, making it easy to identify volunteers in last years field. Many people use these for their new potato harvest.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7447
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I get a few volunteers each year. It seems I can never find all of the tubers when harvesting. It is easy to move them into a row rather than have them scattered. Yes, they will produce.

I never put tater peelings nor any part of a potato from a store back into the garden or compost heap. It is simply trying to avoid introducing disease.

If my potatoes grew without disease last year, I will save some seed (tubers) to plant this year. If there was any disease last year, I would opt for certified seed potatoes this year. I have had good luck in my current location avoiding potato diseases. No other gardeners right near may be a help too?

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