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cherishedtiger
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Crowding of potatos

So it seems like I am not the only one who is trying their hand at potatoes for the first time this year...
Question in regards to "overcrowding" I planted my seeds at about a foot or so apart (give or take) should I worry about too many too close? I know a picture would be better for determining this... but haven't gotten out there with the camera yet this year.

Basically they are planted like this:

..^.........^............^............^

.......^...........^............^............^

With each ^ being a seed potato.

What happens to overcrowded potatoes? Will they not grow, just be small, deformed?
Thanks for all the help, you guys always give the best advice!!
Because all things need to be cherished
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USDA zone 8A (guess it changed... not sure why I was a 9!)

cynthia_h
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We did that year before last, and got great-tasting, but small, potatoes. We don't have much room, so we grew what we had cut up.

They were amazing, though....

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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jal_ut
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You will do well with that spacing.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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sheeshshe
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what I don't understand is all the recommendations I've read online about container gardening for potatoes, recommend 4 or 5 seed potatoes in a gallon bucket! or a garbage bag. Iam not doing that it seems too close!
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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jal_ut
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If you ask 11 people how to grow potatoes, you will get 11 different answers. What that tells me is that the plant is very adaptable. Just try something. :) Try several things, you will soon find what works for you.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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sheeshshe
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and that is precisely what I just did :lol: I had a few in bags. I put 1 in 5g buckets. and I just put some in a raised bed. we'll see which perform the best :) this will be a fun experiment :)
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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cherishedtiger
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Jal - as usual you are the voice of reason!!! I really wanted to try potatoes because my family eats them all the time, they are so handy to have and for the most part you hear they are easy to grow. That was until I started to get serious about it and so many people have so many theories I had no idea what I was doing by the time I finally got them in the ground!!

I will let everyone know how my little patch does... small works for me as we usually cut them up to go in food anyway! Cant wait!
Because all things need to be cherished
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USDA zone 8A (guess it changed... not sure why I was a 9!)

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gixxerific
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Mine are a foot apart, maybe a tad more but I was eyeballing a foot. This is how I do it.

And if Jal say's so, that is good enough for me.

You should be fine.

Actually just went and looked up the spacing the paper my potatoes came with say's. They are potato farmers and they suggested 10 - 12 inches, so ......................... :?:

DoubleDogFarm
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Have you seen James's buckets of potatoes? Anymore questions. :lol:

Here is a picture of my spacing, about 12".
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20Vegetable%20Garden%20plants/DSC03370.jpg[/img]

Hope to produce this.
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Potatoes%202010/totalharvest.jpg[/img]

Eric

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sheeshshe
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OK, just to clarify.... only mound 4" of dirt? and then call it good?
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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applestar
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I would mulch on top of that, but that's me. I use straw, grass clippings and non- seeding weeds mixed with dry pine needles.

DoubleDogFarm
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OK, just to clarify.... only mound 4" of dirt? and then call it good?
Really depends on the developing crop. You may need 8 or 10" of soil / mulch. Keep the tubers covered. :wink:

Eric

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jal_ut
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[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potato7_4_2010.jpg[/img]

Last year I planted two rows 32 inches apart. The sets were about a foot apart in the row. Here is what they looked like when they were growing. Looks like there was a row of onions next to them.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potatoe_oct.jpg[/img]

Here is some of the harvest. I hilled these one time with the Troybilt tiller. 3 or 4 inches of cover at most.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
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and there you go :shock: Oh momma! thems some big potatoes!

I have to go finish loading the truck.

Ciao

Eric

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jal_ut
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You can fuss and mess around all you want to with potatoes or anything else. My theory is to do what is necessary to get a decent crop with the least amount of work and fuss involved. I used to grow a ton of potatoes a year when the kids were home, but don't have the need now with just the two of us.

You can actually just put a potato in the ground and stand back and let it grow. You will get a harvest, but the potatoes may be green if they swell up and the sun gets on them. Easiest thing to do is just mulch it to keep the tubers in the dark. OK, now I have told you how simple it is. I hope I have dispelled the mystery of raising potatoes?

One more thing I will say is that potatoes respond well to nitrogen. Good fertile soil is a must to get the large tubers.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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sheeshshe
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very cool info. thanks!!! :)

off topic, but my 6y old can't eat potatoes or anything with potato in it.. which means nearly every food out there. there is trace potato in nearly everything. even things cross contaminated he can't eat :) but rest assured, he told me I can' plant potatoes. he doesn't mind :lol:
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

wordwiz
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jal_ut wrote:
One more thing I will say is that potatoes respond well to nitrogen. Good fertile soil is a must to get the large tubers.
IME, only to a point. We always added healthy dose 0f 10-10-10 when we planted, and once they got to about 8" or so, sidedressed them with 33-0-0. Nothing after that. I'll use Garden-Tone with Blood Meal once they are up, then come back with GT and Bone Meal and something high in K. I want roots (tubers), not foliage!

YMMV,

Mike

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jal_ut
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I want roots (tubers), not foliage!
I keep hearing this old wives tale, but one must remember that it is the leaves (foliage) that manufacture the food that is stored in the tuber. Those leaves need nitrogen to make that food too. In my experience, with any plant, you will get larger and more fruit if you first get larger and more leaves. I will extend this to the root crops too.

Its pretty easy to make the test in your own garden. Make two plots for any variety you want to test this on, and fertilize one and not the other.

I don't make normally make recommendations on types of fertilizer, because I know many people are pretty picky about what they will allow in their gardens. So, I am sticking to what I said earlier; "One more thing I will say is that potatoes respond well to nitrogen. Good fertile soil is a must to get the large tubers."
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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