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jal_ut
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Each eye of the potato tuber produces its own plant. Yes you have a plant for each eye. Each one is genetically the same since it is vegetative reproduction. I have experimented with this and find that if I cut the tubers to two eyes per piece, I get larger potatoes than when I plant a whole potato and have numerous plants grow. Oh, I get loads of small tubers when I plant a whole potato.

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

I don't know that you can remove any of them with total success as the eye will still want to send up a shoot. It is best to cut your seed potato to one or two eyes per piece. I think I would just let it grow. Give it plenty of water.

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

This one had two eyes on the seed tuber. See how much bigger the tubers are?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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TheWaterbug
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Ah, good to know for next year.

Some of the seeds potatoes I bought were pretty small, but had tons of eyes on them. The Purple Fingerlings were about the same max diameter and twice the length of a "C" battery, tapered at both end, and had ~20 eyes on them, and all of them pretty active.

At the time I was thinking that I'd want to have a larger piece of potato down there, so the plant would have more starch reserves and have a better chance of getting to the surface.

Clearly they're not having a problem!

Next year I'll cut them down to size.

Or, if I have plenty of seed potatoes, could I just cut out most of the eyes and leave 2-3 to grow?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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Well alot of mine had 3 or more because that is what I had read prior to planting...Hope I do not have a whole harvest of 1inch potatoes for all the hard work we put into them, I hilled all 5 50' rows this weekend, worked out great I just used my small cultivater and went down each rown to loosen up the already till earth next i came backa nd raked each side of row both sides until I had 12inch mounds runningh the whole length of my rows. And now 2 days later the plants still look good or atleast what you can see of the now...When can I check for some new babies?


OK so it has been over 90 here the last two days and above 80 for 4 days before that only cooling to about 60-70 at night I watered each plant in my tomato bed last week with a gallon of water and 1/4 teaspoon tomato food, I went out and checked before I came to work and poked down about 3-4 inchs not finding any sign of moisture...Should I Water??? Only asking because I seen where some guys only water when transplanting unless things are dire, well it has been hot here and I figured when I get off at 4am I would water carrots, peas, beans , pumkins, strawberries, watermelons, sunflowers, and potatoes and while at it why nopt give the toms another drink surely cant hurt right??? I know that the soil my toms are in is quick draining because they are above ny infaltraitors ( septic bed)
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jal_ut
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Or, if I have plenty of seed potatoes, could I just cut out most of the eyes and leave 2-3 to grow?
I have noticed that on most potatoes there are eyes scattered around all over the tuber, but on one end sometimes there are 6 or more in a very small area. I sometimes cut some of those off just so there won't be too many shoots that close together. Two or three shoots seem to get along OK, but more than that and you get small spuds. Too much competition.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Ohio Tiller
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TheWaterbug wrote:If I plant a seed potato with 6 eyes, and all 6 send up shoots, are those 6 plants? Or are they like 6 branches of one plant?

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/TooManyPotatoesQuestionMark.jpg[/img]

Should I thin them out?


Leave it alone it is all one plant and it will not cause a problem. Thining your just cutting your potato harvest.

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TheWaterbug
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jal_ut wrote:Two or three shoots seem to get along OK, but more than that and you get small spuds. Too much competition.
Now I'm worried!

I'm tempted to thin down to 2-3 shoots, and then just keep cutting them back if they pop up again.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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Didnt have to worry about waqtering Ol' Mother nature took care of me, got home @ 4am and had .75 inchs of rain in my gauge....How long is a rain like that good for...a week is what I am figuring?
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TheWaterbug wrote:All the seed potatoes varieties looked fine when I put them in, except for the Yukon Golds. I got only 2 Yukon Gold potatoes from the Potato Garden for my $5, and they had eyes, but all the eyes were bunched up on the ends. I sliced them up a little bit, but I didn't want to have tiny little bits or wafer thin slices with eyes, so I was left with some largish chunks with no eyes.

I planted those anyway, but will they grow? Should I ask for replacement potatoes? Should I just not bother and fill in any gaps with the purples? I have lots of purples left over.
So 24 days after planting, nearly all my potatoes are up. There's 1-2 missing from 3 of the varieties planted (out of 30 plantings), but the Yukon Golds were a failure :(

Of the 10 plantings, 1 came up strongly (nearest the white piece of paper, middle-left) and 2 more might be trying to emerge (little tuft of green nearest the bottom of the left furrow):

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/MissingSomePotatoes.jpg[/img]

The other 7-8 are MIA, but those were the pieces with no eyes, so that's not entirely surprising. Should I just cut my losses and replant with my leftover purples? They're just sitting in my shed, growing longer and longer shoots every day, almost as though they're mocking the Yukons' failure.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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RogueRose
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I have a question about hilling and I'll just piggyback on this thread if that's alright.

I planted some potatoes in a trench about...hmm...8-10" deep. I've hilled the potatos now so the trench is no longer there so that the soil is level with the rest of the ground. Do I need to keep hilling the potatoes? The plants are a little less than knee-high now.

dtlove129
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Rogue, this is my 2nd year and my first year trenching and hilling. Last year I just dug a trench and buried them. This year I did a foot deep trench and pulled in dirt as the plants grew. Once the trench was filled I kept hilling the plants by pulling in more dirt out of the middle of the rows. I heard some people saying their potatoes didn't do well this year, but mine are much better than last year.

I also through the P and K to them when I planted them and put more to them probably 4 weeks after planting them. As far as foliage goes it is up probaby almost chest high and have already bloomed. Only time will tell what kind of potatoes I actually get though.
John
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TheWaterbug
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TheWaterbug wrote:The other 7-8 [Yukon Golds] are MIA, but those were the pieces with no eyes, so that's not entirely surprising. Should I just cut my losses and replant with my leftover purples? They're just sitting in my shed, growing longer and longer shoots every day, almost as though they're mocking the Yukons' failure.
So I dug up the missing sites, and of the 8 missing plants, two were actually growing some roots, but hadn't broken the surface yet. So I apologized profusely and put them back in.

The other 6 were gooey, rotting messes, so I replaced them with leftover Purples.

It's a bit late to be asking, but how deep should I plant seed taters with long shoots? If there's 5" of straight, skinny, pale shoot, should I leave all/some/none of it in the air?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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RogueRose
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dtlove129 wrote:Rogue, this is my 2nd year and my first year trenching and hilling. Last year I just dug a trench and buried them. This year I did a foot deep trench and pulled in dirt as the plants grew. Once the trench was filled I kept hilling the plants by pulling in more dirt out of the middle of the rows. I heard some people saying their potatoes didn't do well this year, but mine are much better than last year.

I also through the P and K to them when I planted them and put more to them probably 4 weeks after planting them. As far as foliage goes it is up probaby almost chest high and have already bloomed. Only time will tell what kind of potatoes I actually get though.
Thanks! I did what you did this year - kept adding soil little by little, not all at once. And now it's level with the ground. Now I don't know if I should keep adding soil so the soil goes above the level of the ground. Do potatoes just grow on the bottom at the roots or up and down the stalks?

dtlove129
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I can't give any real details on it since this is my first go at hilling too, but I will say that if you can put them in a trash can and add dirt as the plant grows and you get a trash can full of potatoes. So I'm assuming that you get more potatoes the higher you hill them too, but another benefit is you don't have the potatoes popping out of the soil and the sun hitting them which turns them green and toxic.
John
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So , I planted my spuds about 4inchs deep and covered them to ground level, once they were about 18inchs tall I hilled them with about 12inchs of dirt so only 6 inchs of plant was stickingout, is that enough hilling or di I keep going, my plants are all about 18 inchs above the hills now, and BLOOMING LIKE CRAZY is also is that a good thing?
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applestar
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It's a bit late to be asking, but how deep should I plant seed taters with long shoots? If there's 5" of straight, skinny, pale shoot, should I leave all/some/none of it in the air?
So did you plant them already? I would plant the potatoes as deep as you would normally and leave the shoots exposed. Just give them some protection at first so they don't get sunburned and they should green/toughen up.

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my first time growing tubers, i have 200+ foot of red lasoda growing. the plants have gotten huge and then some flowered and now most have of the vines have died back except for the last 8 inches or so of the vine is still healthy and nice looking. i have planned on leaving them in the ground two weeks after the tops died off fully to help make thicker skins. is it imperative to wait until the plant is fully dead, or can i go ahead and cut each of the vines off at ground level now to expedite the 2 week wait. i need that space for a later crop. i have pulled a few of the plants and there were nice size red potatoes a little smaller than your fist

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My first container of potatoes is full of blooms already- i admit I'm sort of surprised. it seems rather early to be flowering, and I just planted them mid-april. picked off some slugs and squashes some cucumber beetles earlier. Determined to keep a close eye on them this year for more potatoes!

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Commercial potato growers either mow the plants down or spray them with herbicides when the tubers are the size they want, so no, you don't have to wait for the plant to die naturally.

Think of that the next time you buy a bag of little red "new" potatos whose momma plants were murdered in the prime of their life. :shock:



In response to the hilling question you only need 8-10 inches of soil above the eye of the seed potato where the plant sprouted. Very few varieties will send out tubers above the first few inches of stem base and in my experience with those it doesn't matter how high you hill for them, they will still stick some tubers out of the dirt, but most will be deep.

For me, hilling helps keep my soil from compacting and that makes it easier to dig the spuds later.

I cover the hills with grass clippings to keep the weeds down and keep light off of any tubers that run wild.

dtlove129
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TZ -OH6 wrote:Commercial potato growers either mow the plants down or spray them with herbicides when the tubers are the size they want, so no, you don't have to wait for the plant to die naturally.

Think of that the next time you buy a bag of little red "new" potatos whose momma plants were murdered in the prime of their life. :shock:



In response to the hilling question you only need 8-10 inches of soil above the eye of the seed potato where the plant sprouted. Very few varieties will send out tubers above the first few inches of stem base and in my experience with those it doesn't matter how high you hill for them, they will still stick some tubers out of the dirt, but most will be deep.

For me, hilling helps keep my soil from compacting and that makes it easier to dig the spuds later.

I cover the hills with grass clippings to keep the weeds down and keep light off of any tubers that run wild.
Thanks for this info. So how do you know when you can dig them if you want medium size potatoes? I put mine out in early March and the other day I dug around and pulled out 2 red potatoes around the size of baseballs. I don't need them much bigger than that. Last year I waited until the plant was dead and then dug, but I didn't know the information that you mentioned above.
John
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TZ -OH6
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I don't know how the pros do it, but I suspect that they pull up a bunch of potatoes and see if the bulk of them are the size they want. They also may plant more densly to increase number and decrease size.

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I'm far from a pro, but that's how I do it. I dug one hill today to "test the waters" so to speak, and looks like we're having new potatoes for supper!!

I don't know what it was, but my plants got much taller and spread out more this year than I've ever seen them. I had some plants over 3' tall, and at least 2' across. I guess it doesn't matter....it's what's below the ground that counts!!

Brad

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I got to looking for some new babies last night and the first spud I found was about 1.5 inchs deep in my mound and it was about the size of a baseball :shock: :D :D :D , The only bad thing is that I wanted some of those new baby potatoes but not at the cost of my awsome plants, A guy I work with said to keep looking cause he always waits until the plants have died back a week before harvesting and still gets babies at that time, Anyway I am a very very happy gardener, just wanted to know what you guys thought.....

Thank You to EVERYONE who was kind enough to take time to reply to me this year, no matter how big or small you ALL were a big help, even if just for PIECE OF MIND!!
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