Jeremy brua
Senior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:41 am
Location: Western Pa.

Planting potatoes next season

I want to do two potato boxes next year. What are some good types that do well in this kind of planting? I have been told not all potato plants will pruduce more spuds just because to hill them up more. Is this true? how many plants could I get in a 4' square? And any idea if everything goes well how much yield could I exspect?

Thank you!

MaryDel
Senior Member
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:42 pm
Location: Delaware

4 SF is an awfully small area for potatoes. One large plant could just about cover that area.

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Plant Spacing
Spacing between plants is a matter of how deep you are planting the seed potatoes. If the trench is 6 to 8 inches deep, the potatoes should be placed in the trench at 12- to 18-inch intervals. If the trench is shallower because of environmental constraints or personal preference, then the spacing needs to be wider to allow the roots more room to forage for moisture and nutrients. The shallower the trench, the farther apart the seeds should be placed--up to several feet apart.

Row Spacing
Each trench will eventually be filled in and more soil added throughout the growing cycle, creating a "hilled" effect. For large-volume crops, where equipment is being used to do this work, the rows need to be 5 feet apart. For the home gardener, 2 to 3 feet between rows is sufficient. This allows ample working room between the rows for the gardener to work and enough room below the soil for the roots and developing potatoes.



Read more: Potato Planting Space Requirements | Garden Guides https://www.gardenguides.com/97315-potato-planting-space-requirements.html#ixzz22fzJB03Q

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27666
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Try Potato Silos made from circles of chicken wire. These were probably about 2.5ft diameter. I planted 5 seed potatoes in each. The chicken wire sides help to hold the mulch and to support the plants initially, but these plants eventually grew to 4-5' and had to be just piled up, though I did have the 5' fence on one side to help support them. You COULD stake them like tomato vines.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=143400#143400

Jeremy brua
Senior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:41 am
Location: Western Pa.

From the videos I watched on youtube it dosnt work. Im not sure how but when the dug uo their plants most of them ended up with just a hand full of spuds. I might start with the 4' box filled half way up, plant the seed potatoes, then hill it up anther 2'. Insted of starting at the bottom.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27666
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Oh these worked in the sense that I harvested very nice sized potatoes. Did I write what variety they were in that thread? I think I did.

I think I scraped the topsoil and placed the seed potatoes on the hard clay subsoil which had been forked -- step on garden fork as deep as it would go then rock to fracture the soil. I'm not sure but hopefully I described it in detail in the thread.

If you mean did they produce potatoes all the way up the stem, I don't believe they did. Most of the spuds were found at the the bottom 6-8 inches or so, but they were very good sized ones. I would have harvested more had mouse or -- more likely chipmunk -- not found the tubers before me and ate up some. I think this happened when I had eased back on watering prior to harvesting. I think next time, I may put a chickenwire or hardwarecloth bottoms on the silos, or bury the bottom of the circle deeper.

With these, it's essential to water well and carefuly because moisture evaporates from all sides, but I believe they were less susceptible to disease this way since our number one problem around here is the summer humidity and fungal diseases.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Planting Potatoes

It is interesting to note that potatoes are the subject of a great many stories and cultural methods. I suppose many if not all of the methods will produce some spuds. Perhaps some work better than others?

I can only tell you how I do it. Plant in rows spaced 32 inches and plants about one per foot in the row. Just a guess here you see, as I don't actually get out the measuring tape. Plant the seed tuber 4 inches deep. When the plants show the first blooms, hill them about 3 to 4 inches (one time only). The tubers will be developing when the plants bloom and hilling keeps them from pushing up in the sunshine. If they see light, they turn green and get bitter. This is the only reason for hilling. A good heavy mulch will do the same thing. When the plants fall down and start to turn brown, it is time to dig them. OK, that is my story. I don't go for those methods that say to cover the leaves. One must remember it is the leaves that manufacture the food that is stored in the tubers. Don't cover up the food factory.

For your 4x4 bed may I suggest six plants. Two rows of three in each row. Fertilize them well. Water well, and mulch them deeply. Enjoy!

This is what you plant:
[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/plant_potato.jpg[/img]

This is what you get:
[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potato_big.jpg[/img]

As you can see the tubers formed at the depth of the set that was planted.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Jeremy brua
Senior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:41 am
Location: Western Pa.

What is a good fertilizer for potatoes? I would guess tomato tone or some other kind that is low in N.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

A good fertilizer for your soil depends on what the soil needs. Here the natural soil is well endowed with P & K so something that is high in Nitrogen is what is needed. I think in any soil, nitrogen is most often lacking. I would say get a soil test if you have enough at stake to justify the cost. For a small bed or two it probably is not worth the cost. You can get the "Do It Yourself Kit". I have never used them. Maybe others will want to comment on that?

I will say, all garden plants respond well to the addition of nitrogen. Even the legumes that are not supposed to not need it, because they have nodules of nitrogen fixing bacteria on their roots. (Maybe they do and maybe they don't. If the bacteria is present they will, but no guarantee the bacteria is present for that species unless you innoculate them.)
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

The Red Pontiacs do well for me.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potato_1.jpg[/img]
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Jeremy brua
Senior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:41 am
Location: Western Pa.

Very nice spuds! Thank you.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”