Gillybby
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Last Month of Spring Here. When are Potatoes Ready?

In our new house, the backyeard strip has come with what I'm almost positive are potatos that the previous owners must have simply thrown into the garden.

[img]https://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e23/Pyrokin/IMG_2210.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e23/Pyrokin/IMG_2209.jpg[/img]

Now, I don't know when these were planted, or sprouted. It's the last month of spring where I am. It'd be a shame to waste the plants, I was considering waiting until I can pull them up and using them before tossing the plant. But I'm hoping that won't be too far away, I really wanna get into weeding the whole bed.

Can anyone tell me when these plants should be ready to pluck?

rkunsaw
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You an grub for new potatoes a week or so after flowering. The potatoes will die back when they are ready to harvest. How long that will take depends on the variety and since you don't know that or when they were planted there is no way to tell.
I started with nothing and still have most of it!!!

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rainbowgardener
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In my experience (which is with only a couple varieties of potatoes, grown in containers half a world away from you in totally different climate), going from healthy and just starting to flower like yours to when the plant dies back and you can harvest full grown potatoes, can be quite a long time, easily more than a month, maybe a couple months.

As rkunsaw said, if you just want little baby new potatoes, you can probably get those in a couple weeks.

Your potato plants are looking very healthy for something that presumably hasn't gotten much care for awhile while the house was changing hands. Congratulations on your new home! :)
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Gillybby
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Thanks guys :) We'll probably pick them as new potatos.
We did a big weed of the garden yesterday, and found so many more potatos! Mostly new ones, but there were a few large ones. So obviously some of the plants had been there a while!

The one that's really close to the brick wall however, we've found it's actually growing INTO the wall. So I don't know how we're going to harvest that one!

WrightSam
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I guess it also depends whether you want to have mature potatoes or immature potatoes. You can just scrape the soil on the side so that you will be able to see if they are ready. You can also see it's time to harvest when above ground plants whither.

JayPoc
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Question....whats the minimum size container to grow taters in if you wanted to grow them in containers? I have a surplus of 5 gallon buckets...would they do? Seem awful small but I've never grown taters before...

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rainbowgardener
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I don't know the answer, but it does seem pretty small. I grow them in cut down old trash barrels (the kind you take out to the street for trash pickup), probably at least 15 gallons and at that I don't get very many potatoes to a container, maybe a dozen and none of them real big.
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Dillbert
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5 gallons for a potato crop is seriously not enough.

try 15 or 35 gallon size.

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ElizabethB
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5 gallons is to small. I have planted potatoes in 1/2 50 gallon metal drums. Layering soil as the plants grew. Lots of potatoes. We don't grow them any more due to space restrictions. Besides George is on a low/no carb diet so ptatoes are out anyway. When he is out of town I will treat myself to garlic smashed potatoes or homemade potato chips. :oops: Shame one me but I do love potatoes. At 59 years old, 128 lbs, normal blood pressure and cholesteral I treat myself when G is out of town. That is when I eat potatoes, pasta, and bread.

:oops: I think I got off of the subject. Potatoes need lots of depth to grow.
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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

JayPoc
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I guess no taters for me then...I live on the top of a rock...Can't dig more than a few inches deep in most places...

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applestar
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@Jaypoc -- You could try adapting the potato silos
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... 241#139241

I had soil (albeit hardpacked clay) under the silos so you would probably need a raised bed maybe 10-12" deep.

To the OP -- I hope you let your potato plants grow. Home grown potatoes taste so much better than store bought. Then you start looking around at the named specialty varieties.... Mmm, mmm!

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PunkRotten
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JayPoc wrote:Question....whats the minimum size container to grow taters in if you wanted to grow them in containers? I have a surplus of 5 gallon buckets...would they do? Seem awful small but I've never grown taters before...
Try sunchokes in those 5 gallons. They make a lot of tubers even in small containers. I seen some guy grow several in 3 gallon containers and the whole container was literally packed.

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rainbowgardener
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JayPoc wrote:I guess no taters for me then...I live on the top of a rock...Can't dig more than a few inches deep in most places...
Well as I said you can grow potatoes in containers/towers, just not 5 gallon ones. If you don't have an old trash barrel around, they aren't that expensive to buy. Just put plenty of drainage holes in it.
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JayPoc
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applestar wrote:@Jaypoc -- You could try adapting the potato silos
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... 241#139241

I had soil (albeit hardpacked clay) under the silos so you would probably need a raised bed maybe 10-12" deep.

To the OP -- I hope you let your potato plants grow. Home grown potatoes taste so much better than store bought. Then you start looking around at the named specialty varieties.... Mmm, mmm!
Can you steer me toward more info on this method?

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applestar
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I probably explained it at length in that thread (I know it's a long one with other stuff in it) if not, let me know and I'll try to hunt down the thread that I did. I would have detailed it better when I did it.

Basically chicken wire circle, seed potatoes about 12" apart directly on the bottom clay, topped/mulched with compost, sand, leaves, straw, hay as the shoots grew. Water well -- will dry quickly.

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jal_ut
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Can anyone tell me when these plants should be ready to pluck?
When potatoes bloom, they will just be starting to make tubers. They will be quite small right now. It will be another month before they are mature. Of course you can pull them at any time and use whatever size tuber you find.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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ElizabethB
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Yeah - cheap garbage cans with lots of holes drilled would work. You have the depth you need.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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jal_ut
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Re: Last Month of Spring Here. When are Potatoes Ready?

With potatoes grown in the ground, the tubers form quite close to the top of the soil, we always hill them up so the tubers do not see the sun. If they get too much light they turn green and get a strong flavor. When to harvest them? You can poke in a finger and find a tuber and lift it up and take it any time. You can dig those taters when they are small and young and wash them up and boil them. The skins will wash off when they are young and tender. Or you can let them go full season till the vines tip over and say, "I'm Done", then dig the mature potatoes. These mature potatoes can be stored in a pit and will keep all winter. Here in this climate potatoes cannot be held over in the garden as the ground freezes and the potatoes die. If your ground does not freeze they would keep over winter and grow next season. When planting potatoes we always cut the tubers with one or two eyes per piece and plant the pieces. You know a potato has several eyes and each eye grows a new plant. You don't want six or more potato plants growing that close together, so that is why we cut them so we can get one plant about every foot in the row. Have fun!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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