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Rogue11
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Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:22 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Potato question

Somehow when I prepared my cucumber beds some pieces of potatoes must have gotten into the ground with the compost, and now I noticed two plants sprouting (Three originally but I pulled one, not sure what they were and noticed the potato piece still attached )

Now I really never thought about growing my own potatoes but I figure it would be fun for the kids to see a different kind of plant. So I am wondering how difficult it would be to grow them.
Like I said the plants have popped up in my cucumber bed but pace should not be a problem. The plot gets morning and afternoon sun (which can get pretty hot here in California) If I leave them there, do you think I would be able to grow some spuds, and how long does it take?

Like I said it's just a curiosity for the kids to watch so even if we only get a couple small potatoes it would be enough.

Thanks.

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jal_ut
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Yes, you can grow them. Takes 90 to 100 days.

You could easily transplant them to their own spot if you wish.

It is the usual thing to hill the potato plant as it starts to make tubers. This is to prevent the tubers from swelling up into the daylight. If they get sunlight on them they become bitter.

Potatoes are in the same family as tomatoes. Do you grow tomatoes? Culture is about the same except for the hilling. Oh, ya you won't need to stake potatoes.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Dillbert
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:29 pm
Location: Central PA

potatoes are fun, easy and frankly I rate garden fresh new or mature potatoes right up there with your own peas in terms of "wow what a treat"

I don't hill mine, but I do mulch heavily which also keeps the sun off any surface tubers.

the plants get bushy - about 18-24" in diameter, not very high. they may or may not bloom. if they bloom that indicates the baby spuds are growing - 2-3 weeks after the blooms fade you can dig new potatoes.

eventually the heat will zap them - the like full sun but not scorching heat. for max size you can harvest any time after the plant has died back.

I don't harvest my patch 'all at once' - but rather on an 'as needed' basis. until... eventually the freezing weather requires to dig or lose them. left in the ground and consumed fresh, the skins stay tender and thin - you can just about peel them with a green scrubbie pad.

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