DoubleDogFarm
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Plenty of Seed Potato for next year.

Here is my harvest from two (2) 20ft rows of Yukon Gold potatoes. It's a little discouraging seeing these cans only 1/3 full. Last year was a low yield and this year is even worse. The ground was extremely hard, just like the garlic patch. I'm thinking some of it had to to do with the wet cold spring and I worked the soil to soon. Destroying the soil structure and compacting. This fall I will be incorporating more compost.
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20produce/PotatoHarvestSept2011001.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20produce/PotatoHarvestSept2011002.jpg[/img]

Some questions:

How small is to small for seed potatoes.
How do you like to store your potatoes. They will need to be stored until mid March.
Any problem planting the potatoes with green skin.

Eric

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gixxerific
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I don't think there is a "too small" size. I put in just the eye's of my seed potatoes. I usually cut them so there is at least 2 just to make sure, sometimes the whole potato but rarely unless they are small (egg sized or so).

When I plant most of my sotck wether my own or bought usaully have small growth in them as well.

As far as storing them what I do is just leave them in the basement.

James is a potato man what say you Jal_UT?

I guess I should add I don't have as many seed tators as you do so I cut mine up to make more. But some of them maybe a normal sized tator cut up maybe into fifth's.

CharlieBear
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Low yields may also indicate that you are many generations away from certified seed potatoes. Certified seed potatoes are started in the lab from root cuttings. The first two generations are too precious to sell. The third year they are sold as certified seed potatoes to growers etc. Then the next couple of years they can be sold a seed potatoes. Each successive removal from the certified seed catagory the yeilds tend to decline further and further. The exceptions are a few rare heirloom potatoes that seem viable for many, many years.
Once yields drop it is generally advisable to start over with new certified seed, increase yields and lower chances of disease. Also the farther out you go from certified seed the more likely each year that you will develop blight in some or all of the plants.
My one cousin is an extention agent and another is a very large potato producer, hence the info.

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soil
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charlie what about potatoes started from seed, like actual potato seed not seed potatoes.
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jal_ut
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Lots of questions:

First, potatoes are mostly propagated vegetively. (splng) In other words they are cloned. The genetic makeup is all the same. Seed potatoes are certified disease free. Nothing more. Yes, your returns will diminish if you get a disease. If your lot is free from disease and you never put any grocery store potatoes, nor peelings on it, you can most likely propagate your own stock for many years with no problems.

Green potatoes are OK to plant.

How small is too small? I like to cut potatoes with two eyes on a piece. I like the pieces to be about as big as a walnut or a little bigger. So it takes a potato around 2 to 3 inches to do that. The reason I don't like to plant a whole potato is because each eye will send up a vine, there are a dozen or so eyes on a spud, and the vines are then too crowded, so you will get 25 to 50 small potatoes (marble size), where if you plant a set with only two eyes you are likely to get from 4 to six nice tubers.

OK, potato growers secret. As you dig a hole to put your sets, put a tablespoon of ammonium nitrate in the hole with the set.

Potato seed: Yes, you can propagate potatoes from seed. Keep your eyes open for what look like little green tomatoes on the potato vines. This is the fruit. Extract the seed the same as you would tomato seed. Now you will have a genetic variation and you can pick the best tubers to propagate vegetively. You may find some better adapted to your plot.

I have some photos to illustrate what I mean about the marble sized tubers. I will have to find them.

Storage: How deep does the frost go in the ground there? What I do is dig a pit about 18 to 24 inches deep and put the potatoes in there and cover it up. I then put some straw or leaves on top to add some insulation. The potatoes will keep until March just fine.
Last edited by jal_ut on Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/pit1.jpg[/img]

Digging the pit.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/pit2.jpg[/img]

Other root crops can be stored in the pit too.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/pit3.jpg[/img]

Covered up.

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

Opening the pit in the spring. Note the tops of the carrots and beets are starting to grow, but these veggies were crisp and as good as when put in the pit.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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I like to work the soil and add amendments in the fall, then in the spring just go plant. This way you can plant early, and never worry about working the soil when too wet. Yes, working the soil in the spring when it is wet can certainly make it tough and cloddy.
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jal_ut
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[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potato_good.jpg[/img]

This is what you might expect from a set with two eyes. Note there are two vines.

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

This is what you might expect from a whole small potato.
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jal_ut
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[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potatos11.jpg[/img]

These are Red Pontiacs. They are more productive than the Yukon Gold. Give them a try. Russets will also out produce Yukon Gold.

OK, I have ran on long enough. Have a great day!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DeborahL
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James, how many healthy kids have you raised on that good garden and your homemade bread?
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Tilde
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oh, yum. if we had a potato sticky this would be it. ;)
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CharlieBear
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Interesting theories I am seeing. I have some red varieties that are many, many generations away from certified seed potatoes and they grow well year after year. On the otherhand my German Fingerling yield was lower last year and terrible this year. In my mind and the experience of all the potato growers I know, there is no use replanting those again next year. It is the pattern of discreasing yield that makes be suspect it will continue. I am also maritime NW. Eric it is of course your choice. I also have an heirloom variety with purple skins that don't seem to deteriorate overtime, but for some reason in the pacific NW Yukon Gold does, I am trying yellow finn because I am curious how many generations away from certified seed potatoes I will get before the crop begins to dimminish.
Utah is right that many people think only of blight and other diseases, but there is a slight chance even with certified seed potatoes that a couple of them will develop blight and have to be pulled out. My father noticed this pattern when I was growing up as well, we kept standard early reds for many years without replacing the seed, but not Yukon Gold, some of the fingerlings etc.
As for starting potatoes directly from seed the only variety I have run across for doing that is something called Catalina and it is hard to get the seed to get started with that variety and time consumming to start the plants under lights or in a greenhouse.
By the way, there are over 500 varieties of potatoes that are considered heirlooms up in the Andies where they originated and they come in all shapes and sizes. Not, many of those are available to us and many of the most common varieties sold in this country are not heirlooms, but rather have been bred. Some of them are only 20+ years old and were bred for a particular trait, like good to fries, bakers, "Pringles" etc.

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jal_ut
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James, how many healthy kids have you raised on that good garden and your homemade bread?
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Deb, before you can expect an answer to your question, you gotta get rid of that ridiculous tagline.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DeborahL
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:lol:
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LLandry11
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Great thread!
We planted our first garden this year. We had 6 35foot rows of potatoes -- 3 rows of Kennebec, and 3 rows of Chieftan. Our potatoes did wonderful, so no complaints, but this thread will help for years to come!
Thanks!

DeborahL
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James, is this better? :lol:
God must think highly of animals - He created them before creating us !

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