RenT
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Location: Central Illinois

Potato Question: First-timer

Hello! I have kind of a silly question, or maybe just a silly situation. My husband and I have planted our first garden and, as far as we can tell, it's thriving. We have it fenced off with chicken wire and have been very fortunate to have avoided invaders (bunnies, etc.) and pests so far, with the exception of our naughty Brittany, who is convinced that there is something very interesting in the garden--especially since it is off limits for curious dogs.

Recently, she has mowed over a good portion of our potato crop (three 6-foot trenches, stalks are now about waist-high and are currently blooming). Some of the stalks are bent but do not appear to be broken, and I was wondering if this is going to effect our crop and prevent the potatoes from maturing. Since this is our first time growing a vegetable garden, we are unsure of what to expect in the first place, and now I would hate to see our efforts go to waste.

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jal_ut
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Potato vines usually end up laying flat on the ground. This does not seem to bother the plant and it will continue to develop and make spuds. Have you hilled or mulched your potatoes? As the tubers develop, they sometimes come out of the ground. If they see the sun they turn green and bitter. This is why we hill them up with soil or a deep mulch, to keep the tubers from seeing the sun.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

RenT
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Location: Central Illinois

jal_ut wrote:Potato vines usually end up laying flat on the ground. This does not seem to bother the plant and it will continue to develop and make spuds. Have you hilled or mulched your potatoes? As the tubers develop, they sometimes come out of the ground. If they see the sun they turn green and bitter. This is why we hill them up with soil or a deep mulch, to keep the tubers from seeing the sun.
Well, we started by digging about 6" trenches, and we hilled the soil around the plants every week/few weeks as they grew, while still leaving leaves and some of the stalk exposed to the sun. We kept mounding until the trenches were full, but have not mounded any more dirt since and the stalks continued to grow. Hopefully we're doing everything right so far-it's a relief to know that the bent stalks aren't going to effect the yield.

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farmerlon
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If you only filled the 6" trench(?), then, personally, I would do some more hilling.
Like you, I also start my potatoes in a shallow trench. As the plants grow, I start hilling, and by the time I have finished, the hills are probably at least 12 inches (or more) higher than the "regular" level of the garden.

Hispoptart
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Sounds to me like they will do just fine. Just watch for potato's showing at the surface, and make sure to cover them right away, other then that they should do great.

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