I have 2 potato "beds" going.
One was planted earlier (Late March) in a 2'x2' (yep, very small "bed"
) area in a newly sheet mulched raised veg. garden in 9" deep holes and hilled by filling the holes as well as surrounding the 2'x2' area with a 12"H cardboard corral.
The other was planted (Early April) in a 2'x8' area of a fall sheet mulched raised veg. garden in shallow -- only about 3" deep -- holes (I forgot about trenching AND this bed was lined with sticks/branches that were still there when I tried to dig down to any depth).
I mulched the 2x2 with soil/leaves/grass clippings, etc to the top of the cardboard. The plants continued to grow and are now about 3' tall (I drove sticks in the corners and tied strings around them because I was concerned that they would flop over.) and ARE FLOWERING.
My question is this -- is there any benefit in constructing a higher cardboard corral and adding more mulch, or do they stop producing new potatoes once they start flowering?
The other bed of potatoes are just beginning to develop buds on approx. 24" plants. I mulched/hilled some more today, but could very well add more. I'd say the mulch is around 6" deep at this point. I've no corral there to hold the mulch except a short (6") coated wire garden border fence on two sides. FWIW -- this is the veg bed infested with slugs, so I've been muching with 1/2 composted pine needles (i.e. soil dug from under the pine tree with the composted stuff mixed with dry pine needles on top). It seems to be keeping the slugs down -- only a few. This bed has some flea beetles, but I hardly ever see them!
If the potatoes stop producing after flowering, then I guess there's no point in mulching the 2'x2' bed but I should get on with adding more mulch to the 2'x8' bed....
Thanks for your help!