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Old April 24, 2015   #1
Stvrob
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Default North Florida Potatoes in decline

I have a question, my Yukon gold potato vines are in obvious decline. They were planted in early February, grew extremely vigourously thru March. None of them have flowered yet. And the vines are yellowing and beginning to die. Is it time to pull them? I was hoping they could grow to maturity so I wouldnt be overwhelmed by new potatoes. We have had lots of days in thenhigh 80's, and there is a very thick layer of leaf mulch, I was thinking they would have hung in there longer.

Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old April 24, 2015   #2
JoParrott
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About all you can do is to find some with your hands and see what they look like--I don't think they always have to flower but I could be wrong-
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Old April 24, 2015   #3
Stvrob
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About all you can do is to find some with your hands and see what they look like--I don't think they always have to flower but I could be wrong-
Just from feeling around, They are all really small. The commercial growers in the next town over usually are harvesting in the middle of May. I wonder if I should go thru and try to spray the foliage with copper. The soil temp down under all the mulch is about 73, moisture seems adequate. Think its too late to fertilize?
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Old April 24, 2015   #4
KarenO
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8-10 weeks after planting there should be potatoes there, dig up a hill and see, let us know what you find. I would have expected them to have bloomed, maybe they did and dropped their blooms when it was hot. That would affect seed production but not the tubers. The other possibility is that disease (blight) is killing the tops prematurely.
Karen

Last edited by KarenO; April 24, 2015 at 07:51 PM.
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Old April 24, 2015   #5
Stvrob
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The vines are yellowing and many have wilted away. If it was a tomato, ..this would have seemed serious. there hasnt been any new growth for a while. Some insect pressure too. I should have been more on top of this, but I was thinking its almost time for them to die back anyway....just didnt think it would be so quick! I should have sprayed right after all that rain we had!
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Old April 24, 2015   #6
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Vines die time to dig if you are overwhelmed with new potatoes buy a canner and preserve them.
You won't be sorry.
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Old April 25, 2015   #7
Stvrob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
8-10 weeks after planting there should be potatoes there, dig up a hill and see, let us know what you find. I would have expected them to have bloomed, maybe they did and dropped their blooms when it was hot. That would affect seed production but not the tubers. The other possibility is that disease (blight) is killing the tops prematurely.
Karen
Thanks Karen,

I dug up two plant to see what was going on. Im kinda embarrased by the yield:
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Old April 25, 2015   #8
KarenO
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The spuds look ok and I bet they will be tasty. The vines look a little early blight affected. It happens. If there are not a lot of plants you could wait a bit and just remove the worst diseased foliage or you can dig them all, especially if you have other plants (tomatoes) that could get the fungus
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Old April 25, 2015   #9
Stvrob
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Quote:
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The spuds look ok and I bet they will be tasty. The vines look a little early blight affected. It happens. If there are not a lot of plants you could wait a bit and just remove the worst diseased foliage or you can dig them all, especially if you have other plants (tomatoes) that could get the fungus
Thanks Karen,
I think I will try to keep the vines going into May. I gave them a drench of liquid fertilizer and rinsed it in good and I'll pay a bit more attention to them. Just 2 weeks ago they were thick and healthy. Also, the spot where they are growing might be too shady, a large oak has grown into position to block more sunlight in this area.
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Old April 25, 2015   #10
Tracydr
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I must be missing it. I don't see the spuds?
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Old April 25, 2015   #11
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Have you had a lot of rain? Looks like mine when we get too much rain. I would spray with a fungicide and see if they will recover. If not, dig them up and as Worth said, can them. They will make some fine eating.
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Old April 25, 2015   #12
Stvrob
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Quote:
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I must be missing it. I don't see the spuds?
They are in the first picture. They are easy to miss.
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Old April 25, 2015   #13
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Have you had a lot of rain? Looks like mine when we get too much rain. I would spray with a fungicide and see if they will recover. If not, dig them up and as Worth said, can them. They will make some fine eating.
We had a lot of rain last week and the week before. Before that they were extremely vigorous.
The vines are only about 8 weeks old, I was hoping they would have more time to grow. I will spray with copper as soon as I have a chance and hope to keep them going another month or so.
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Old May 1, 2015   #14
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I would give them some fertilizer now and let them grow another 30 days. To me, they look like they do because all the dried leaves are using up all the nitrogen in the soil. Fertilize them and let them grow...
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