Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

Information and discussion for successfully cultivating potatoes, the world's fourth largest crop.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old July 22, 2016   #1
zeroma
Tomatovillian™
 
zeroma's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 632
Default Really? Potatoes can be determinate and indeterminate?

I just read something recently that stated potato plants have growth habits of either determinate or indeterminate.

Can someone talk about this. Is there a reason why you would grow on growth habit over the other?

Is it just a matter of the type of tuber you get, the taste of it. Or is there a reason to find one due to space limitations or short or long season availability?

I never knew there were both.

zeroma
zeroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22, 2016   #2
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 7,181
Default

From what I read, season-length is the more important designation. Det/Indet would only be important for someone who was container growing, burying the bottom of the vine as it grew upwards.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22, 2016   #3
NathanP
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 151
Default

It also comes into play for a few other reasons. Commercial potatoes in Europe and North America have all been bred and selected for determinism. Even long season commercial potatoes are determinate.

Many South American potatoes are indeterminate. There are a few potential benefits to this, containers aside. A longer growing season can result in higher yields, assuming the plant is daylength sensitivel. Daylength sensitive potates are adapted for short daylengths of under 13 hours, so in temperate climates, they do not start tuberizing until September in the northern hemisphere. An indeterminate trait combined with daylength sensitivity means a potential harvest, whereas if the daylength sensitive plant is determinate, it may senesce well before September, resulting in very low yields.

Many diploids or high flavor potato lines can be daylength sensitive, making them difficult to grow in the northern hemisphere without a long growing season.
NathanP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24, 2016   #4
zeroma
Tomatovillian™
 
zeroma's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 632
Default

Thank you both. So NathanP, would it be safe to say most of the seed potatoes that are offered in the USA would be the determinate type?

I didn't think about the daylength sensitive issue or growing in a container...but that's why I asked the questions.

So if I went out into someones garden (not so much commercial farming) would I be able to 'see' the differences or is it all in the genetics?

When I was a kid the potatoes grown in North Dakota seemed to me to be huge plants with all kinds of upper growth. But I was a kid so it might have just seemed that way cuz I was small. The potatoes growing in our Ohio garden don't seem to have that same size. Don't know the variety of them = community garden and some of the gardeners just brought in some potatoes from their store bought kitchen supplies.

zeroma
zeroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24, 2016   #5
zeroma
Tomatovillian™
 
zeroma's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 632
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
From what I read, season-length is the more important designation. Det/Indet would only be important for someone who was container growing, burying the bottom of the vine as it grew upwards.

So if one is growing in the filed, not containers you don't cover the foliage as it comes out of the ground? I guess in farming it would be called disking?

For your garden variety potato, say red Pontiac do you just drop the seed potato into the ground and let it grow? Do you cover the leaves for the first half of its life? Or better question maybe is how long do you continue to cover the foliage before you harvest?

zeroma
zeroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24, 2016   #6
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 7,181
Default

My grandparents would plant potatoes in a ridge of dirt. They have a little 1930's Farmall tractor that can throw up ridges. Grandpa would go back again after a couple of weeks to re-hill them, but that is mostly to make sure all the potatoes themselves stay covered in dirt. The sun turns them green if they stick out of the ground.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24, 2016   #7
NarnianGarden
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Finland, EU
Posts: 2,051
Default

Never knew this until now - indet and det potato varieties

Here in our short season potatoes grow only to a certain height and then die off, as a sign that the tubers are ready for harvest.. Some older types may have had higher stalks, and grown full mature fruits ... Not so much any more with moderm garden varieties, but it happened in the old days.

I've grown potatoes a few times, a few times in ground, a few times in a container. Both times, we got adequate amounts, but nothing like my grandparents, who grew their potatoes for winter storage.
But then, I am nothing like my resilient, and gutsy forefathers, who were hunters - gatherers - growers. I'm just an amateur gardener, and I love it
NarnianGarden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 26, 2016   #8
NathanP
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 151
Default

Quote:
So NathanP, would it be safe to say most of the seed potatoes that are offered in the USA would be the determinate type?
Zeroma, I meant to answer this the other day. Yes, nearly all (maybe all) commercial potatoes sold in the US, and probably Europe too, are determinate. They have been bred to senesce at a particular time, so they can harvest an entire field at the same time. They also were bred to produce one hill, at a designated height, to make machine harvesting easier. Traits such as indeterminism, long stolons, and erratic growth habits are not traits that the potato industry typically wants in their genepool. Some of those traits may correspond to the same genetics.

Regarding the question about hilling potatoes, it should be done at least once, and typically twice, with commercial potatoes being buried no more than 12-16". I usually hill once about 5-6 weeks after planting, then again a month later. And sometimes hilling later as needed if I see tubers poking through.

If you are growing TPS plants, it is sometimes recommended to keep hilling the entire growing season.
NathanP is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:42 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2017 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★