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

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Old April 6, 2014   #46
ohiofem
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I have to agree that the idea that you can grow 100 pounds of potatoes in a 4 square foot barrel/tower/bin is most likely pie in the sky for most home gardeners growing available varieties. But you can maximize your yield in a container through cultural practices and end up with a decent yield of 20-25 pounds per pound of potatoes planted. I've been growing potatoes in containers from two to three feet deep for three years. Varieties included red pontiac, rose Finn Apple fingerlings, Russian bananas, French fingerlings, Anoka, German butterball, Yukon gold and russet Burbank. In every case potatoes were only produced in the bottom 12 inches of the container. The largest yield in pounds came from red potatoes and the greatest number of potatoes came from the russets. Problem was when I harvested the russets at four months, most of them were no larger than an egg. I think it may be possible to produce more weight if you can keep the potatoes growing for six months or more. One poster on another forum grew russets for six months and got 20 pound to each pound planted. The bottom half of his bins was packed with nice sized spuds.

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Old April 6, 2014   #47
Durgan
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Originally Posted by ohiofem View Post
Da fellow is pretty cheap on the pictures. It is impossible to ascertain clearly what was planted and the immediate growing environment. More empty rhetoric than useful information!

One potato plant will produce anything from 3 to about 8 pounds of new tubers of various sizes. Four pounds is considered a good plant. End of growth is determined by when the tops die off.

Container growing is not easy, since moisture must be carefully controlled for quality and quantity growth. The weather is a big variable in growth. Poor weather conditions and a poor harvest results. But under any conditions usually some tubers will be produced. However, potato blight will desdtroy all almost as one is looking at the patch.
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Old April 6, 2014   #48
NathanP
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1 lb of potato tubers planted is an average of about 6-7 pieces/seed potatoes (2 to 2.5 oz each).

If he started with 2 lbs as mentioned, that would be the equivalent of 12-14 seed tubers to plant. An average of 3 lbs per seed potato would give you more than 36-42 lbs. That is entirely realistic, but not an outstanding yield.
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Old April 6, 2014   #49
Durgan
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Originally Posted by NathanP View Post
1 lb of potato tubers planted is an average of about 6-7 pieces/seed potatoes (2 to 2.5 oz each).

If he started with 2 lbs as mentioned, that would be the equivalent of 12-14 seed tubers to plant. An average of 3 lbs per seed potato would give you more than 36-42 lbs. That is entirely realistic, but not an outstanding yield.
The relationship between pounds of seed potato and harvest weight is tenuous to say the least. I seldom use pieces, since I have an abundance of seed potatoes to plant., making such unnecessary. Anyway each piece either whole or cut produces in a reasonable year around four pounds.

Examples. I can go back about five years and have similar results.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?NRHSB 5 September 2013 Russian Blue Potato Harvest.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?HSJDL 2 September 2013 Viking Potato Harvest
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?QSIBX 31 August 2013 Yukon Gold Harvest
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?RXHHH 15 September 2012 Russet Burbank Potatoes
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?JQEQE 15 September 2012 Alaska Sweetheart Potatoes
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?BKWAI 11 September 2010 Yukon Gold Test Box Potatoes
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Old April 6, 2014   #50
NathanP
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This sounds like they act the same way determinate tomatoes act y setting potatoes all at the same time and in the same place. The more I see parallel mutations between species in a family the more I wonder if we understand genetics as well as we think we do.
That is very much the case. It is usually not quite as hard and fast a rule as with tomatoes, but there are short season, middle season, long season and very long season (>150 days).

S. tuberosum has a broad range in length of season. People like Tom Wagner have crossed these to other species like S. phureja that often have longer season requirements or different growth habits.

This one below, Yema de Huevo, is a Columbian S. phureja species landrace. There are mini size tubers growing along the stem. The fattened stems are actually stolens, and are edible, though likely not very tasty. Pictures courtesy of Curzio Caravati.



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Although I have never been able to do anything about it, I first became interesting in growing "odd" potatoes after seeing a National Geographic article in the '70's (maybe) that showed a lay out of a huge number of potatoes in Peru.
That is one of the things that got me into this as well. Seeing the diversity compared with what was commonly available led me to pursue unusual shapes and colors. Late blight was the other factor, so now I am looking for late blight resistance in nearly all the lines that I want to grow.

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Unfortunately I don't thing I'm going to be able to grow any TPS this year as I simply don't have the surplus funds. Maybe next year.
One of my hopes/goals this year is to grow enough lines that produced TPS, so I do not need to purchase any in future years.
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