Mounding up potatoes

katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)May 29, 2009

This is really the first time I have ever grown potatoes. They are Yukon Gold from Johnny's Seeds. They seem to be growing well, have lots of green leaves coming up. I cannot find my instructions now but recall something about mounding them up. So I should cover the stalk with soil? Up to how far? Do I do that until harvest? Kind of flying blind here I'm afraid:)

Thank you.

Kate

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bomber095(z5b MA)

Hi Kate, yes, hill the soil up around the stems of the plants, leaving only the leaves exposed. Do this through harvest time.

I grow my potatoes in a bag, and as the plants get taller, I continue to add my mix to the bag, covering all but the leaves. This is what they looked like May 24 (most recent picture:

They've grown since then, so more soil will need to be added.

Potatoes form in the hills that you create around the plant

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 12:44PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Well thank you very much for not only your answer but the great visual aid. That was a very big help.

That makes much more sense now on the mounding. As to the reason for doing it that is. What kind of a bag are you using there? Canvas? That's ingenious.

Trying to figure how to get dirt all around my plants without it washing away. Just take a little tinkering I suppose.

Appreciate your time.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 3:34PM
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hatchjon

Hi,

This is my third year growing Yukon Gold potatoes and they are a favorite of mine. Yesterday I hilled a row of Yukon Golds that were planted on April 12th. I usually hill when the potatoes are 6-8 inches high. I leave ~2-3 inches of greenery above the soil.
Pull the soil up to the plants from both sides (using a hoe) creating a triangular hill with the plants poking up on the top. I hill potatoes only 2-3 times in spring and early summer and then let them grow.

Good luck

Jon

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 3:40PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Thank you Jon. Most helpful.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 4:39PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

The mound or hill around the potato plant is bigger at the base and it can get kind of conic as you build up.
But usually potatoes are planted in rows. This way they are not mounded individually, but the whole row is hilled.
The hills/mounds will not be washed becaus they are not that steep and also the tops will protect them. You can mulch the hills if you want. Actually, you can mound with straw, with sprinkle of soil on them. As I mentined, the hills are just housing for tubers, so the soil or straw does need to have nutrients in it. Only the root, that grows under the seed needs the nutrient.

Also, I do not think that it is necessary to keep mounding till harvest. You do that for the first 2.5 months or so, then just leave them alone. Remember, the purpose of hilling is to provive room for the tubers to grow in it.
A potato plant doe not grow a new tuber every day, but it statrts a whole bunch of them around the time it blooms.
From there on enrgy is spent to grow them bigger.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 9:29PM
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bcskye

I thought you didn't need to keep hilling Yukon Gold because they only grew tubers on their roots in the lower 6" of soil, not all along the stem like long season potatoes. Guess its a good thing I read this post. I planted Yukon Gold for the first time this year and they are growing like crazy. Want to make sure I get a decent harvest from them. Guess they are ready to hill, just like my other potatoes.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 9:35PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Very informative everyone, thank you. I am going to experiment with the soil today and see how that goes.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 7:35AM
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