Potato blossoms--remove them ?

carole6June 4, 2010

Someone just told me about a master gardener who removes the potato blossoms & still gets a good crop. I thought these blossoms were essential to producing the potato.

right or wrong ?

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DrHorticulture_(Z3 Central Saskatchewan)

Does not matter either way. Of course, picking the blossoms would divert that small amount of energy into filling the potato, but this small amount is not worth the time and effort of picking them off.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 4:48PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Essential? No not at all. Many potato plants never bloom and still produce potatoes quite well.

The only advantage to removing them is they don't waste that bit of energy forming seeds and some feel the blooms might attract some pests.

But I'd hazard the guess that the majority of potato growers don't bother removing the blooms. I sure don't. And if you look at any of the commercial potato fields there are blooms left on the plants. ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 6:11PM
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calliope(6)

Take the term Mater Gardener with a grain of salt. It can mean a lot of different things, but in this state, it's a person who sat through 40 classroom hours to learn everything they have to know from trees to soils to vegetables to pests. IOW very basic stuff. And I doubt removing potato blossoms was part of it.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 7:00PM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

I would leave them alone, I think they're pretty.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 11:51PM
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paloaltomark

Pretty and fragrant. I agree with the above comments; there's no reason to pick them.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 9:38AM
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wordwiz

And some type like Yukon Gold will turn into Tompotoes! But don't eat them - they are poisonous!

Mike

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 10:47AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

I'm trying potatoes (in potato bags) for the first time this year. Gardener's Supply sold them as "flowering potatoes." Mine are just starting to flower now, and that's part of the reason I decided to try them.

BTW, I have no idea how the harvesting will be with the bags, but so far they could not be easier or doing better. I guess the final test will be in a while when I dump them out. If they are at all productive, I'll be doing them again. Being able to move them, if I have to, is a huge advantage in this small yard.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 12:05PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I don't recall the type i'm growing, but mine are covered in all kinds of flowers. They are quite attractive. I figured the bees might hit them, so i left them.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 11:55PM
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