I am finding big (3") Red Norlands (and a few Pontiacs!) and only slightly smaller Yukon Golds, planted May 13. But they're all clustered right under the stems, farthest away are maybe 6-7". Any idea why I'm not finding them farther away? Planted 1 ft apart for small potatoes and I'm not getting too many small potatoes either.
Also growing very shallow, maybe DH didn't hill up enough, and we only hilled once (not counting when I just pushed the dirt a little up the stems as soon as I saw leaves). After that I just kept piling on mulch hay rather thickly, trying Stout method. Nothing growing in the hay. It has been hot here, about normal rainfall in June but dry in July (only 3/10" on the 4th and nothing else, so I watered the 6th). Maybe the hay wasn't damp enough for the plants to form stolons, though it did do a good job of keeping the soil cool and damp.
Was the heat? Norlands are withering a bit, YG and RP are looking OK and RP is now blooming (YG may not bloom). I would think that if conditions weren't right, I wouldn't be getting the big potatoes, so I'm just wondering why a few big instead of many small and why clustered tightly where the stems are instead of spreading out? Because I was watering (watered 2x in June and 1x in July) right there?
Also, my uncle planted Irish Cobblers (among others) 2 weeks after I did (Mem Day) and isn't seeing any spuds at all yet. His watering is much more consistent and his plants are huge too. We're surprised since they are supposed to be an earlier variety and I called him the beginning of the week to tell him that I was getting Norlands. He just checked his yesterday. He's hilled rather deeply (as far as I can tell from looking) but doesn't mulch, keeps his whole garden bare dirt (except I did see a few grass clumps that he missed in between some of his potatoes). Maybe his were getting too hot even though the plants have been getting enough water to stay green?