Potato strangeness

ltiltonAugust 28, 2013

I pulled my last Red Norland potatoes a couple of weeks ago, pulling out the dead vines. Searching around the row for detached potatoes, I found a number of pea-sized ones that I left in place. I didn't dig the row, not to disturb the nearby fingerlings, and I replaced the mulch in case the fingerlings wanted to expand into the space.

Today I started to pull the first fingerling vines, and there under the mulch where I had left the little pea potatoes were a dozen nice-sized egg-sized tubers. These were totally loose, not attached to vines, which I had pulled and discarded. I can only assume that they were the tiny potatoes that had somehow grown on their own. How they could have done this is a mystery. I might have expected some of them to sprout, but these had just grown into larger tubers.

Strange. Nice, but strange.

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lonmower(zone8 Western Oregon)

I have always found that even though I carefully dig potatoes and think that I have found them all...I leave some tubers. I say to myself: "How did I miss those?" when I find them later on.

I think it unlikely that "pea sized" would grow to "egg sized" in a "couple of weeks" without vines to support growth. More likely, they were missed in your first digging.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:00PM
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ltilton

Unlikely. I didn't dig these potatoes, they were on the surface under the mulch, bright red and visible, right out in the open. At the size they are now, I couldn't have missed them then, as they were right there today, as soon as I pushed away the straw again.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:15PM
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HeyJude2012(10b/24 San Diego)

It was the potato fairy! She exchanged them for the little marble sized ones and put them under your straw while you were sleeping. :))))

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 6:21PM
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HeyJude2012(10b/24 San Diego)

Ok sorry, I had to do that.

Were the original little marble sized ones gone?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 6:23PM
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ltilton

Jude, I can't think of a better explanation than the potato fairy. And yes, most of the little tiny ones were nowhere to be seen.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 7:56PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Potatoes, when the vine is dead, can become detached. After the vine is pulled or it is dead, tuber will NOT grow. So Obviously, you must have left some behind.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 10:03PM
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ltilton

Unbeliever!!!

The fairy will surely smite you!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 8:54AM
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planatus(6)

It takes me so long to get potatoes out of a bed that I figure on anything I plant after them having to put up with potato companions.

Just this year I harvested a bed, planted a mustard cover crop, found more potatoes when I turned under the mustard 5 weeks later, and even more two weeks after that when I planted a winter cover crop of oats. Did the potato fairy visit twice, or can potatoes disappear when they are so inclined?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 10:27AM
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ltilton

I'm quite sure that when I actually dig the bed, after I pull the fingerlings, I'll find more Red Norlands.

But these were lying right out on the surface of the soil, under the straw. And I'd very assiduously searched for any leftover tubers when I pulled the Norlands, to make sure I hadn't left any behind. I might have missed one or two, but I don't think I could have misssed all these.

It's like the difference between a coin under the pillow and one rolled under the bed.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 12:43PM
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lonmower(zone8 Western Oregon)

Ititon... you asked our opinions, we gave them to you...and now you are (kind of) refusing to accept ALL/ANY of them.

Those potatoes DID NOT grow from pea size to that size after being detached from the vines! If that were the case, we should all just put our undersized spuds in a box with dirt in a warm storeroom and by mid winter we would have full sized potatoes.

Here is a scenario...when you pulled the dead vines you loosened the dirt around the plant. You carefully moved the dirt so as not to disturb the other variety. Harvested all the visible ones and covered the spot back up with mulch. In the meantime it rained hard several times (or you watered) and the loose dirt shifted and exposed the one pictured.

Let us be firm in our resolve...but not so unbending faced with the truth.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 12:59PM
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HeyJude2012(10b/24 San Diego)

Well.....they are a gift from Mother Earth and beautiful potatoes however they ended up in the dirt. I hope you enjoy them.

I planted some purple potatoes a couple of weeks ago in my canvas pots. It's interesting that the little shoot coming up is very dark colored. Not green like from the red potatoes.

On another note...the tomato fairy gave me a present! Don't know when she dropped it off cuz that thing is almost 3 inches long!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 3:51PM
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ltilton

lonmower - I just think it's a strange occurence, and inexplicable. It doesn't make any sense, yet there they are.

Maybe I should put those littlest ones back under the mulch ...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 5:07PM
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