Potatoes setting seed

lovetogarden(z4 NY)August 7, 2007

I hope someone can help me with this problem. My potato plants flowered (sporadically) but when I tried to dig up new potatoes there was not much there. Now, where there were flowers are now round berry type seed pods. Should they be there or not? If not, should I remove them?

Before I started my certified potatoes I double dug the bed, tested the ph of the soil, ammended the soil, and used Gurney's Potato fertilizer. Throughout the season the garden has gotten ample rain and regular waterings. I hilled up the potatoes at least 3' high yet they grew way taller than that -now they are about 3' higher than the hilling height.

As this is the first time I've ever grown potatoes I wonder if any of this is normal? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all!

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Three feet of hilling is rather more than needed, I think. Generally, allowing potatoes to flower and set seed-fruit doesn't affect production much if at all. Sounds like possibly too much nitrogen.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 7:26AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

What pnbrown says is correct.

Also, you may not have dug deeply enough to find the potatoes. Dig down to the level at which your seed pieces were planted. Many are apt to be at that level. None will be deeper.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 9:15AM
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lovetogarden(z4 NY)

Too much nitrogen? That's strange since I used potato fertilizer. I would think that the people who make it would know the proper ratio.
By the way, does the fact that there's not a lot of flowers affect potato production?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 3:39AM
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Already there may be more nitrogen in the ammended soil at the time you planted the potatoes.Not having lots of flowers does not affect production.Are the berry type pods green in color? If so then remove them.They contain Solanin which is not good for consumption.Remove green potatoes also.
How do you know that they are seed pods?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:38AM
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lovetogarden(z4 NY)

Hi Chaman - I don't know if they are seed pods. I'm assuming they are. They are round and green. I'm also assuming that I should treat them like I treat bulbs. In other words I wouldn't let the flowers of tulips go to seed because I want to keep the bulb producing. Is it correct to do the same with potatoes or does it even matter?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 6:06AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The thread linked below has an excellent picture of potato seed pods. Just scroll down to the pic. ;)

Unless you want to save the seeds for some reason (some do), remove them just as you suggested one does with bulbs. The energy going to them isn't needed and they ARE poisonous.


Here is a link that might be useful: Potatoes

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 8:57AM
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Hi lovetogarden: Yes they are seed potatoes.
Thanks Dave for Potatoes link
I Googled for more information where I found an article about potatoes on Wikipedia.org confirming the same thing.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 10:51AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

they are seed potatoes...

Then perhaps I misunderstood you original post? Are the green pods growing in the picture I linked above what you have?

The green pods growing where there were some blooms are seed pods full of potato seeds. That isn't the same thing as seed potatoes. ;) Big difference.

In the pods, if you leave them to dry, will be lots of little seeds that can be planted to grow plants that will eventually develop small "seed potatoes".

Seed potatoes are bought at the farm center/store or ordered from seed catalogs and look like small potatoes with tiny sprouts on them. They get planted in the ground to grow potatoes.

Make sense or only add to the confusion?


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 1:14PM
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It should read they are "potatoe seed pods" instead of they are "seeds potatoes".
Thanks Dave for pointing at the mistake.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 4:28PM
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