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Potatoe in barrel unsuccessful

Sam50Sam50 Posts: 55

I planted potatoes in a large barrel back in may. As the tubers grew I would top up with compost untill it reached the top. 

In total I had 4 healthy plants sprouting. The largest started to die back so I decided to take the plaunge and empty it out.  

However so diasapointed as hardly any potatoes, maybe 6 in total. I had an additional few that had rotted.  I dont know if this happened because of the excess rain in london. 

What have I done wrong? any ideas please 

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  • Sam50Sam50 Posts: 55

    Scroggin it is my first time growing potatoes.  I did water every other day. Did not feed them. 

    But hoped considering the volume of barrel it would of produced more than that. 

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,671

    They are greedy plants which need a huge amount of water and since the water goes through and takes any nutriment out of the compost they also need to be very heavily fed. I am sure I remember reading that they need 4 gallons of water per plant per week, but don't quote me on that.

    By the way we only got about 40 pounds of earlies from a 20 foot long row which is about a quarter of the normal crop. No rain here for months.

  • Sam50Sam50 Posts: 55

    Maybe just bad luck.  hope to have more joy next time. 

    What do you normally recommend as a feed

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,946

    What sort of compost did you grow them in?

    Do you know what variety of potatoes you planted?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,671

    I would use Maxicrop at half strength every other watering.

  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,260

    Potatos are like tomatos they come in both determinate and indeterminate types, if you wish to grow them in a barrel and keep topping it up for a huge crop you need to make sure you use a inderterminate type. The determinate types set a certain number of potatos and that's it, it doesn't matter how much you hill them that's all you get, but a inderterminate type can continue setting new potatos from the stems you have covered.

    Since you say only 6 potatos from 4 plants then there's probably another problem, how much leaf did you let grow before you covered them? They do need plenty of leaves above ground to grow any decent amount of tubers.

    If they are a maincrop it's also possible they were not ready and something else killed the one that was dying back. None of my maincrops are ready for harvest yet.

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