Forum home Fruit & veg


Hi everyone I am new to this forum and new to ardening. 

We planted some  new potatoes that we got at garden centre advertised as being ready for Christmas. We planted them in a large planter.

They soon started growing and within weeks we had a luxuriant folliage ..see photo.

We went away on holiday late October and when we returned yesterday the folliage had completely disappeared...nothing but a few stringy yellow soggy strands hanging over the side of the planter but nothing but bare soil showing in the pot.

While we were away there were strong winds and heavy rain but all our other plants...roses, late bedding plants and leeks in a planter all survived and were as we left them...very healthy.

Can anyone advise usimagewhat we did wrong or what may have happened. The uploaded photo is what they looked like before we went away late October  after planting in September. No point in a photo  after return as it is just a pot of soil bare of any folliage. Have not dug into yet so do not know if everything has rotted underneath.

Any advice appreciated.

Sue and Gareth



  • This is what it looked like after.

    Last edited: 13 November 2017 07:22:58

  • Not sure but unlikely ..we are in Cornwall so not really a frosty area.

  • Before and afterimage

  • How many potatoes were planted in that pot?  It looks overcrowded. 

    Did anyone water them for you while you were away?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I agree with Dove, the amount of foliage in the pot indicates more than 3 potatoes planted initially in a relatively small pot. The rate of transpiration would therefore be very high and all the moisture in the growing medium would be sucked out through the leaves and evaporated into the atmosphere. My view is that the plants have simply died for lack of water. John H

  • We had a lot of rain while we were away and the soil was very wet on return. We agree that we put too many seed potatoes in thd pot...we had 6. Did not know it was too many...learning from our mistakes.

    Dug down in the soil and found lots of tiny soft ones ..all firm but tiny.

    Thanks for advice...we are learning the hard way.

    How many seed potatoes should go in a pot of this size?

    Last edited: 13 November 2017 08:43:29

  • You can't rely on rain to water plants in containers as the leaves act as an umbrella. 

    By the time you came back the leaves had died so the soil was wet.

    I would have not planted more than one or two potatoes in that size pot. They grow into quite large plants and the roots need a lot of room. 

    Also the foliage is more susceptible to blight and other fungal infections when it's overcrowded. It needs good airflow through the foliage. 

    Better luck next time image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks for your advice.

  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    I had the same tihng happen withthe christmas potatoes in the greenhouse,everything else was ol. But think it was a sharp frost..  

  • That is interesting to know...thanks for letting us know. Sorry you had the same thing happen.

Sign In or Register to comment.