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Potato flowers

SarahKateSarahKate DevonPosts: 33
I grow potatoes and some are now starting to flower.    Should I pick the flowers off. ?
I have never done this before but have been told lately that this is what I should do.   What do other potato growers do?

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,288
    My brother grows hundreds of acres of potatoes for the big supermarkets ... don’t think he’s ever picked a potato flower in his life ... my feeling is that if it made a noticeable difference to the yield the commercial growers would be doing it 😉 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    I should think if anyone could design a machine to pick potato flowers on an industrial scale, the growers would be glad to use it.  The flowers, if left, go on to produce berries full of seed.  It's generally acknowledged that flowers and fruit are costly to plants in energy terms, so in theory removing potato flowers should result in a better crop.  Maybe one of the TV gardeners could put it to the test by planting two lots of the same variety in the same conditions, deflowering one lot and not the other.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,288
    edited June 2019
    I wondered whether there’s been any trials carried out ... at the moment Mr Google and I can only find this... hardly scientific but interesting nevertheless 

    https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/vegging-out/78466-removing-potato-flowers-3.html
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,005
    It's probably one of those things that does increase harvest slightly, but not enough to be worth doing. I certainly can't imagine trying to chop the flowers off all my potatoes!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,288
    edited June 2019
    Possibly the fewer potatoes you’re growing the more worthwhile it might be?

    Certainly the professionals say it’s getting the watering right that produces the optimum yield of well flavoured potatoes that don’t turn to mush when being cooked. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • SarahKateSarahKate DevonPosts: 33
    Thank you all for your replies.    Will leave the flowers on.   Only two rows of Kestral and Charlotte anyway and the bees will welcome them. 
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