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Puzzling potatoes

I have been growing potatoes for the first time. I planted 4 potatoes in a 50litre pot after watching suggestions on YouTube. I have been earthing up the plants, they have grown to about 1m high and had flowers too. I have dug them up but have been very disappointed to find only the 4 original potatoes I planted. There were tonnes of roots but no new potatoes at all. What did I do wrong,I was really loooking forward to my new potatoes :( 

Posts

  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,002
    You probably dug them up too early,
    Right now I have had 40kg of potatoes from early potatoes in the greenhouse but the middle earlies are not ready yet (and they have flowers on) so unless your potatoes were first earlies they were probably just not done growing.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    Sorry for your disappointment.  There are lots of possible reasons for it.  Did you buy seed potatoes of a named variety from a grower, or plant supermarket potatoes?  Do you know if they were earlies or maincrop?  When did you plant them?  In what growing medium?  And have you been feeding them?  I'm no expert, but I would think if they are short of nutrients, they would grow lots of roots to get as much nourishment as possible.  Maybe you're just expecting results too soon - I don't harvest mine until the foliage is dying off.  In theory, removing the flowers conserves the plants' energies to swell the tubers, although, as someone recently pointed out on another thread, this isn't an option for commercial growers.  Better luck next year - don't be put off!

  • My Dad suggested that I planted supermarket potatoes so I chitted them, planted in compost and fed them tomato feed about every week. Maybe I need to buy seed potatoes next year and wait until the flowers die off, the advice I read about maybe was the problem. I’ll have to ask on here next time you all see to be gardening experts! Feel like such a beginner! 
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 3,227
    The supermarket ones may well have been a late crop variety. The main difference between early & late potatoes is how quick they are to mature & how long they will store. early ones need 10-12 weeks to crop lates need anything from 14--20 weeks. You can grow them the way you did though the crop will always be small. Buy proper certified seed potatoes next time, choose an early or salad type, wait 2-3 weeks after the flowers have faded and then  carefully lift out of the pot. Tease away some soil/compost and look for little potatoes, if there are none or they are very tiny, put them back carefully feed & water well for another couple of weeks then try again. 
    AB Still learning

  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 3,389
    The first time I tried potatoes was with shop bought ones in two potato bags, three to a bag. I waited until the tops were brownish, drooping and obviously dying before tipping them out. Not a heavy crop but enough to fill two trays from each, all for free.
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