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Second earlies still no flowers

justinexyz 549justinexyz 549 Posts: 28
edited July 2020 in Fruit & veg
It’s been years since I last grew potatoes and forgotten how they went!

I’m trying a one seed potato per 8 litre hadopot method that I read about in Which magazine. None of the plants have started to wilt or have flowers on though. I bought the bags 11 April and planted out a few days later so they should be ready to harvest? Most of the bags are quite lumpy so I’m very tempted 😀 Also, I’ll have about 80 litres of compost to get rid of, I’m guessing I can’t reuse this for veg again? Can I use for herbs?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited July 2020
    Not all potato varieties produce flowers so that's really only a rough 'rule of thumb.'
    If planted in mid-April, they have been growing for about 12 weeks - 2nd earlies take about 13-14 weeks, so I'd give them another week at least.  However, there's nothing to stop you gently digging down with your hand and feeling the size of the tubers. :)   To maximise any potato crop, you can leave them in until the haulms turn yellow at which point they are no longer feeding and swelling the crop.
    PS: old compost - If you have no garden borders to sprinkle it on (which is the best use IMO) then you can re-use it if you add some nutrients, such mixing in a handful or two of fish, blood and bone or similar long-term fertlizer.  I wouldn't grow spuds in it again though (or tomatoes) but salad crops such as lettuce will be perfectly happy in it.  Probably won't be much good for anything after a second year though, but by then most MPCs have pretty much turned to dust anyway.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    edited July 2020
    Something I came across this year is that not all varieties flower, my first earlies didn't this year. Second earlies and main crop did. 

    If it is 10 - 12 weeks after planting perhaps have a rummage and see what you have? 

    Just about to pop out and dig up a second early plant to see what we have, never easy with potatoes because we can't see them!
  • That’s good to know I assumed they all flowered. I might empty the lumpiest bag out and hang on a few more weeks for the rest. I’ve just bought a lovely quiche for the weekend and it’ll save me going shopping again for the potatoes I forgot!
  • justinexyz 549justinexyz 549 Posts: 28
    edited July 2020
    GemmaJF said:
    Just about to pop out and dig up a second early plant to see what we have, never easy with potatoes because we can't see them!

    Good luck! I found a plant with leaves yellower than the others so tipped it out the biggest is almost 4 inches long 😀 Put my finger through a big slimy one is that the seed potato?

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    The slimey one is definitely the old seed potato. Nice haul! I cheated and dug up two plants, should keep us going for a few days  :)

  • They look great! I’m definitely sticking with the bag method next year, I was only expecting half a dozen 😀
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 970
    Lifted our first meal of potatoes the other week (Wilja) well pleased with them, they don't show much flower, there is a row of 10 across the garden, have five rows of ten, King Edwards to be able to lift and store in a few weeks will keep us going hopefully up to Christmas.
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose Posts: 538
    edited July 2020
    I lifted our first lot of potatoes at tea time and boiled them up straight away. Delicious with pizza, salad and lashings of salad cream 😁

    My plants did not flower. Just had the green leaves.
  • Can I eat them straightaway? Everywhere said eat them a few days later, they’re sitting in a colander in the rain poor things 😂
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,989
    Eat them straight away!  that’s the best way. 😋 

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

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