FYI Potatoes in Tubs

ponderpaul(7a)February 27, 2013

Picked up some potatoes from the store for eating purposes back in November. When they began to sprout, I cut a couple of them up and stuck them in this tub in an unheated greenhouse. They came right up but happen to be in a corner of the house that had not been well sealed ��" they froze back in late December. I didnâÂÂt bother to dump them but did move the tub. In a couple of weeks they had come back and you see what they are today. The only growing media is the straw you see - I have added straw a time of two. When I dump them I will try to remember to post a pic of the results.

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Paul, thanks for posting, love to hear about the things others are doing.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 3:06PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

yes thank you. We are doing ours in pots this year and trying to find a cheap way to fill them.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 6:00PM
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I had the most fabulous looking plants last year, in pots, but there were no potatoes when I decided it was time to harvest them, after the tops had died back, about 6 months after planting. They were planted in "metro mix" from a local nursery. Disappointing!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 6:42PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

draeg, When you don't get any potatoes at all, something went horribly wrong.

It is hard to guess what it was, but usually it is that the weather heats up too much and the potatoes stop setting and sizing tubers. Potatoes make their best growth when the temperatures are between 40 degrees and 70 degrees. Once the temperatures are exceeding 85 degrees, the plants usually stop forming tubers. That's the issue with growing them in spring/summer in pots...those pots, especially if they are dark in color and sit in full sun, heat up fast as does the soil and the plants themselves.

To keep potatoes in pots cooler in spring and summer, I either put other containers of other things around them to block the sun's rays from directly hitting the containers that have potatoes in them or I put bales of hay around the pots to block the sun. It isn't as big of a deal in fall or winter when the weather is cooler, the angle of the sun is different, the daylength is shorter and the air temps and soil temps are significantly cooler. In some climates, you can grow potatoes in containers all summer long and they do just fine, but in our hot climate, the heat really has an adverse effect on the yield.

If you can get the seed potatoes planted in February or earliest March and harvest them in May-June, you should get a decent yield.

For pots, I prefer using early potato varieties that form tubers fairly fast, rather than late varieties that can take a lot longer to even start forming tubers.

There's also a slight chance that too much nitrogen kept the potatoes too vegetative for too long, but knowing what the weather has been like, I'd bet it was the heat.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:39PM
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Dawn, I think you nailed it. They were planted in dark pots, lined up on the south side of the greenhouse. Live & learn! I'll get some in the ground right away -- thanks for your help!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


You're welcome.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 6:42PM
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