Late potato crop

austinb82(USDA 8)October 21, 2012

Hi. We got an early crop of potatoes this year at the beginning of July so we went ahead and planted another round. The plants are now about as big and as healthy looking as the first crop and there are some decent size tubers down there but the plants haven't died back yet like they did before.

I was wondering if I should just leave them be and let the plants die off or if now that it is almost November if I should dig the tubers up before we get our first frost? Also will all the rain we are getting now cause the tubers to rot? Thanks.

Austin

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larry_gene

I would get the potatoes out of the ground and into storage the first week they do not increase significantly in size.

Frost would not affect the tubers unless they literally show at the surface.

Have the current plants gone through a bloom cycle?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 11:10PM
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austinb82(USDA 8)

Some of the plants are blooming right now...I noticed the first bloom a few weeks ago. I haven't noticed a change in the size of the plants in a couple weeks but I haven't been paying much attention to them either.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 1:24AM
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austinb82(USDA 8)

actually it looks like they are done blooming and some of them are growing little berries.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 1:07PM
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larry_gene

I was referring to the size of the tubers.

Potatoes are not normally a crop that is replanted for two harvests in one growing season, but you have done so with some success. We dug ours in August from a late April start.

Perhaps you are growing the thin-skinned types that develop more quickly than "baker" types that require three full months to size up.

If the soil at tuber level is merely damp and still crumbles in hand, that is fine. If the soil becomes mucky, that is bad for the tubers. You could put sheet of something over the plants and deflect rain, but I suspect there is not enough warmth or daylight to promote much more tuber growth.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:42AM
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