Seed Potatos

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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skinny_bum
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Seed Potatos

Postby skinny_bum » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:06 pm

This is a really stupid question, but if I dont ask I will never know :roll:

If you plant a large seed potato do you get larger spuds at the end of the growing season, or does the original size of the seed potato make no difference at all?
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Re: Seed Potatos

Postby peter » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:29 pm

No, it has no effect. :wink:
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Re: Seed Potatos

Postby John » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:34 pm

Hello SB
The answer is no - in fact you are very likely to get smaller potatoes.
This is a very sensible question. If you look at a seed potato tuber carefully you will notice that it has a number of small buds developing on it. When you plant it, each one of these buds will grow into a new potato plant. A large tuber with lots of buds on it will produce many plants which are all very crowded together. The new potatoes will all form in a clump without a proper chance to reach a good size.
For the first early potatoes it isn't too much of a problem as all you want are those small salad size ones. When I plant main crop seed potatoes though, I rub off some of the buds to leave the three strongest. This will give a crop of good sized tubers with very few of the useless small ones.

Hope this helps

John
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Re: Seed Potatos

Postby sally wright » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:31 pm

Dear SB,
this tip works for me too. Also don't crowd them too much. If you have the room go with the biggest gaps between the plants that you can. Give them lots of water and towards the end of the growing season some tomato/rose food (rather than straight growmore) to make sure that the tops are not too lush and leafy.
Regards Sally Wright.
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Re: Seed Potatos

Postby Johnboy » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:54 am

Hi Sally,
I find that not only a good gap between plantings down the row the spacing between rows is equally important. Rows too close doesn't give sufficient soil to earth-up properly and the crop is situated in the earthing up if you do it properly
The general mistake is to think that if you get as many spuds as you can in a given area produces a high yield and then wonder why you have finished up with a load of spuds that are the size of Marbles.
For earlies I plant minimum of 12" (30cm) down the row and a minimum 18" (45cm) between rows. Any tighter than that both ways you can find yourself in difficulties.
I no longer grow main crop potatoes but when I did I planted at a minimum of 15" (37.5cm) down the row and minimum of 27" (67.5cm) down the row and got very good yields. I think today I would increase the distance between rows to more than 30" even up to 36" and I think the yield would actually increase. I always earth-up on planting which has proved to be the easiest way for me without causing any damage to the crop.
John has said that he reduces his spurs down to 3 and I think that wise on main crop but leave as many as you can for earlies because you are after smaller spuds.
I find that one rather large sowing of Maris Bard, planted as a 2nd early spaced as a main crop here, will give me as many new spuds for my needs and the others I let them go and dig as I need them during the season. Maris Bard, when mature, are every bit as good as Maris Piper if not better.
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skinny_bum
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Re: Seed Potatos

Postby skinny_bum » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:29 pm

Oh many thanks for the answers they are great, I notice "john" that you said that you dig up your later crop of 2nd's when you need them, does this mean that they would then turn into a sort of main crop? How long can you leave them in the ground before they taste a bit nasty?
I have planted 2nd early's "Kestral" I have never had them before, but I dont really like salad potatoes, and wanted an all rounder to plant, & didnt want to wait or have the room for a main crop.

Has any one grown "Kestral" before & what are they like if I leave them in the ground as John has done, will they be alright if I let them mature?
Thanks SB :wink:
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Re: Seed Potatos

Postby DiG » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:47 am

Hi SB. I have grown Kestrel for a couple of years running and found them to be a good, well flavoured, general purpose spud. I have left mine in the ground and dug them when required and they have made good size tubers; some big enough to use as bakers. I also found some this spring, that I missed during harvesting, that had overwintered in the ground. They were fine, undamaged and still tasty. Good luck with them.

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Re: Seed Potatos

Postby Elderflower » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:51 pm

My seed potatoes have only just been delivered and I`ve put them to chit. Is it best to plant them early even if the sprouts are undeveloped or leave them for a week or so when they`re bigger?
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