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Low potato yields

 
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quixoticgeek



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 296
Location: Canterbury
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 16 5:23 pm    Post subject: Low potato yields  Reply with quote    

What sort of yields do the rest of you get from your spuds? I grow a small area, 4'x4', with about 9 tubers in that space. I get maybe 3-4 usable tubers from each plant, not much more. I feed the plot with potato fertiliser and several sacks of well rotted manure.

Two years ago I planted desiree, and lost pretty much all of them to blight. Last year I grew Sarpo Mira, which has given me a crop, but it's not as big as I had hoped.

What do others get in terms of yield?

J

john of wessex



Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 2130

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 16 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

With that sort of space I'd go for earlies, less prone to blight and higher 'added value'

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 16 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd also suggest growing earlies or 2nd earlies. They crop a bit earlier but also tend to grow better closer together.

I don't get large yields but then I don't manure or use much fertilizer or water or grow them in good soil. I still think I get more than four spuds per plant.

What is the light levels like? Does the ground dry up? Do you get many very small potatoes?

It would be worth trying a couple of a few varieties, do you have any potatoes days near by? I could send you a couple Sharpe's Express (not a heavy cropper) and a couple of Vivaldi (it's meant to be a very heavy cropper) 2nd earlies seed potatoes if you would like to try them?

quixoticgeek



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 296
Location: Canterbury
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 16 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:

What is the light levels like? Does the ground dry up? Do you get many very small potatoes?


Light isn't as good as it could be, partial shade for part of the year. Not had them dry out, irrigation is good in my garden.

Quote:


It would be worth trying a couple of a few varieties, do you have any potatoes days near by? I could send you a couple Sharpe's Express (not a heavy cropper) and a couple of Vivaldi (it's meant to be a very heavy cropper) 2nd earlies seed potatoes if you would like to try them?


That would be brilliant if I could take you up on your very kind offer.

Thanks

J

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 16 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

quixoticgeek wrote:
Quote:
It would be worth trying a couple of a few varieties, do you have any potatoes days near by? I could send you a couple Sharpe's Express (not a heavy cropper) and a couple of Vivaldi (it's meant to be a very heavy cropper) 2nd earlies seed potatoes if you would like to try them?


That would be brilliant if I could take you up on your very kind offer.

Thanks

J


PM me your address and I'll send out a little box next week. I think I'll have to pack them in a little dry compost to protect the shoots as they've started chitting. It'll be interesting to hear how they cope in the post! Once received take them out of the compost and chit as normal.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11247

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 16 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Perhaps you are putting too many plants into such a small space. If it is 4 feet by 4 feet, even with earlies or second earlies I would try far fewer. Perhaps something like 4 rather than 9. Light does make a difference. I had some under a hedge last year and the yield wasn't brilliant.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5497
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 16 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Low potato yields Reply with quote    

quixoticgeek wrote:
I get maybe 3-4 usable tubers from each plant, not much more.
J


Depending upon variety, 3 - 4 tubers per plant doesn't seem out of line, particularly if you're not getting full sun. This is assuming that they're full size.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4297
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 16 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

3 to 4 tubers per plant does`nt cover the cost of seed ,
One should be looking for double that.

Out of interest,for how many years have you grown potatoes in the same patch.?

quixoticgeek



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 296
Location: Canterbury
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 16 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ty Gwyn wrote:
3 to 4 tubers per plant does`nt cover the cost of seed ,
One should be looking for double that.

Out of interest,for how many years have you grown potatoes in the same patch.?


I have 4 4' x 4' beds, and I rotate through them each year, so they are only grown in the same spot one year in 4.

J

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5497
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 16 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How big do you cut your seed potatoes? How big are the potatoes you are harvesting? It's tricky to just talk about number of tubers, without referencing their mass.

I stand by my assertion that in sub-optimal conditions you may be getting an appropriate yield, provided they are of a good size.

http://www.organicpotatoseed.com/planting-tips/
has a nice perspective. They expect new growers to get 5-10 lbs per lb planted, and maximum yields of skilled growers to top out at about 13 lbs per lb planted.
They recommend cutting seed potatoes down to 2 oz, which is an 1/8th of a lb, so one might reasonably expect 1.25 lbs per planted tuber (if going on the high side of 10 lb per 1 lb planted). Divvy that up by 4 big tubers of just under 1/3 lb and I think you're doing well.
Go one the smaller side of their yield thoughts (5 lbs per lb planted) with sub-optimal conditions (part shade throughout the day) and you might expect 4 tubers that are about 1/6 lb each

Edit: not to mention that 9 is maybe a bit too many for 16 sq ft

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 16 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
quixoticgeek wrote:
Quote:
It would be worth trying a couple of a few varieties, do you have any potatoes days near by? I could send you a couple Sharpe's Express (not a heavy cropper) and a couple of Vivaldi (it's meant to be a very heavy cropper) 2nd earlies seed potatoes if you would like to try them?


That would be brilliant if I could take you up on your very kind offer.

Thanks

J


PM me your address and I'll send out a little box next week. I think I'll have to pack them in a little dry compost to protect the shoots as they've started chitting. It'll be interesting to hear how they cope in the post! Once received take them out of the compost and chit as normal.


Posted on Tuesday so they should be there. Large ones are Vivaldi. Take them out of the compost packaging and chit as normal.

quixoticgeek



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 296
Location: Canterbury
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 16 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:

Posted on Tuesday so they should be there. Large ones are Vivaldi. Take them out of the compost packaging and chit as normal.


I've been knocked for six by the local seasonal plague (the joy of living in a student city...) so haven't had a chance to reply sooner.

All spuds have arrived in one piece and are chitting away in my porch currently. Thank you so much for doing this, will plant them out in April once things have warmed up a bit (was going to do good Friday, but that seems a bit early this year, and we're forecast a chilly Easter).

Thank you so much, will keep people posted on how I get on with the harvest this year.

J

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