Posts Tagged With: Potato Tower

Couldn’t help myself, one more potato tower

Last year I built three towers to satisfy my own curiosity about growing potatoes in a tower. The one tower was a complete disaster because of a transparent tower that caused leaf development 10” from the surface. The other two did very well with potatoes developing over a 16” length of underground stem. These were short towers as I was not looking for a lot of potatoes but I did want to see the anatomy of a potato plant and just where the potatoes grew from.

While researching potato towers I found many people claiming success and a few that said that it was not possible. At the same time almost everybody claimed that early potatoes did not do well in towers. Well the Yukon Gold is our early potato, and the Kennebec is our mid-season potato, so I went with the Kennebec for my test.

After I harvested the broccoli and cabbage it opened up a pathway to a volunteer Yukon Gold potato plant and I decided it was time for it to go. That crazy plant had lifted that bed about three ins.

 

Later when I was cleaning up the debris I noticed that there were potatoes growing on that part of the stem that was above ground. If you look close at the lower most potatoes you can see leaves growing behind them and they are below the potatoes above.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 

Now when someone talks about potato towers this photo pops in to my mind and I wonder why Yukon Gold potatoes do not do well in a tower. I figure the only way to get that photo out of my mind is to have another experiment so here goes another tower.

There is a Yukon Gold with four chitted buds planted at least 8” deep in the base as you see it.

 

The tower was then filled with amended potting soil which puts the seed spud about 15” below the surface. I will fill the tower as the weather compresses it keeping the soaker hose about 2-3” and the seed spud about 16”+ below the surface. Wish me luck, John

Advertisements
Categories: Potato, Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The last potato tower for 2009

I should give a recap on the tower. The base of the tower is 8” deep. Two Kennebec seed potatoes were planted 6” deep, then two tiers added and filled with compost. The seed potatoes ended up about 16”+ deep. This was not an incremental filling of the tower. The tower was filled within 15min of planting. After about 2-3 weeks the one sprout broke through the surface and the other never showed up. When harvested there were no signs of it ever trying so it turned out to be a dud spud.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is the first spud harvested. The stolen is coming from an area very close to the surface. I do not know if it was above or below ground but not any where near the seed potato or root zone of the main plant. The stolen is bent around so as to get a continuous view from potato to stem.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here you can see three stolen near the top of an underground stem. On the end of that stem is a portion of the seed potato that is about 16” away from the upper most stolen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The next three photos are a closer photo of each stolen so you can trace it from potato to stem.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The total weight of the potatoes were 4lb 14oz.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The largest was 1lb 3oz.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As Usual, all comments are welcome.   John

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Who sez potato rhizoms don’t grow on the stem?

Because of the Late Blight hitting my tomatoes this year, I terminated the potato plants in an effort to save whatever crop I had. The Yukon Gold potatoes look great and the Kennebec potatoes are smaller but the perfect size for DW and me. I could have left them grow but I did not want to take the chance. Since I did terminate the plants, I decided to harvest the first potato tower. I covered the building of and the growth of the tower in an earlier post. Now it is time to see what I got.

 

The tower is 20 ½” tall. I tied garden twine around the main sprouts and attached a bungee cord to keep the plant in position as I remove the compost from around the spuds and rhizomes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 

This is the first spud I came to. It is about 16” above the seed potato I had planted. The rhizome and potato were growing horizontally not upward like many people say.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The second spud was located about 13 1/2 “from the seed potato.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here I started to remove the next level.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There seams to be rhizomes with marble size potatoes everywhere.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 

This is the potato plant as removed from the soil. It is about 20” from the tip of the green to the seed potato. There were three nice potatoes below the seed potato. I hope this answers some questions as where potatoes grow on a plant.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 

The weight of the potatoes on this plant is meaningless but it was 3 lb 3 oz. As usual, all comments are welcome.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A remarkable potato.

After the garden had been planted, I had a volunteer potato sprout. I soon pulled it out, after a few days, another sprout appeared, and I removed it. Eventually two more sprouts appeared from under the frame of the RB/SFG. I thought if that potato wants to grow that much I will let it go and see what happens. Well I needed to access the backside of the pepper and eggplant beds to harvest and the potato plant had to go.

 P1010001

I found a pile of potatoes on top of the path and a couple under the edge of the bed. That crazy potato had raised the bed from 3” to 4”. There is about 2” to 3” of wood chip mulch on the path.

P1010002 

That one potato plant produced 31/2 lb of potatoes not counting the many small ones. The scale looks like crap but weighs very accurately. The basket weighs exactly one lb. Make sure to read the rest of the post after this next photo as this potato also raised some interesting questions.

 P8070006

The next series of photos are of a portion of the stalk that I cut off that shows various views of potatoes that were growing totally off the ground and potato stolons above leaf branches. In addition, these are Yukon Gold potatoes that are not supposed to do well in a tower, now I am wondering why. Maybe another experiment is coming next spring. As usual, all comments are welcome.   John

P1010011

P1010012

P1010013

P1010014

P1010015

Categories: My Gardening Journals, Potato, Potato Tower, Square Foot Gardening | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Who said it was a “dud-spud”?

It may have been late but it finally showed up. It must have done some loop de loops or a barrel role. I hope I will learn something from these two spuds.

 P7010504

Yesterday’s harvest brought the potato total to 27oz.

P6300501 

A little OT for my journal, but I have never had ten blooms at the same time on my cacti.           John

P6300502

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Guess what is for supper

I checked the YG potatoes today too see if I would be getting any potatoes this year. They were about 4” and 10” from the end of the bed on 2 plants. Both potatoes were about an inch under the soil and I am hoping there are larger ones underneath. The potatoes are about the size of a baseball and weighed 11oz

 P6270454

PT1 is doing very good and I cannot wait to harvest.

 P6270451

There is a second sprout from the spud in the PT2 that broke the surface several days ago. The “Dud Spud” is still a no show and it is doubtful that it will.

 P6270450

The TPT is not looking very good. The largest sprout broke when it came to the seam of the two carboys but is still trying to grow. All of the tips though are turning brown and I think the GH is too hot this time of year to grow potatoes. I removed some of the soil so there is about ½” left above the sprouts. I hope that they will recover.     John

 P6270449

Categories: Potato | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guess who showed up for the party?

This bugger grew through 16” of compost to get here. His friend in the far corner is a no-show so far. Maybe he will get here later, I hope. This is the tower where I planted two spuds and filled it to the top at the same time. It may end up telling me more about the anatomy of a potato plant than the transparent tower. Click on the photo for a medium size and click again for a large size photo.

 P6160890

It was very chilly this morning and I do not know if Butch was trying to get warm or trying to get a suntan.       John 

P6160416

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

TPT sprouts part two (short post/photos)

I have set the TPT upright. I do not know if light was leaking in (I do not think so) but there are definitely leaves forming at the end of the sprouts. As long as they do not begin to rot, I will let them grow.

P6160888

 

This is the largest sprout that is visible and you can see the leaves. They have 10”-11” to go to break the surface. I will continue to take photos of there progress and keep you posted. As usual, all comments are welcome.    John

P6160889

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

TPT sprouts (just photos)

P6130388

P6130389

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Sprouts in the TPT (transparent potato tower)

The seed potatoes have sprouted and have about 18” to go to reach the surface. The first photo shows three and possibly four sprouts and minimal roots growing. Once the roots get into the compost, I expect the sprouts will grow much faster.p61003601

 

This photo is the second seed potato, which shows only two sprouts. The curious part is the sprouts look greener and appear to have leaves forming. I do not know what to expect from either one. It would be great if they made it to the surface though. I will make regular updates in my journal if you are interested in potato towers. As usual, all comments are welcome.   Johnp6090885

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I may have my answer before fall

2009-06-04

 

I changed my carboys for wine making from plastic to glass and had two plastic carboys setting in the corner collecting dust. The top was cut from one carboy and four drainage holes drilled in the bottom. The top and bottom was cut from the second carboy and slipped just inside of the first carboy. A couple of sheet metal screws and I had myself a 24” tall transparent container.

carboy21 

 

I planted two small Kennebec potatoes along the outside wall of the container. The inside surface fogged from the temperature differential of the compost and the container but that will clear up for photos. I will keep the container at a 45 deg angle so the sprouts will grow close to the plastic until they break the surface.

carboy11 

 

I have the container covered with four layers of weed cloth for darkness and will only remove it quickly for photos. Once the sprouts break the surface, I will set the container upright on a shelf and keep the weed barrier in place. I should be able to get some close-up, hi-res photos. As usual all comments are welcome.    John

carboy31

Categories: Potato Tower | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: