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Thread: Oh No! Darn wind....broken potato plants. Help!

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    Default Oh No! Darn wind....broken potato plants. Help!

    Good Morning,

    I've been coming to the forum for quite some time now, mostly reading and lurking. I have learned a great deal from all of your posts over the past few months. However, the time has come that I must ask for your help.....

    I planted potatoes for the first time this year. I had stopped covering with soil and the plants were (before the wind) nearly as tall as I am. They have huge leaves and the first four tubs that I had planted had already flowered.

    All was going GREAT until last night's wind storm. Some of my big and beautiful plants snapped off all the way down to the soil.

    I don't know what this means for my taters. Will they continue to grow without the beautiful plant above ground?

    Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.

    Thank you

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    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    Just talked to one of my members he is a spud guy from palmer he says as long it's still attached and not cut or severed they will be fine
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
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    ironartist,

    Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, they are severed. The plant is barely hanging on by just a few threads.

    Is all tater hope lost?

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    it sounds to me like your plants recieved way too much Nitrogen if the vines are(were) that tall. However, there should already be small tubers in there by this time of year. Leave them alone and they may size up a bit more.

    Next year, don't add so much Nitrogen.

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    I've never had a garden, so this year has been a huge learning experience for me.

    Nitrogen.....how does one know when enough is enough?

    So far, I have been successful with my two types of lettuce, two types of peas, broccoli, peppermint, basil, pineapple basil, thyme, rosemary and my tomatoes have little green tomatoes, my brussel sprouts are pinky tip size, my carrots are about 2 inches long, and my cabbage...well, it looks good, but I don't see any heads yet. Now I'm bummed about my taters.

    By the way.....about how tall should my tater plants be at this time of the year? Should they be flowering already?

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    If you lost just some of the plants, don't worry about it and dig up the taters with the rest of the crop. Maybe you'll have a few salvable spuds buried down there.

    Nitrogen is for making things big and green. It's the first number on the fertilizer. For most vegitable gardening, you'll use a bit of nitrogen at the beginning of the season when you want to spur initial growth, but you need to drop off to the lowest nitrogen content as soon as your plants are up and growing (maybe a month into the season). Then you want to switch to a high phosphorous content fertilizer (the 2nd number) as that is what spurs fruit growth.

    You shouldn't have tater plants that are more than 2-3 feet high. I'd have been hilling them up if they were getting that big to try and get more taters out of them.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    I checked mine & am getting some potatoes forming, some decent sized ones.
    Wind hammered mine pretty good too. I won't mess with them unless the plants with wind damage dies off.
    Usually dig after the first frost & the plants are dead, peelings protecting the potato are tougher then & store better.
    I start eating potatoes as soon as they are big enough, I dig in & get enough for a meal. Should be anytime.
    I use 8-32-16 fertilizer for potatoes, low nitrogen & higher phosphorus for root crops. (good for the whole garden too).
    You may have some potatoes, dig a few & check the size.
    They'll keep good where they are & the plant may sprout new growth. I'd leave them alone & just eat some out of the garden then dig after the first or second frost. Don't wash them with water, dig , let them dry on the garage floor on newspaper a few days, store them in a cool dark place.
    Really good & tasty right out of the soil now, the skin wipes/washes off & they taste great.
    Good luck.

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    Oh no! If your potato plants were already flowering they can be left in for another week or so to get a tiny bit larger. If your plants were flowering that means that there are so called new potatoes underground. New potatoes are a treat! I like to "rob" my plants when they start flowering and eat the baby potatoes raw. The ones that weren't flowering may send up new shoots - wait and see for those. We theoretically have another month maybe a month and a half of growing time before frost. Either way you can dump out one of each bucket and check on the size of the potatoes.
    I second the 8-32-16 fertilizer for potatoes. I also use some bone meal (has lots of Phosphorus - the middle number on N-P-K, good for roots and flowers). A box of bone meal lasts forever.

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    Thank you!!!!!!!!

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