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 Potatoes Falling Over
Chadnutz  [Team Member]
5/26/2010 6:11:53 PM EDT
Why are my potatoes falling over? Do they require support like tomatoes? The trunks are breaking and then the leaves all dry up.... They've been in the ground for around 70 days or so. My book says 90-120 days.

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Skunkum  [Team Member]
5/26/2010 6:28:58 PM EDT
It probably depends upon the variety of potatoes.

Mine were doing the same thing and were also getting a bit slimy where they were against the ground. I noted that some of the potatoes were showing through and decided to go ahead and dig them. I planted them March 1 and dug them May 19. My plants got taller than ever before (some topped 4 ft tall) before stormy weather knocked them over. They were also planted too close together. The crowding probably contributed to their height.

What I usually like to do is dig them as we use them, then digging the rest once the plants die (but while I can still see where the plant was).
firefinder  [Member]
5/26/2010 6:29:16 PM EDT
You are supposed to keep hilling up dirt around them.
colsonkentucky  [Member]
5/26/2010 7:09:25 PM EDT
The leaves suggest lack of water or some kind of blight .
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Chadnutz  [Team Member]
5/27/2010 5:17:48 PM EDT
Once they fall over their stems crack and they can't circulate anymore...

I will pull them up and then plant new ones as deep as possible in the bed. They are actually "vining" plants, so I guess this is to be expected when they get too tall.
ranchhand  [Member]
5/27/2010 5:20:38 PM EDT
Don't worry about digging them up. Just cover the lower stems with dirt, straw, etc and let them finish up.
Waldo  [Moderator]
5/29/2010 1:27:47 PM EDT

Don't pull them up. The tubers will continue to grow and mature for a while after the vines die back.

You can try to plant a fall crop, but finding seed that has gone through a proper dormant period during that time can be a problem.

Chadnutz  [Team Member]
5/30/2010 8:24:39 AM EDT
Well hell. I pulled them up and planted new ones in their place. I leave the next one down to see how the potatoes compare.

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