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Is it okay to prune Potato plants ?

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Is it okay to prune Potato plants ?

Postby Mervyn » Aug 27, 2008 11:31 am

I have a small plot at a local church which I rented to grow some potatoes , I also planted some carrots there and have a volunteer tomato plant ( from the compost i put down ) growing there.

Now unlike my clay soil, they have great soil at the church, and as a result the potato plants are quite large and vigorous.. this is something I am not used too at all ( the potato plants in my backyard are already dieing out )

The have already been hilled a few times , and in places I have the plants held up with stakes and string so the carrots and tomato plant can still get light.

Even then things are crowded, so my question is, is it okay to prune back the potato plants a bit ? ?
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Re: Is it okay to prune Potato plants ?

Postby butterfly » Aug 27, 2008 6:03 pm

Oh I would not. Pruning may interfer with growth
I don't know for sure as growing them is new to me too but I don't think I would

My tops are big and high too, some are flopping over but they are still very green. so I would leave then til they start to die down

Guess we better wait til BBQ or someone can tells us
Cheers Butterfly




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Re: Is it okay to prune Potato plants ?

Postby OGrubber » Aug 28, 2008 7:42 am

Mervyn,
If you are looking for extra work, I could use a hand here. laf!

I'm guessing your solution of tying back the foliage will likely do very well.
Market Gardening - Just another day at the plant.
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Re: Is it okay to prune Potato plants ?

Postby B_BQ » Aug 28, 2008 8:40 am

I'm with Inge and BF on this.
I wouldn't trim the potato tops at all.
Just try to gather them together as much as possible, and do what you're already doing.
I hope we all get a good crop this year! :)
~BBQ
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Re: Is it okay to prune Potato plants ?

Postby Sharon Bryson » Aug 30, 2008 9:23 am

Our potatoes have grown very tall & wide this year, and one row(Norland, I think) threatens to obliterate a carrot row. I have been laying them back over to the next potato row, but that isn't all that great.
We will likely harvest this "offending" row next. The early 'Superior' variety were at the other end of the patch and didn't interfere with anything.
They, being an early variety, were the first ones to be harvested.This was the first time we have grown these, and were very pleased. We knew they were a good, tasty, early potato. They are the variety one is most likely to find here in NS( and maybe NB) in the mid-summer.
The potato harvest has been excellent....many tubers per hill.
We haven't tried the fingerling variety yet, they are always a bit later, and are in a different location.
Re the trimming....I expect by this time of the season, a bit of trimming wouldn't be too much of a hindrance.
Have you tried the hills to see how far developed they are?
Cheers
Sharon
Antigonish, NS Zone 5b

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Re: Is it okay to prune Potato plants ?

Postby Mervyn » Aug 31, 2008 10:52 pm

Nope haven't tried the hills yet . . . it would actually be a bit of an effort to get to them, can't even tell where the rows are anymore :D

I did some more tying up today, to help the other plants , I wasn't planning to harvest any potatoes at all until well after the plants had died off ( Im personally not a fan of new potatoes) but at this rate I don't know if these plants will ever die off :)
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Re: Is it okay to prune Potato plants ?

Postby beeman » Sep 01, 2008 9:23 am

I don't think it would be a good idea to trim potato tops, they're what feeds the tubers.
When the tops die down all the goodness goes into the tubers and makes them bigger.
I remember one year when we had a bad attack of the beetle while we were away, the tops were all gone when we got back. That year our spuds were minuscule. So my advise, put up with the problems with large tops.
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