Growing Potatoes - Knowledgebase Question

Erskine, MN
Question by extreme
February 12, 1998
Last year (which was my first year of gardening) i had no potato bugs at all. NONE! Will i get them this year? And,last year they were soooo small. Did not hill them in time and/or when should i hill them? Thanks!


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Answer from NGA
February 12, 1998

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You were lucky not to have to battle potato bugs, and hopefully they won't find your patch this year, either. Since insects are more attracted to large patches of a single crop, intersperse your potato plantings with other crops.

Some potato varieties produce smaller tubers than other varieties. The soil fertility can also affect tuber size. Potatoes prefer an acid soil with a pH of around 6.5 (confirm with a soil test). Mix some compost into the soil before planting and go easy on the manure, which can encourage potato scab. Since too much nitrogen will promote foliage growth at the expense of tuber growth, stick to fertilizers such as phosphate rock and greensand to provide nutrients.

Hilling potatoes encourages production of more tubers. When the plants reach about 6" tall, mound soil or mulch around the base of the plants within 1/2" of the lower leaves. Repeat this process several times throughout the summer.

I wish you a plentiful crop this year!

You can also encourage more tuber growth

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