Potatoes - Knowledgebase Question

Aspers, PA
Avatar for pamela_doran
Question by pamela_doran
July 6, 1998
I planted both red and white potatoes on April 21 and they all grew and had vigorous top growth and then flowered. Now the leaves are getting brown and some of the plants are dying. I dug around a few to see if there were any potatoes and they are still small. Should the topgrowth be doing this now and should I cut it?

Answer from NGA
July 6, 1998
Usually when the tops of potato plants flower it indicates that the tubers are beginning to form. After flowering is the time you can harvest 'new' potatoes. The longer the plants are alive, the larger the tubers will become. Normally when the tops yellow and die, the tubers are mature. It doesn't sound as though your potatoes went through the entire process, but there's not much you can do at this point except harvest what's there. When you plant potatoes, use certified disease-free stock, and keep the plants watered well. Hopefully you'll avoid problems next year.

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