kittriana said:A potato is a node on a root, the more roots, the more chance of taters. They dont grow down so much as they grow away from the parent and each other. For viability and survival of new plants
Not to be picky but, potatoes are grow on the ends of stolons, or stems, not roots.
Potatoes always form above the roots, never below
When you leave potatoes in the ground too long or just have a tuber that starts sending out roots, that is a separate plant from the original, not an extension of the original.
I have seen the ads proclaiming the wondrous benefits of container planting but have always been wary of them as potatoes like to spread out and no matter how much soil you put around the stem, only a small part of that plant will produce stems, or stolons that produce tubers.
Stolons like to go sideways not vertical.
I have planted 12 inches deep often and while I get a nice set of four to eight large potatoes I do not suddenly get , a dozen tubers rather than a normal amount.
Some years when I plant very wide, 18 inches between plants in a few rows, I still manage to spike one, no matter how far outside the plant I start to dig, as I said they like to go sideway not vertical.
At the same time professionals say if you want small tubers plant close together as potatoes do not like to be crowed and a container artificially crowds them.
Now there are exceptions to every rule but when I do get an extra large amount one or two are normal to large and the rest are from ping-pong ball to marble size and on occasion several very large ones and that is it.
I have found deep planting works better than hilling except that even with deep planting you will seem to get on occasion a floater that insisted on being at ground level and it is only one, rarely two, not a bunch of them.
As I plant in deep leaf mulch, up to sixteen inches deep, were it going to set potatoes higher up on the stem there would me more floaters than the ones exposed when the mulch finally goes away in late August to Sept.
I do not get potatoes all along the main stem, as if there is a floater, the next potatoes are several inches down but if you plant twelve inches deep you better make sure you dig twelve inches deep as sometimes the big ones, I want large potatoes are way down there and if yo do not want to cut them in half with your shovel you have to get below them.