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Non-flowering potatoes!! EEEEK!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Eddee on August 19, 2005 06:24 AM
I have grown potatoes several times already with varying degrees of success. I actually followed directions this year (found on this site actually). So far, I have been left with very upright and green plants. One of the those plants has flowered (twice already) yet the others have not.
Where I live the growing season is short and starts late. These plants have been growing for at least 2 months now. I would have expected them all to flower by now!

What gives???
by weezie13 on August 19, 2005 10:22 AM
What kind of soil did you plant them in??

Did you dig a trench or bury them some how?
Adding dirt as the plant grew???

Did you use fertilizer's?? If so, what kind???

* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Eddee on August 20, 2005 05:24 AM
I did a rudimentary soil composition test and found it to be approximately 10% sand, 10-20% silt and 60-70% clay.
I dug a 6-8 inch trench, planted the seeds and covered with 3-4 inches of soil. Once the seeds sprouted I covered with the other 3-4 inches of soil (at this point the garden was level). Once the plants were about 8 inches tall (they may have been taller) i mounded more soil, maybe another 4 inches; I have not added anymore. The non-flowering plants are about 2 feet tall (measured from the top of each mound) and the one flowered plant was about 4 feet tall (it has soon fallen over).
I have not used any fertilizer, except for some sheep manure I added to the garden in the spring.

As I stated before, I have grown taters in this same plot before but never had an issue with non-flowering potatoes.

Does this help?
by weezie13 on September 12, 2005 11:38 AM
Up to the top!!!!!!


(*I am not too much into growing potatoes...
so, not too sure what else to ask you*)

Only thought would be to switch the area...
or too much sheep manure and that created alot
of nice, green~lush new growth??? Dunno???

Let's see if someone else can give you some hints.

* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Longy on September 12, 2005 01:49 PM
Yeah it sounds like too much nitrogen to me. Relative to phosphorous and potassium. See if you can get an organic liquid fertiliser with an NPK ratio of say 5:15:15. (My point being low in Nitrogen.) A liquid fert will act more quickly. Otherwise, a granulated chemical fertiliser with a similarly low Nitrogen ratio. Spread at a single clenched handful to the square metre. Water very well.

These elements are obviously best added when preparing the soil, and can be done so using organic means at this time. It may be too late to alter this now without the use of chemicals unless you can get the liquid organic fert.

Phosphates and especially potash are leached from the soil and require replenishment. There is a mineral called zeolite which attracts potash molecules and helps to prevent this leaching. It's worth looking into further.
Bone meal is a good method of adding phosphorous.

The main problem with planting the same crop in the same bed is that you will repeatedly detract certain elements. Also it will allow soil borne disease and pests to become more prevalent in the soil. Maybe move next years crop. The current one with its high nitrogen would be ideal for sweet corn or maybe some brassicas thru the cooler months. Good luck.

* * * *
The secret is the soil.
by Eddee on September 13, 2005 07:25 AM
Thanks everyone for the help.
The thing is I did not use any fertilizer during the growing season save for the sheep manure and I do not believe I used a lot. My plot is about 120 square feet and I used 6-8 large bags (sorry do not remember the actual size...besides in was in litres). Once I added the manure it may have covered the surface of the soil to a depth of about 1/2 inch; no more.
I mean to test the Ph of my soil but have not gotten around to it.
Out of the 10 or so plants I do have, 2 have flowered but the others seem dormant. The foliage has not died off as of yet either so i keep hoping though i believe it is too late for blooms. I dug up one of the non-flowering plants today and found 1 potato. It was about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

So, aside from all of this info any new thoughts? Or have we beat the dead horse pretty good?

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