Author Topic: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?  (Read 6233 times)

Offline gringogigante

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How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« on: April 19, 2011, 09:04:14 PM »
I'm putting in a bunch of seed potatoes tomorrow AM in a potatoe box my wife and I built.

the only thing I'm unsure of is how much I need to "water them in" once planted?

I've heard "thoroughly", but what does that mean? I haven't found any sites that quantify that or explain it well.

how much is "thoroughly"?
Thanks!

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Offline fire65

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Re: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 09:09:00 PM »
If it is some kind of raised box that can drain, just flood them.  Then water them every 2 or 3 days.

Offline cohutt

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Re: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 09:28:42 PM »
The concern is if the place they are planted doesn't drain well then the tubers will rot before they get started.  With boxes and decent soil/compost mixes it wouldn't be an issue assuming your boxes' design don't prevent proper drainage.

Offline gringogigante

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Re: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 11:22:35 PM »
The concern is if the place they are planted doesn't drain well then the tubers will rot before they get started.  With boxes and decent soil/compost mixes it wouldn't be an issue assuming your boxes' design don't prevent proper drainage.

We built a 3'x3' box that is set on top of landscaping fabric, so it should drain very well.  should i just water it until it looks like it's puddling on top? if so, how often should i do this?
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Offline cohutt

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Re: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 06:10:08 AM »
The most important time for watering is from emergence through the blooming period;  It seems like the key is even moisture levels throughout vs drowning the plants. 

Ronniger's 2010 catalog had a great "grow guide" section that was several pages and very helpful.

The "Watering" section:
Quote
Watering
     Potatoes  can  be  dry-land  farmed  where  moisture retention
and natural  rainfall  are adequate.  However,  if  your  summer  is
long and dry, your soil is sandy, or you would like to increase
yields, you’ll want to water.
Potatoes need about 1” - 2” of water per week. Keep the soil
evenly moist, but not too wet, from the time of emergence until
then end of the season. Try not to let the soil completely dry out
as this will cause sudden re-growth  when watered, giving your
tubers  ears  and  noses,  splits,  or  hollow  heart.  Each  time  you
water,  let  it  soak  down  8”  to  12”.  A  few  thorough  waterings,
along  with  your  efforts  at  hilling  or  mulching  will  be  an  ade-
quate  program  to  conserve  soil  moisture.  Come  up  with  a
schedule,  every  three  days  or  so,  to  check  the  soil  moisture
down at the roots.   
     Stop or slow down watering at the end of the growing sea-
son  when  plants  turn  yellow  and  begin  dying.  But  make  sure
the soil does not completely dry out. You want some soil mois-
ture but not as much as you had while the vines were drinking it
up.  Harvesting  in  drier  soil  is  easier  and  potatoes  are  better
cured and ready for storage.


the whole thing is here:
http://www.ronnigers.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/2010rpfguidecover.pdf

Offline gringogigante

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Re: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2011, 08:57:27 PM »
The most important time for watering is from emergence through the blooming period;  It seems like the key is even moisture levels throughout vs drowning the plants. 

Ronniger's 2010 catalog had a great "grow guide" section that was several pages and very helpful.

The "Watering" section:

the whole thing is here:
http://www.ronnigers.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/2010rpfguidecover.pdf


That's great thanks!

But what does it mean when it says, "Come  up  with  a
schedule,  every  three  days  or  so,  to  check  the  soil  moisture
down at the roots.   
"?

How are you supposed to check the roots without damaging them?
Thanks!

Chris McCollum
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Offline cohutt

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Re: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2011, 05:27:09 AM »
lol I have no idea.  Steal a new potato from a plant every 3 days?

I'll just trust my familiarity with the soil mix and monitor the amount of rain we get or don't get.

Offline mash

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Re: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 06:13:17 AM »
Spuds are hardy plants. They are very forgiving. You'll be fine gringo, just pay attention to the leaves once the plant sprouts, you will learn to interpret what the plant is telling you it needs.

We had more than average rain last summer, I ended up putting the hose on the potatoes about 4 or 5 times total during one particularly hot spell that lasted about 2 weeks. The rest of the time the rain did the trick. YMMV. So will mine next time.

Just be sure to keep hilling up as it grows, otherwise you will end up with a harvest of green potatoes. Once that happens they are only good for another round of seed potatoes, unless you want to get solanine poisoning.
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Offline white95v6

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Re: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2011, 09:50:01 AM »
Just be sure to keep hilling up as it grows, otherwise you will end up with a harvest of green potatoes. Once that happens they are only good for another round of seed potatoes, unless you want to get solanine poisoning.

ok do you just keep hilling up till it starts to blossom? the reason i ask is cause the the SFG book. it says dig 5-6'' down and put in seed potato. then hill up. now he says you can pile up(make a deeper box for them).

anyways i put my seed potatos in 2 weeks ago and they are already growing almost to the top of my 9'' deep raised bed.i am having to cover them up daily to keep the new growth covered up. i am leaving just the leaves above ground.

Offline Samuel Fairlane

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Re: How much do i water seed potatoes when i plant them?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2011, 11:40:00 AM »
I'm having good luck this year (so far) with straw instead of dirt to hill the plant up. The straw keeps the dirt from drying out. I wanted to experiment with one before I went full scale. I put a seed potato in a self watering pot, about half the depth of the pot. As the potato came up I buried it in straw. Inspired by it's super fast growth, I stacked concrete blocks in a trash can and put the pot in the trash can so I could rebury my plant. It's kind of a pain to take out all the straw and the pot to adjust the height of the plant. One more block and my plant will be growing out the top of a 30 gallon trash can. Also potato bugs are brutal in my part of the country. I have not seen my first one this year (fingers crossed). Last two years of direct planting in the dirt garden was a total loss for me.