Potato growing troubleshooting

If you are having trouble with your potato growing, here are a list of problems you might come across, and the causes/fixes.

Tubers are small at harvest

This can have a number of causes, the most common of which are – growing in hot weather (most potatoes don’t produce well in the heat of summer), not enough nutrition in the soil especially potassium, and not enough moisture in the soil. Many people who grow potatoes in pot don’t water them enough, as they mature the plants use a lot of water and probably need to be watered every day.

Another cause if you are growing in containers is growing too many plants in the container and crowding them.

When should I harvest?

For most potatoes you harvest when the plants go yellow and start to die down, about a couple of months after flowering starts. Some of my varieties don’t die down much so you should be right if you harvest around 6-8 weeks after the start of flowering.

My purple potatoes go blue or fade during cooking

This can be if your cooking water is too acid. Try adding just a little baking powder, or bi-carb soda to the water. Purple potatoes may also lose their colour if you use a moist cooking method like boiling. Try baking or microwaving instead.

The tubers are sprouting before harvest

This happens when the day temperatures are too warm and usually also if the soil is not moist enough. If the sprouts are small and the tubers have not been exposed to sunlight they are still safe to eat, but the tubers will not store well. next season try planting the tubers deeper and keeping up the water.