I killed my potatoes…

I’m sorry to say I killed my potato crop this year. I started with some fingerling potatoes seeds (and I have grown them in previous years with no problem). I planted them in a trough that was 12 inches deep and covered them with 3 inches of soil. Then I put my drip system on top of them. They grew nicely and after about 6 inches tall, I buried them with more soil. So far so good. Then when they got another 6 inches taller, I buried them again. Still no problems-they grew up through the dirt. Each time I moved the drip line up with them so it was always on the top not buried underneath.

I guess that was my problem as I left on a flyfishing trip and when I came home they never grew up through the soil-they just disappeared. I’m sure they died because of lack of water down by the roots. In hindsight, I figured maybe I should of left the drip system buried where the water would have reached the roots-I think it was too far away from the roots. This heat hasn’t helped either.

So that’s it, I killed the potatoes. If anyone has any advice, I’m open to it. Just leave your advice in the comments.

PS: I’ve decided I’m going to use that bed for fall crops-beets and carrots.

12 comments on “I killed my potatoes…

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Water must still go downward. Not all of it can evaporate from the surface. If it were not going deep enough, the upper roots would have adapted and grown toward the water.


    • So what do you think happened Tony?

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        I can think of nothing else that would kill them all. Lack of water is all that would have taken out so many. I just do not see why that would be a problem.
        Disease would not take out all of them. Even if it took out most, there would be a few survivors. Have you dug some up to see what they are doing down there?


      • I did uncover one and it was wilted beyond revival. It’s been so bloody hot here, I had been watering 2x/day. Once in the am on the drip system and once by hand at nite but didn’t have my housesitter do the extra evening watering. I think it was lack of water. My question is should I have left the drip line buried or continue raising it to the top like I did…

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        I sort of think you did it properly. Roots adapt somewhat. Water disperses farther (wider) as it moves down through the deeper soil. It would have been a problem to dig the irrigation later if it had been buried anyway.


      • thanks for your imput. Appreciate it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Terri says:

    I have a question. When do you plant beets and carrots? Thank you. I hope you enjoyed your vacation.


    • I plant mine fairly early in spring BUT am getting ready to plant them again now for a FALL HARVEST. Beets take around 60 days to harvest and carrots from 60-80 days so there is plenty of time even if they take longer before the first freeze. A bonus is they will both last thru some freezes if you put row cover over then to protect them on a freezing nite. Plant now but be sure to water 2x a day in the heat of summer so they don’t dry out (especially carrots). If they dry out, you’ll have to start over…


  3. Carl Troy says:

    My Potatoes have mostly died also! I suspect that the large plastic containers and old car tires used as planters may have overheated in the sun and cooked the roots. (The only survivors are in a large more porous clay container.) I hand-watered heavily overall, and certainly each time I added soil to encourage more tuber formation. Oh, well …


  4. Janine with one less N says:

    RIP potatoes! That’s terrible to lose the whole crop! Not even imagining another way, I’ve always left the drip at the bottom of the potatoes and piled the dirt on top. So far so good! Post about the pumpkin giaganticus please!


    • Thanks for your experience with growing potatoes, Janine. Hope you are doing well and are safe. I ended up putting 2 winter squash in the potato bed which is quickly filling in the whole bed. Now in regards to the giant pumpkins, I had 2 growing and 1 has died from some wilt. Not squash vine borers, but I think a soil wilt. The other one got drenched with an organic soil fungicide called Companion and so far is doing well. Good to hear from you! Sorry we couldn’t connect when you were in NM.


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