Growing anything underground for the entire season is a leap of faith and it is seriously disappointing to wait and then pull up nothing. Someone asked me why their potatoes looked fine on top, but no potatoes developed last year. He does not want to be disappointed again. These are the 2 things I know of that can hamper potato development.
- The temperature stayed too warm. Potatoes like to cool off in the evenings. Keep piling on the soil, as the plant grows, or at least give it a good 4" of mulch.
- Too much nitrogen, too little phosphorous. We always talk about wanting our plants to develop a good root system, but this is one time when it really matters. Choose a fertilizer with a low 1st number (nitrogen) and a high 2nd number (phosphorous)
Potatoes also need a lot of water, especially while they're in flower. But since the tops of the plants grew well, water probably wasn't the problem.
Has this ever happened to you? Do you have any advice to share?
Photo: © Marie Iannotti