Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Help for Wind Damaged Potatoes October 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 3:07 pm
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About 40 days ago, I bought seed potatoes from Boggy Creek Farm, and planted them.  They came up in record time and grew quickly.  Two weeks ago, they were standing tall and flowering and looking beautifully lush.   However potatoes take at least 80 to mature, and up to 100 days or so.

Potatoes two weeks ago

Then, last week, an incredible and sustained wind, laid most of them down flat, and broke some of them.

Wind damaged potatoes

 

I thought either, the plants would stand back up on their own or that they would die.  I continued to water them, not sure what to do, and they stayed green but did not stand back up.

Today, I visited the Boggy Creek Farm farmstand, and solicited advice from Carol Anne Sayle.  She said to “hill them.”  I have attempted the hilling method before, using potato grow bags, but didn’t follow the procedure.  So today, with a windy cold front headed this way, I wheelbarrowed a load of soil out to the bed and attempted to build hills around the base of each of the potato plants.  It was difficult, because they had become accustomed to laying down, and the top ends of the plants had started turning upward toward the sun.  My formerly straight plants are now knarled and twisty.  But they are green, and I saw that a few potatoes had pushed up out of the soil.  So, now most of the plants have support at their bases, but they don’t look so good.

Hilled potato plants

So, we’ll see how they hold up in the cold front coming tonight.  I wonder if all of this was even necessary, since the plants remained green, but I want to give them every opportunity to produce.

In other news, the green beans are going gangbusters and some are ready to be picked this week!

Green Beans

 

2 Responses to “Help for Wind Damaged Potatoes”

  1. Debra Says:

    Your potatos will be fine. They grow underground so the wind knocking over the tops won’t do much damage to the crop. I have had the concerns with my garden after a sudden windstorm or rainfall. Happily I had plenty to eat when the tops did dry up a month or two later.


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