Re: wintering over potatoes

Rob Dougan wrote:

Potatoes aren't frost-hardy. You can't winter-over the vines; any potatoes left in the ground will turn into black, slimy goo. If you want to save seed potatoes from your harvest each year, store them in a cool, dry place, the same way you'd store potatoes you're planning on eating. In spring, after the last frost, cut the seed potatoes into eyes, dust the cut surfaces with sulphur powder, and plant in your hills. The size of potatoes you'll get out of the hills depends on the variety you grow and the length of your growing season . . . the longer the season, the bigger the taters.
Chris Owens
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Rob Dougan said:

You can winter over undug potatoes by putting a *very* thick layer of straw over them after the vines have died back. They won't grow, but will stay fresh in the ground and can be dug well into the winter by pulling back the straw. The biggest threat to your over wintering potatoes will be mice and voles.
Potatoes that escape being dug up and make it through to spring will sprout and grow. The one's I've missed from last year and transplant into my new potato area seem to produce just as well as freshly planted seed potatoes.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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On 14 Aug 2003 19:38:28 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (Rob Dougan) wrote:

If you mean "wintering-over" to be defined as digging them up during the winter, the frozen ground would pose a big challenge. If you mean "wintering over" in that potatoes will survive the winter, I have no doubt a couple yukon golds would make the trip like champs.
To be honest, every spring when I dig the potato patch, I think they multiply over the winter :) This is a very rich, very deep soil (2 feet deep of loam, shredded oak & mixed leaves added every autumn). Every time I dig it up in spring there seems to be 5 times as many spuds as when I cleaned it out in November :)
Dan nw NJ
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