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In The Martian, Mark keeps the largest potatoes for his food supply and replants the smaller ones. Doesn't this cultivate smaller potatoes?

Great question, this is one of the cool things about potatoes! Mark is creating clones of the mother plant when he uses the small potatoes as seed potatoes. All of the plant's potatoes have the same ...
MackM's user avatar
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28 votes
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Do potatoes produce seeds that you can store and/or replant?

Most potatoes, as far as I know, have the ability to flower and set fruit. The fruits, known as berries, are small green globes reminiscent of tomatoes, which makes sense seeing as how they're in the ...
Jurp's user avatar
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17 votes

In The Martian, Mark keeps the largest potatoes for his food supply and replants the smaller ones. Doesn't this cultivate smaller potatoes?

My high-school biology textbook (~1985) contains exactly potatoes as an example for a bad strategy for selection because the new potatoes all carry the same genes as the one seeded and one gets the ...
fraxinus's user avatar
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15 votes
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How do I plant potatoes that sprouted in my pantry?

First, if the potatoes are big, you should cut them into smaller pieces so that you have one or two eyes (the bit that's sprouting) on each piece. Leave the cut pieces out for a day or so to allow the ...
Niall C.'s user avatar
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13 votes

Do potatoes produce seeds that you can store and/or replant?

The tubers that are used for "seed potatoes" are grown and harvested exactly the same way as other potatoes, except for one thing. Like other members of the same plant family (e.g. tomatoes),...
alephzero's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why did my potatoes not grow?

Judging by the state of the plants when you dug them up, and what the soil surface looks like there are no nutrients whatever in it. The potatoes tried to grow, using the material stored in the tuber,...
alephzero's user avatar
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8 votes

How do I plant potatoes that sprouted in my pantry?

Staring with the basics, potatoes will take about 12 weeks from planting to cropping, and the plants will be killed by the first frost. (The actual potatoes will be fine since they are underground, ...
alephzero's user avatar
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8 votes

Why did my potatoes not grow?

However, the summer here has been very hot This might very well be the reason. Potatoes tend to stop the production of tubers once the soil reaches a certain temperature. Gardeners that plant their ...
Stephie's user avatar
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7 votes

Planting potatoes between tomatoes, bad or good idea?

It's harder to control blight when the two are planted in close proximity. Late blight caused a devastating epidemic in the 1840s in the North Eastern USA. http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
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6 votes
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How long can I store seed potatoes?

Seed potatoes by the time you get them from your supplier have a chronological age and a physiological age. Depending on how well it has been kept by the supplier, its physiological age may be older ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
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6 votes
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Can I trim my potato plants?

Carrots are shade tolerant so I wouldn't remove the potato leaves. Any leaf reduction will reduce the amount of carbohydrates being stored in the tubers. If they're early season potatoes, you may ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
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6 votes
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Is this a potato plant?

Sorry, neither is a potato plant. A potato sprout is medium to dark green (sometimes with reddish undertones just when breaking through), looks like a little whirl of wrinkly, thick leaves, then ...
Stephie's user avatar
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6 votes
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My potato plants don't seem to flower - when should I harvest them?

That is actually a pretty straight-forward proposition, regardless of flowering or not. Basically, as long as the stems and leaves are viable, then they are feeding the growth of the tubers. When ...
PoloHoleSet's user avatar
6 votes
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Potatoes left in the soil for winter

Yes, they will growth again. Potatoes are the winter house of potato plant (Solanum tuberosum). But you will have too many plants. I think in spring, you should harvest them and replant some of them (...
Giacomo Catenazzi's user avatar
5 votes

Planting potatoes between tomatoes, bad or good idea?

In general, try not to mix plants of the same family (and in this case both share Solanum as genus), both for competition on same nutrients (they share similar metabolism), and their can share ...
Giacomo Catenazzi's user avatar
5 votes

Planting potatoes between tomatoes, bad or good idea?

When it gets hot and humid tomatoes grow fast, and they can block the light to the potatoes which don't grow so big.
Bulrush's user avatar
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5 votes
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Do you recommend putting compost containing tomatoes onto potato plants?

The potential problem is due to the fact that potatoes and tomatoes are closely related, both members of the nightshade family, Solanum. This means, they are both susceptible to a few fungal diseases,...
Stephie's user avatar
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5 votes
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Will my potatoes grow?

You are somewhat in need of relaxing. The blue potatoes that keep coming up in my garden (despite being harvested, some always seem to escape and grow the next year, for at least 3 years in a row now)...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
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5 votes

Should I harvest potatoes even if they haven't fully flowered?

Typically you harvest potatoes once the green stuff has at least started to dry up and wilt, for early types at a "greener" stage, later types when the green tops have completely turned yellow and ...
Stephie's user avatar
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5 votes

My potato plants don't seem to flower - when should I harvest them?

I planted a few different varieties this year and I didn't see flowers on at least one variety. About a week ago it seemed like the flowerless plants were just starting to die off (plus I was eager ...
MyNameisTK's user avatar
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5 votes
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Will potatoes in containers grow more potatoes?

People use tyres, potato bags, containers etc instead of mounded earth on the ground because they're lazy (or have bad soil) and don't want to dig up the spuds at the end. The big mistake I think is ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
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5 votes
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Do I need to put a pile of wood chips on top of my potatoes?

You need to either mound the soil up over the bottoms of your plants or you could use straw and a tomato cage. Don't allow your potatoes to see the sun because then the skin of the potato turns ...
stormy's user avatar
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5 votes

Do potatoes produce seeds that you can store and/or replant?

There are already good general answers to this question, but I will add a couple of specifics. La Ratte is male and female fertile variety, so it is capable of producing seeds without a pollinator. ...
cultivariable's user avatar
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What are these in potatoes?

This is known as 'brown center and hollow heart'. It is caused by abrupt changes in growing conditions (think of temperature or watering regime changes). You can still eat them, but you better remove ...
benn's user avatar
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5 votes

Ultralow yield potatoes

Based on your comments, I'm assuming that you used potatoes that were purchased at a grocery store or market. One disadvantage of doing this is that the potatoes are not certified to be disease-free, ...
Jurp's user avatar
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4 votes

Is this the tomato potato psyllid?

Is this the tomato potato psyllid? Those green bugs are not "The tomato potato psyllid (TPP)" but they are definitely some kind of green psyllids (maybe boxwood psyllids). Do I need to remove the [...
Ben Welborn's user avatar
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4 votes

I've planted too many potatoes in 1 container

I did that with beets and carrots a few years back. What happens is the vegetables start competing for space underground and end up either being smaller in size or malformed. I would suggest gently ...
JStorage's user avatar
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4 votes

How long can I store seed potatoes?

The place to "store" your seed potato to have viable seed potatoes next year is in the ground, with roots coming out one direction and plants going the other. As for getting blighted, your options ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
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4 votes

When should I pile more dirt onto a growing potato plant?

If it is early in the year and there is a chance of frost, you would cover them as soon as they poke through. Another good time to cover with dirt is when you can see the potatoes poking through, ...
Annie's user avatar
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4 votes
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When should I repot a newly planted potato?

Planting a potato in a pot is one of the only instances I know for planting a newbie plant in a big pot. You need a larger pot, 3 minimum and 5 gallon maximum. What size of pot are you using? I am ...
stormy's user avatar
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