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I planted out some 'desiree' seed potatoes ten weeks ago.  They've grown well - I mulched them to about 40cm using sugar cane mulch and horse manure (and some blood and bone occasionally).  They flowered a couple of weeks ago, and the flowers (from first batch) have finished now.  I had a dig around in the mulch to see if there were any potatoes growing, but alas, none!  There do seem to be some under intial soil layer though (which was about 15cm).   From what I can see through the mulch, it's just stem in there. Is this normal? 

 

 

 

 

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Cool az .... they look good enough to eat! ;-)
Several people have now told me (e.g. a biodynamic potato farmer that supplies food connect) that there is only one variety of spud that grows well/ reliably in Brisbane - basically the big white one you get in the shops.

This is the only one i've had significant success with too. For seed potatoes I chose one that looked like this from Bunnings. Very common or garden variety. I don't know what it was called.

My potatoes were so successful last year they have resprouted this year from ones I missed when harvesting.

I grew them in a trench (about 20 - 30cm deep), backfilled with (quite a bit of) compost and dynamic lifter and then filled in with layers of this mix and straw, and kept the growing area mulched at all times. I hilled the trench once it got past ground level to around another 20cm. the spot never dries out but has excellent drainage (on a slope) and receives about 5 hours of midday sun, but is shaded in the morning and afternoon

Mine have never made it to flowering up here, they just start to die back before that, but I wait until the stems are quite withered and dark yellow or brown at ground level before harvesting - the plant pulls a lot of nutrients out of the dying plant and stores them in the tubers at the last minute. The general wisdom is it takes about 3 months.
Ah! The ones I saw in Bunnings recently were Sebago and Kennebec. So one or other of these, then? Could you ask the farmer exactly which variety? Might have another go if I can get a variety to do well here and repay the effort with kilos of spuds, not just 1.5 kilos over 4 varieties. Good advice about leaving them to die down :-) I've heard that plants resorb a lot of nutrients - orchids, Asparagus for example ... so it's not just fairy tales, then. Thank you for that info, Scarlett.
and yes, it all sounds perfectly normal. sounds like you just need to wait longer :)
so I decided to stop checking them and just let them do their stuff. 'Watched kettle' syndrome perhaps :)
Is it too late to plant potatoes? I ordered grow bags and seed potatoes weeks back and they still haven't turned up.
Probably not. Last year Green Harvest delivered the seed potatoes around August. With our short growing season, they weren't in the ground long and the tubers were small. But it's a way to select those which do well in your yard and keep your planting material for next year. I discovered much to my surprise, that the Nicola's I had ordered from GH this year came from Victoria. For various reasons we at the Nicola's and they were not that good anyway so don't regret not planting them. Goodness knows where the several varieties some of us planted last year (via GH) came from. I assumed GH sourced their material from Queensland.
Duh - we *ate* the Nicolas.
Wow, expensive meal - seed potatoes are usually heaps more expensive...

How did you find out that GH source from Vic?
The package had the address of the suppliers.

It might have been an expensive meal but since I'd just broken my arm at that point, planting potatoes which had not even developed eyes was not a real option. Better than chucking them out and at least I got to find out what Nicola tastes like (yecch).
I'm looking at the Green Harvest brochure here Elaine - I tried to order seed potato from Garden Express but they don't deliver to Qld.

GH have a few different ones on offer (including Kipfler, which I really like - has anyone grown these successfully here?) including a 750g pack with Sapphire, Kipfler and Cranberry Red. They sound so appealing, but will they grow here is the big question.

I've been in Bunnings quite a few times over the past few weeks and haven't seen seed potatoes, but then I wasn't looking for them either. Where do they keep them please?

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