Whose potatoes are these?!

Hi. I sowed some seed potatoes in the first bed I cleared on my new weed palace / allotment back in April. I thought it was the sensible thing to do just to get something growing while I continued weeding the rest.

I stupidly didn’t do my research, knew nothing about earlies and whatnot, and ignored the fact the bed (we’ll call it Bed 1) had been used for potatoes before. I dug up quite a few while I was weeding - some looked fine, others were a bit rotten. Anyway, I thought I got all of them out before I planted mine but…

Bed 2 also had potatoes in it last, which I also thought I had managed to clear during weeding. But the plants are still coming up on Bed 2 (where I have so far sowed nothing) a year after the plot was abandoned, and there are actual potatoes there. So…

If they are still growing in Bed 2, there’s a chance that some of the plants in Bed 1 - where I sowed mine - are actually remnants from the last lot. Especially as they are cropping up a bit erratically and not in the neat rows in which I planted mine.

My question is really: Does it matter? Will last year’s potatoes just regrow? Is there a way to tell which ones are mine? Will the stranger potatoes be safe to eat, assuming they look okay?

p.s. I have planted other things elsewhere - one bed of potatoes is not the sum total of my efforts so far.

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Should not be a problem at all - if the potatoes look all right when you dig them up, you can eat them. In general, it is a good idea to rotate the potatoes, not growing them in the same place every year, on a 3-4 year cycle.

Potatoes will have flowers in different colours, this way you can see if you have just one or several kinds of potatoes. The habitus of the potato plant should give some ideas too.

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Thank you! No flowers yet but these two side by side look different and I’m sure there are two varieties in there. It amazes me that vegetables would survive so long and through winter and keep growing. I’ve dug up perfectly good parsnips and spring onions from the last tenant too.

Yes, this patch needs weeding. :flushed:

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Potatoes will survive the harsh winter of Sweden too if left in the ground. Surviving the winter or cold period is the reason for potato plants having potatoes, since the green parts will freeze.

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I’ve got some coming up from last year which I planted in September because I’d read they’d be ready in time for Christmas but nothing happened… they’re now coming up. I also have ones I planted this year… their leaves are much greener and bigger… last year’s leaves are darker and nearer the ground… though I guess that might be the variety. When you dig them up if they look like normal potatoes then they’ll be fine to eat… good luck with your allotment!

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I’ve got potatoes coming up where I had them growing last year even though I thought I had got rid of everything I keep having to ease them out around other things I’ve planted. They are coming up in between my pak choi at the moment

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An update for anyone interested: Now the plants are much larger I can see a clear difference between the two types of potatoes in the leaves. I can now identify my ones by their position as they are now all up and in their neat rows. This is quite reassuring.
Some are closer together than I’d like and I’m tempted to pull up the interlopers, but will leave for now as I have plenty that have enough space to grow nice and big. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I would pull out the interlopers just in case they have potato blight, which can happen if left to grow across years

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Good point. Thank you.

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