Early Potatoes – Part 3: Results

At first my indoor potato growing experiment looked promising. The small potato plant grew fast beneath the 36 watt growing light:

A month later the potato plant reached the grow light 1 m (3 ft) above the soil but at the same time the plant began tilting to the side:

Sometimes it would straighten itself back up only to fall over again later.

Since the much anticipated flowers never developed and the plant started to look weak, plus the lower leaves turned yellow, I decided it was time to harvest any potential potato tubers. When I grow potatoes outdoors in the spring I wait until flowers have developed before I start digging up early potatoes.

Unfortunately this is what I found:

Only the original potato tuber. Hmm. I guess it’s not as simple as that to grow potatoes indoors.

I expect that the plant was given too much light. I was really generous in the beginning – full light from 6 AM to 11 PM (though later only 8 AM to 9 PM). I suspect that the plant grew too big too fast to handle it’s own weight. Also, I’ve heard that the light outdoors changes through the season and the plants see this as a signal to start flowering. I didn’t change the light at all.

I actually did two experiments and the first as described above was definitely the one I expected the most of. I didn’t pay much attention to the other one but the result was actually a bit better.

This other tuber was planted even before I moved to this house, so it traveled along on the moving van (Gee, I’m turning into a plant geek 😉 ) The pot was left beneath a windowsill and as the days went by the plant climbed up behind the curtain to reach some light. I didn’t water it much and in time it just wilted down:

But look at the stem:

Small green tubers! At first I thought it was potato fruits but somehow the plant developed tubers above the surface and actually two small yellow ones below the surface:

Which is kind of sad 😉 My deliberate attempt failed and by accident I grew potatoes in the pot I forgot about. Hmm…

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