Growing some potatoes and can’t wait to get your hounds on your bountiful harvest? But just how big is this harvest going to be? How many potatoes can you expect per plant? Let’s have a look and find out.
How Many Potatoes Per Plant?
The answer is a classic “it depends” and what it really depends on is the type of potato grown. Larger potatoes like a king Edward will produce larger potatoes but not in the same number as a smaller variety would.
If you get anywhere above 6 or 7 fully developed potatoes off a large variety like a king Edward then you have done well, with smaller potatoes you can expect 10+ potatoes per plant.
And while the type of potato grow will affect the number of spuds you can expect to get off it, so will the growing conditions, so let’s have a look at that.
So here are some of the growing and care factors that will affect your potato harvest.
Potatoes are a root crop and as such, they prefer a nice light un-compacted soil. If your soil is heavy clay then the potatoes will struggle to grow and develop properly.
This will obviously lead to smaller harvests. Breaking up the soil before planting and adding lots of organic matter can help with this. On really heavy clay soils you are better off going vertically and growing in raised beds.
Use compost to create an entire new soil on top of your heavy clay soil and grow the potatoes in this.
The fertility and general health of your soil will also affect how many potatoes you get out of it. Rich soil full of life and nutrition will provide many more potatoes than poor soil that is running low on nutrients to provide to your potato plants.
Keep on top of your soil health by adding lots of compost, homemade if possible, and by growing cover crops in the off-season. These can add nutrients like nitrogen to the soil and also prevent soil erosion and decay from being left barren.
Always a big factor for us here in the UK is the weather, while potatoes are not too fussy they don’t like it overly wet or overly dry.
If it rains a lot then you need good drainage or else your spuds may suffer, with prolonged dry weather you will need to water your potato plants at least once a week if you want to maximise your harvest.
Mounding up potatoes, where you put earth on top of the plant helps to maximise growth. It gives the plant more area in which o develop potatoes and also stops those potatoes growing near the surface from going green from getting light.
Not Fully Developed Potatoes
You usually also end up with a few tiny potatoes which never fully developed, while these are still fine to use for something like a mash they are too small for anything else.
You will probably end up with a number of these tiny potatoes per plant, I know I always seem to do anyway.
Spuds Lost To Pests
You will also undoubtedly lose at least a few potatoes to pests. There are lots of different pests that can eat your potatoes while in the soil.
There are some that burrow into the spud and others that take advantage of these holes to further eat away at your potatoes.
Sometimes you can lose a few, in other years it is seemingly none, so this is something that you just need to bare in mind when preemptively planning your harvest in your head!