Feeding Potatoes and Other Single-Crop Flowering Varieties

Q.  I was going through the FAQs at foodforeveryone.org, when I came across a point of feeding the potatoes five times. I believe that Mittleider’s books state four times, but the one time difference is not the point of this question.

I was forcefully instructed by my neighbor who fancies himself a devout
Mittleider devotee to NOT feed the potatoes more than four times as the extra feed will go to the plant above the ground and not to the crop below the ground.

The FAQ seems to imply just the opposite, that the difference of field crop feeding of three times vs. grow box feeding of five times, where the “expected yield is correspondingly higher.” So if five (or four) times gives a higher yield why not six, or seven?

A.  Potatoes, and other flowering single-crop plants, such as bush beans,  should be fed until the plants flower. Whether this ends up being 4 times, 5 times, or some other number, depends on factors such as water, sunlight, and temperatures. The numbers given
are meant as a guideline, and not as strict limits. In Armenia recently we fed some rows of potato plants 5 times, because the weather was still cool and they were growing slowly, and other rows, planted later, were only fed 4 times before they blossomed.

Jim Kennard