Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

potato update

I could have waited a little longer, but curiosity got the best of me.

Following directions, I mounded soil around the potato plants several times as they grew, until the potting mix was within an inch of the top of the container. All told, I added 6 - 8 inches of soil over the first 6 weeks of growing. I only stopped because the container was full.

I waited. I don't usually wish for leaves to turn yellow, but since that's the visual cue for potato readiness...these yellow leaves made me very happy! I tugged on the first yellow stem and was dismayed to find a few, fingernail-sized tubers attached to the roots. Surely this wasn't my entire crop. Yet each subsequent stem yielded the same, measly harvest.

Not willing to accept failure, I stuck my hands into the soil and rooted around up to my elbows. Eureka! First one, then another, then another. So I learned something: potatoes are heavy enough to break away from the roots when you pull on the stem. Did you know that? It may seem obvious to you, but to us first-time-potato growers, it was not.

So there you have it: potatoes from a container. It couldn't be easier (well it could, but it's still pretty easy) and it took up very little space, making it an excellent crop for small city gardens. at all. If I had a little more room, I might keep the container as is and re-use the potting mix next year. Since I don't, I'll dump the mix, fold up the grow bag, and store it away till next spring.

Handy, useful product (thanks, Gardeners Supply) & home grown potatoes. Two thumbs up!


Shady Gardener said...

Congratulations!!! :-)

Sweetgum Thursday said...

Yay. A perfect first time harvest with arms up the elbows in soil (or medium) digging in to be surprised by the goodies. Congrats! The crops that hide from you are such fun to harvest.

Unknown said...

Beautiful!!!And how did you cook your 'pot of gold?' Did you have a special receipe for the occasion?

Ellen Zachos said...

Sweetgum, I totally agree. The fact that the crop was hidden made so much more fun to harvest.

Plant Lady, I haven't cooked them yet. I want to make them in a way that's more special than merely roasted or baked but that doesn't mask the flavor of the potato. I'm open to suggestions...

Unknown said...

I would just cut them up skin and all(I am assuming the skins are thin?),steam those little pretties and eat them with plain ole butter,salt and pepper. Oh, and maybe some parsley if you want to photograph them:)
But thats just me.
whatever you decide they will be wonderful.

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