My Puny Patch of Potatoes

I finally dug my little patch of potatoes. They were planted back in early May and harvested on September 7, 2008.From start …DSCN0975

To finish …09-08-08And everything in between…

May 3105-31-08 (2)

June 906-09-08 (4)

June 1706-17-08 (17)June 3006-30-08 (11)

August 208-02-08 (23)

August 3108-31-08 (10)

September 609-06-08 (4) 09-06-08 (5)

I dug these up first. That’s what piqued my curiosity. The two little ones were almost on top of the soil, and the bigger one was way down deep just above where the seed was planted.

I thought the plants were doing fine until a few days ago when I noticed some wilting at the top. When I pulled back the plants, I saw some white stuff…fungi, mold, I don’t know. You can see it just to the left of the picture with the little potatoes. Most of the stems were dead too, so I figured now is as good a time as any.

I used potatoes I got from Whole Foods and planted the whole potato in the raised bed, one for each square. A friend of mine told me you’re supposed to cut them, so I cut some of the leftovers and planted them in the bin.

05-31-08 I’ve checked the bin and I don’t find any potatoes either. They’ve never flowered and are still green and healthy looking. I’ll probably just let them grow and see if anything happens.

When I dug up the raised potatoes, a couple of them had pea sized mini potatoes growing under the stem, but the tops had died off. What the heck. I put them back in.

Here’s my thought. If people are getting tons of potatoes when they use layers and layers of tires, maybe the potatoes are forming inside the actual tires themselves and they don’t have the full weight of all of that dirt on them. I noticed that the deeper I got the more compact the dirt was…duhh.

Life is an experiment. Next year I’ll probably use the bin since I wouldn’t want to give up too much space in my raised beds. I’ll fill it up at least halfway with dirt first and then plant. That will give me room to hill as they start growing.

It’s actually been kind of fun. I ran across this way of growing potatoes on GardenWeb and shared the progress with others who decided to try this. I was even inspired to share my ramblings on this blog by one of the members, Mr. Sinfonian, who is documenting his first square foot garden, although I feel like the DJ who broadcasts at 3:30 in the morning and nobody’s listening. I’ll “broadcast” anyway because it’s cathartic.

I just counted my “harvest.” I have 12 potatoes, exactly what I planted. The good news is that three of them are bigger than my seed potatoes.

Happy Gardening!!!!



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