Friday, September 25, 2009

Harvesting: Potatoes!

For the second time, we grew potatoes in a garbage can. MUCH better harvest this time!

I used organic spuds from the local feed store (the first time, 2 years ago, I grabbed a box of spuds from the hardware store- not the nicest specimens, to be sure.)

(Yes, those are our weekly beans. Ugh, what do I do with TWO beans every week?!)

Here's my largest spud. Isn't it beautiful?

The largest...and smallest. It's smaller than my thumbnail!

A mouse?

This time around I drilled MORE holes in the can, elevated it from the ground with a few blocks of wood, and used all dirt and no straw. There were no potatoes in the bottom 8 inches, and no potatoes in the top 12 inches, but everywhere in between. Getting them out was backbreaking work, scooping all the dirt into another garbage can and sifting it with my hands to make sure I got all the spuds. I could have turned the whole thing onto a tarp and made it easier, though. I waited to harvest until the vines were completely dead- dry, brown, and hanging limply over the sides of the garbage can. Since some of the spuds had started to sprout, perhaps I could have harvested a little sooner but we've been out of town. They're all in the garage now, drying out a bit so they can be stored.
I'll definitely be growing these again- this crop came from 4 seed spuds (which I didn't cut, just planted whole.) I picked up some more garbage cans on Freecycle, and look forward to trying a few more varieties next year. I'll probably mix a little sand in, too- I've been told they like fast draining soil. This year they were just planted in cheap bags of top soil from the hardware store-the dirt in my yard has too much clay to use for this. They were super easy to grow- water occasionally, and add more dirt a time or two. That's it!

Now...what do I do with our gorgeous spuds?


Alexandra said...

Hooray for home grown potatoes! ;) I'll be harvesting mine this week as well.

I think we are averaging two beans a week too! I've been freezing them for soups.

Aunt LoLo said...

Mmmm.....hash browns!