Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Harvesting the Potatoes




The girls and I pulled our potatoes out of the cans yesterday (I drill old garbage cans full of holes on the bottom, throw about a foot of dirt in, and plant 4 or 5 sprouted potatoes. As they grow, cover all but the top four inches or so with dirt, compost, or straw, until you've filled the can. Keep adequately watered, put them in a hot spot, and when the plants DIE, dig out all the dirt to find the potatoes!)

This year was our most disapointing harvest ever. Normally I find potatoes in the bottom half of the garbage can, this time I only found them in the bottom foot. We've had a very cold summer, and this might be why. I didn't use seed potatoes this year- the purple ones were organic potatoes from my CSA, and the yukons were just from the grocery store. Both got too old to eat, right around the time I was going to plant, so I threw them in the cans.

Next year I'm going to fill the can with more dirt before I plant, maybe even half full, and see if that helps. I didn't realize how short a season these particular potatoes had- I believe I planted these in March, and harvested in August. Yukon Golds, and a heritage purple potato.


One of our yellow summer squash plants seems to have some sort of disease- do you see where it looks like it's been eaten on the end? Every single squash gets about 4 inches long, then start disappearing like something's eating it, until it's mostly gone. IS something eating it? My friend had the same experience last year, and a nursery told her it was a fungus. Anyway, the plant right next to it has not been bothered at all, so I think I better pull this one up and throw it in the yard waste cart, because I'm not getting any squash off it, and I don't want whatever bugs or fungus it has to spread!



Posted by Picasa

6 comments:

Mama Papaya said...

Based on your description of the squash, I would have said you have a case of blossom end rot (low calcium), but it doesn't look like it at all. Looks more like external damage of some sort. Rot? Bugs? Fungus? We have had some blossom end rot, but it is so random that I am not wholly on board with it being our soil entirely. Perhaps they feel the same way about the weather as I do...

Don't judge, but I have just been cutting off the end of our impacted veggies and eating them all the same. I serve milk with dinner. ;)

Aunt LoLo said...

Hey, at least you got SOME veggies out of your effort this year!!!

Ticia said...

Some of your potatoes look almost black. I'm thinking maybe the kids and I will try growing potatoes, they'd love that. How big a can do you use?

Bobbi Lewin said...

I planted my potatoes in the ground and they grew like mad before I got around to mounding dirt over them - so that never happened. I checked recently and there is just no potato activity at all. But they only recently blossomed, so I'm hoping I still get something. I was really hoping for potatoes. As for the zucchini - I have not had a single one!

Su said...

It's still better than nothing :)

So, I'm just regurgitating advice given to me by my gardening friend. She plants her potatoes in big garbage bags, using a method similar to yours. Her trick is to leave her bags on the sunny side of her house, but right next to the wall. The wall stays quite warm, and her potatoes plants like them?

I dunno, seeing as I've only ever planted them in the ground :)

Elizabeth said...

Myrnie - I get the same problem. YOu need to spray them with a fungicide. If you are an organic gardener like me, you may not want to do it, but the fungicide will cure the problem. Have you had a fair amount of rain this Summer? Sometimes that is what can cause it. Wetness is a friend to fungi.