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!