Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Twenty Pounds of Taters

Time has come to dig the first row of potatoes planted on March 15th.  They had died back so a couple of weeks ago I cut back the foliage and let them sit in the ground to harden.  This apparently makes them store better.  Because of the damage done by potato forks, I dig them mostly by hand.  I love coming to a cluster of them, and when I sift through the loose soil above, I turn up little surprises, bright red like strawberries.

Some of them were quite large, and worm damage was minimal.  I only found two which had wire worm holes in them.  This harvest was much better quality overall than last years.

To avoid damaging the skin, and prolong their storage life, you should remove as little dirt as possible from them.  I place them in the hod and give them a quick shower to remove most of the dirt and bring less into the house!

Then I place them in a shady spot to dry.  This past weekend was not too hot, and we had a nice brisk breeze which dried them quickly.

These Kennebec's were frozen back several times to the soil line because they were too eager, but it doesn't seem to have hurt their production too much.

Not bad for a knarly, sprouty batch of rejects!  They survived many frosts and one significant snowfall and pulled through with a wonderful crop.  I turned this basket into one row and two pots which yielded...


And this times 2

And a twenty pound hod of taters.  About 23 pounds total.

In other news, its bean time.  This bed has a several varieties.  On the poles to the left is the tri-color assortment from Renee's Seeds.   And on the right are Kentucky Blue, a cross between the old fashioned (and tough stringy...) Kentucky Wonder and my favorite Blue Lake Bush beans.  The vines aren't very vigorous, but my hope is that they will continue through the season.  The beans themselves are superior to the ones on the other pole.  Those aren't bad, but the yellows are a rather coarse wax bean which is no where near as tasty as the phenomenal  Gold Mine Bush beans I normally grow.  No worries though, those will be ready soon.  The bush beans at the foot of the poles are Midnight Black Turtle Soup beans for drying.  That will be a first for me.

Happy Gardening!


  1. Thanks for the garden comments over at my blog. :) Your tomato support suggestion is a good one, thank you, and on sale at the moment. (!)

    I usually do some pruning and sucker picking of my tomatoes, at least at first, but honest to god, these plants got so massive so quickly... and I left four square feet per plant. I often plant my basil at the foot of the tomatoes to forestall it going to seed, but the absolute jungle has blocked out all light.

    I'm blaming it on the extra good dirt that Val (my horse) created, because I planted into straight year old composted manure, and we live on an alkaline sandbar.

    A question for you: Do you ever have a problem with squash borers? Would row covers early be helpful? It seems (when I am foolish enough to plant zucchini) that I'll get pretty plants that bloom, and a few days later the entire plant wilts and dies abruptly...

    Thanks in advance. This blog is very inspiring (I look forward to William Pendelton's posts too!)

  2. I have not had any trouble with SVBers up to this point, but I have noticed some adults in the garden this year so will probably have to be prepared next year.

    I don't know that there is much you can do once they've gotten into your plant except nuke them with Sevin and pray. However, forewarned is forearmed, so this is what you do next year:

    1. Row covers securely fastened then removed when the flowers begin.

    2. Place a used toilet paper roll around the seedling, stuck into the soil, to protect the stem at the base.

    And my favorite
    3. Cut the toe out of knee high panty hose, and put them around the base of your seedling, bury the end in the soil, and use it as a sleeve to confound the little wormers.

    Thanks for the compliments, I always look forward to your posts as well. See you in Blogland!