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.