Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My First Potato Harvest!

I havent the slightest idea about how to grow potatoes.  I mean, I must have some general idea thanks to other homesteading blogs, but really, I just kinda winged it.  I found an old, somewhat wrinkly purple fingerling potato rolling around in the back of the veggie drawer a week or two before our raised beds went in.  I saw it, almost threw it out, but placed it in the kitchen window instead where the eyes started to sprout.  I also had a half used bag of yellow cooking potatoes (no idea the exact variety) in a bag on top of the microwave.  They were turning green having sat there too long.  They too had roots starting to emerge from their eyes.
Small potato bed to the very far right
I cut them up, stuck them in a raised bed, and hoped for the best.  From a few of them, not all, green leaves poked through the soil.  What luck!  A few weeks later the plants were the height of the raised bed so I covered them with soil and straw as I had recalled seeing online.

Recently a couple blogs were talking about potato plants turning brown and that the dying off of the plant was indication that the potatoes were ready for harvest.  The yellow cooking potatoes were the first to brown.  The purple fingerlings were still going strong though.  I figured it was probably a good idea to harvest them all since there was no chance of actually having any potatoes anyway!

Imagine my surprise when I pulled back the straw and saw a golden potato sitting there in the dirt.  I was pretty freaking excited.  I called my husband over and we started going through the entire bed by hand.  It was awesome.  Every time we brushed away dirt we found new potatoes.  In a 3 by 3 bed with about 5 viable potato plants (2 yellow, 3 purple), I got a bounty of spuds!  Next year, when I plan

a bit ahead and know what the heck I am doing (kind of) I will have SO MANY POTATOES!!!
Purple Fingerlings, some kind of yellow cooking potato, and sweet potatoes

Oh the power of a good harvest when so little is expected!  Next weekend I dig up the sweet potato bed...

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