Sunday, July 24, 2011

Harvesting is Picking Up .....

I harvested my potatoes this weekend.  (I see potato salad in my future)

The nice thing about growing in containers is I didn't have to dig anything - which I understand is a backbreaking job.  I just dumped the containers into the wheelbarrow and sifted through the soil, picking potatoes as I went.  I would guess there is a good 10 to 15 pounds here?  Earlier I harvested enough for at least 3 meals, so.....not too bad.

I like the white ones better for eating, but I didn't get any full-size. It wasn't a fingerling variety, but that's about the size of the biggest ones. I had a bunch more rot in the ground with this variety, even though I was careful when digging for new potatoes to just use my hands, and not a trowel, that could cut or bruise the tubers underground.  

The red ones (Norland, I think) did much better, with some respectable sized - like you would buy in the store.  And plenty of "new potato" size too.  Yum.  They seemed much healthier, even though their foliage was puny.  I'm sure I harvested at the right time, because the biggest reds were beginning to sprout, and a fair number of the whites were going bad.  In other words, I wouldn't have gotten bigger potatoes if I had left them in the ground longer. The foliage was dying back - it was time to harvest.

I will re-use the pots of soil to grow other things for Fall (no nightshade family).  If I can find some leeks, I'm really thinking I'd like to try those.   My onions were a flop again this year - none bigger than a golf ball.  I know it's because I need an 'intermediate' variety for this area, but I can't ever find any.  I e-mailed the local Extension Agent about this and about varieties to grow for Fall, and he gave me some tips.  I will ask the people at Fayette Seed for advice.

I yanked the squash in pots that didn't make it, and planted some eggplant there to replace my failed plants  from the Spring. If they grow well, there should be plenty of time to get something from them.  Blossoms, but still no squash from the behemoth of a plant in the garden.  Need I say I won't be doing squash again in ground or pots?  The best thing I can say is the foliage is shading the soil of the pole beans, maybe helping some in this heat.  The bean vines have shot over the top of my 7-8 foot poles and are cascading down the sides of the plant.  Best of all, I've got bean blossoms!  Can beans be far behind?  

I planted the companions to ward off pests for the beans, and it's working - somewhat.   The foliage about 6 feet up the poles is fine, but the Japanese Beetles are going-to-town right at the top, where the scent or whatever effect of those companion plants is the least.   I don't know that Opal Basil is working at keeping the Hornworm off my tomatoes.   One is eating the top of my Roma tomatoes like crazy, but I haven't found it yet.

Fellow Urban and Small Space Farmers!  How is your garden growing this year?

Harvesting at Wren Cottage ......


  1. Congrats on a good potato harvest this year! Some of mine are just now blooming, so I have awhile to wait -- on almost everything but lettuce, which we're still eating. But right now we are rolling in cherries and raspberries, so can't complain. I plan to go to a you-pick for blueberries this week; all of last year's that we froze are long gone.

  2. Great potatoes! Things are starting to pick up here, too. Tons of green beans, plus cukes, greens, onions, beets. We haven't dug our potatoes yet, but have peeked under the straw and the results so far are encouraging. Can't wait to see what our sweet taters and carrots are doing too!