Sunday, September 5, 2010

Patio Potatoes

In the spring, my friend Jenn gave me some seedling potatoes that she had left over after planting her garden. I brought them home unsure of exactly what I was doing, but figuring I'd give it a go. Normally, you plant potatoes in long rows in the ground. But Mr. ValleyWriter wasn't too keen on the idea of digging up the lawn. So, I decided to try planting potatoes in pots.

I had 2 larger pots (18" x 18") leftover from some shrubs we had bought last fall, so I figured I'd just use those. I put about 6" of soil in each pot, added about 5 seed potatoes (eye side up) on top and then topped with another 6" of soil. Once the potato plants sprouted, I kept adding soil on top until I reached the top of the pot (this equates to "hilling" your potatoes if you plant them in the ground).

I gave them the most basic care possible - essentially just daily or almost daily watering - from mid-June through this weekend. They flowered a few weeks ago and the plants started to die off this week, which is supposedly the signal that it's time to harvest. Now, I have to admit - the potato plants got HUGE, so I was thinking maybe they were putting all their energy into growing green stuff rather than growing tubers. But, when I tipped the pots over - out came tumbling potatoes!

I have a mix of red, white and fingerling potatoes. And it's admittedly not a bumper crop - but I did get about 20-25 small potatoes for the 10 seed potatoes I used, so I'd say that's not bad. I'm sure their growth was restricted by the small pots I had them in, but I'm still excited to say that YES! Patio Potatoes can be grown!

Now the real fun starts - deciding what to make with my lovely little taters. Stay tuned!

3 comments:

kathryn said...

I'm curious to know what you make with these! My neighbor brought me over some recently-dug potatoes from a client's garden and I haven't done anything with them yet. (No huge surprise for those that know me.) I'll wait for you!

Jenn said...

That's really neat!!! Your very own home grown spuds. Can't wait to see what you cook up with those little guys.

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