Potatoes!

As I said in my previous post, I wanted to harvest my potatoes. I have them growing both in containers (1/3 of seed potatoes) and in the ground (2/3 of seed). I decided to start with my containers first, as I wanted to use and incorporate this dirt into the rows I will plant fall crops. For my containers, I used 55 gallon barrels that I can get free from work. I just cut them in half, drilled holes in the bottom of each half, and drilled a few holes to add rope handles. I had progressively added dirt throughout the spring to cover the growing vines.

These containers were heavy… far heavier than I thought. And they were on the other side of the yard – how was I going to get this dirt to the fall rows? I had not thought of this earlier in the spring. The method I went with was to dump half of the container on a tarp, collect the potatoes, then drag the dirt to the other (East) garden. Let’s do a little math: 18 containers + 36 trips of dirt = 11 solid dreamless hours of sleep + 3-4 applications of ibuprofen. Jeez, I was really beat, but there is a magical feeling of working hard. You wake up sore but good, at least I do. Coffee helps.

Before I show some pictures of potatoes,I will so the (finally completed) weeded rows and the rows with the extra dirt.

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4 -3/4 rows (3′ x 18′), finally weeded
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Same rows about 6 hours later

As far as potatoes go, I really did not know what to expect. How many would I get? How big? I would say I am pleased with the yield, and I think I harvested at the right time. The blue and red fingerlings were plentiful, and the red pontiacs were a good, “typical” size. The Yukon gold, though, had a lot of small marble-ish sized potatoes (just drop them into soup? Not sure what else to do with them). I do remember they  had smaller roots coming out of the seed potatoes and were slower to sprout from the dirt. Since I haven’t harvest the Yukons in the ground, I may wait a while. I am going to have my son help me with the red pontiacs that are still in the ground, probably this weekend. Then I will prep those rows for fall peas.

For the blue potatoes, I got about a half a five gallon bucket. I am not sure of the weight, but you can see from the seed potato picture below the small number I had. For the red fingerlings, slightly above a half bucket. I will definitely grow both of these again next year, and will pack them a little tighter in the container. There seemed to be ample room for at least two more seed potatoes. For the red pontiac and Yukon, maybe about 3/4 bucket added together. Depending on taste and yield, I will probably grow these again.

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Seed potatoes from the early fall: 2# blue, 2# red fingerling, 10# red pontiac, 10# Yukon gold
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Some blue and red fingerling, with the harvest bucket in back
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Total harvest on July 11th: Blue, Red Fingerling, Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold

So now these lovely tubers are nestled downstairs in our bonus room, curing in the cool darkness. We did roast some of the next day with some onions from the garden, and they were so delicious!

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Potatoes will stay down here for two weeks to toughen up their skins for storage.
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Roasted potatoes and onions, with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
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