Monday, September 12, 2011
Posted by Kate at 6:45 AM
Here's a picture of most of the potatoes that came from "volunteer" plants that came from potatoes I missed during harvest last year. They're laid out to dry in the garage for a few days, and then they'll go into crates and stay down in the basement where it's quite dark, if not yet all that cool. There are still a few more volunteers to bring in, but this prodigious bounty weighed in just around 34 pounds (15.4 kg). I'm rather amazed at what we got for doing basically nothing, and from one of the smaller garden beds. It certainly brightened what was looking like a day of weeding drudgery.
Last year after this potato bed was harvested we lasagna mulched heavily. The lasagna mulch wasn't for the potatoes of course, because we never guessed we'd overlooked so many. The intention was just to improve the soil there and hold the weeds down. My surprise at the number of potatoes that poked up there this spring had as much to do with the plants (apparently effortlessly) punching through heavy layers of cardboard and a generous amount of wood chips as it did with having missed so many spuds at harvest last year. Obviously the lasagna mulch treatment meant that those potatoes that escaped harvest had some primo soil to grow in and a nice cozy layer of protection above them. Many of these harvested spuds were surprisingly deep in the soil. Which convinces me that I probably missed some this time around too. And we just lasagna mulched there again. Which suggests there might be a repeat of this event around this time next year. That would be fine by me. It's wonderful to have potatoes this early in the year.
The main crop of potatoes from those I planted deliberately this year remains to be harvested. They need another three to four weeks, I'd say. I like to keep them in the ground until the weather has cooled a bit so that they store for a longer time. We'll see if the stuff I deliberately planted produces as well as the inadvertent spuds.