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Planting Potatoes: The Finale

January 20, 2012 by Daniora

Freshly harvested potatoes

When last we left our little potato plants, everything was going rather swimmingly. We were a bit behind schedule but I was getting ready to fold up the top of the bag and add more soil.

Shortly thereafter, tragedy hit.

In addition to many other veggies, we grow heirloom tomatoes. They are delicious and exotic looking and really fun to have around. The problem is that they also have lower resistance to disease than the more commercially bred varieties. Sadly, a few of our tomato plants caught something. Their leaves got all yellow and fell off, and in spite of our best efforts, we lost a couple of plants. The other problem was that this blight (or whatever it was) spread to my little potato plants. The smallest of my potato plants died, and the others looked a little sickly.

I was hesitant to go adding more soil to the bags; I figured since the leaves were a little sad they probably would need all the surface area they could get. Covering any of them would probably hurt the plants in the end. After that, I left them alone until the end of the season. The largest plant got pretty leggy, and probably would have sent out quite a few new shoots had I covered the stem with soil like I was supposed to.

Plants ready for harvest.

Plants ready for harvest.

This fall was really warm, so I let the plants stay in the grow bag for as long as possible. When the weather threatened to get chilly, I figured it was time to harvest and see what we had gotten.

Almost a pound and a half of potatoes.

Almost a pound and a half of potatoes.

Considering all the problems that I encountered during this experiment, I think we got quite a bit of yield. We wound up with almost a pound and a half of varying sized potatoes (though none as large as they were supposed to be). The picture below shows all my little potatoes with a ruler so you can see what we got. A few of the potatoes had scaly skin which is completely benign, it just makes the potatoes less attractive.

Potatoes with ruler.

We wound up eating these potatoes in a batch of kale soup. They were delicious. This was pretty great learning experience. I think I’ll give growing potatoes in the grow bag another shot this year. I’ll be sure to keep them away from the tomatoes this time.



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