I ventured into our somewhat overgrown vegetable patch the other day with a very specific aim in mind – I had to dig up potatoes! A fair few months ago I planted potatoes into a large and unused section of our vegetable patch in the hope that they would be something simple and low maintenance that I could grow. I’d also heard that they would break up the soil nicely so that it would be easier to grow other crops the following year.
Potatoes are great in the sense that each plant is a surprise as you don’t know what is waiting for you under the ground. I took advice from google when I dug up the potatoes, some websites said to dig them up when they started flowering, others said when the leaves started dying away and some said to wait until the plants were dead. I had vague memories of growing potatoes as a child and decided to wait until the leaves had died off before I started to dig the potatoes out of the ground.
I decided to just dig up enough potatoes to last us the week and in the end that was about a third of our crop, plenty more to dig up over the coming weeks. I’m planning on leaving the rest underground, plants still attached, until we need them – I have no idea if this is right or wrong but right now I’m just impressed that we have managed to grow something!
Growing the potatoes in the beginning was easy, all we had to do was buy seed potatoes from the garden centre, put them in an egg box on the window ledge and wait for the sun to work it’s magic. Before long they were sprouting and ready to go in the ground. I laid them out a few inches apart in a little trench I had dug with the roots pointing downwards and covered them up, leaving them for a few months before harvesting. I know that it’s recommended not to grow potatoes in the same bed in two consecutive years so I will be planting them in a different place next year.
So that’s our first ever harvest of potatoes! We are now pretty good at growing strawberries, rhubarb and potatoes! I am aiming to grow something new every year. What shall we add into the mix next year?