You are currently viewing When 1+1=10: Harvesting Potatoes

When 1+1=10: Harvesting Potatoes

Garden math breaks the rules.  It’s one of the only places where things multiply without the need for a calculator, or the stress of bubble tests or sweaty palms.  Possibly the best example of garden math is the potato.  Plant one, get many.

Spring is a great time to plant potatoes, and lucky for us, spring is coming soon.  In warmer climates, you can also plant potatoes in the fall.  That’s what we did last October with a couple of scary potatoes left in the pantry too long.  Yesterday we harvested those potatoes, and what was one has indeed become many.


Harvesting potatoes from a pot is easy.  Just tip it over on to a tarp or into a bin.

Excavating potatoes up from the earth is like digging for buried treasure.  It brings out the kid in everyone.  Some people use a digging fork to lift their potatoes.  I like to use my hands.  If growing in a container, however, you just dump everything out of the pot.


Rummage through the soil for tasty tubers.  There are more in there than you can see!

Confession: I over-watered last week and the whole plant turned yellow. If that hadn’t happened, these potatoes might still be growing.  That said, in the end, our 2 scary potatoes had turned into 10 decent-sized tubers with a smattering of tiny baby potatoes as a side dressing.  The tiny potatoes are still edible and delicious.  You just have to hold on them as you scrub them so they don’t fall down the garbage disposal.


Tater heaven.  Eat them fresh, or cure for several weeks out of direct sunlight on newspaper or screens and enjoy!

For a simple yet delicious way to prepare your freshly harvested potatoes, check out the Tip of the Month in the July 2008 newsletter.

So – now do you want to grow potatoes?  You can plant straight from organic potatoes (because they aren’t sprayed to prevent sprouting like most supermarket potatoes), but it’s best to order certified disease-free seed potatoes from a reputable company.  We love Wood Prairie Farm in Maine, where we get the Experimenter’s Special every year (perfect for small spaces).

Do you have a favorite way to serve up home grown potatoes?  Share it with us here.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Christy Wilhelmi

    That’s exciting!  Keep us posted on how it goes.  Other things to watch for: If your neck of the woods is familiar with the Colorado Potato Beetle, they can take your plants down in no time.  Also check out this site for additional common diseases in the world of potatoes:

  2. Christy Wilhelmi

    No real difference in taste, but usually any scuffed potatoes are eaten immediately because they won’t store well.  Curing allows for potatoes to go into storage, rather than rotting due to excess moisture.  Drying them out for a few weeks does the trick. 

    As for nutritional value, I don’t really know, but I imagine that potatoes hold their nutrients pretty well in storage (just ask Ireland).

  3. John

    “Eat them fresh, or cure for several weeks out of direct sunlight on newspaper or screens.”

    What’s the difference between fresh and cured for taste, nutrition, etc? I assume the ones you buy in the store are cured.

  4. Sonia

    Inspiring! I just bought a bunch of heirloom seed potatoes and a couple of grow bags, and am excited about growing my own blue and purple taters next year. Besides overwatering, are there other things to watch for when trying to grow potatoes?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.