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.