22 August 2012

Days 234 and 235

08/20/2012 - Sweet Wilbur.
234_366 08-20-12

Now for the potato tower update.

We opened up the potato tower last night full of anticipation for how many potatoes we would get.

Robert just removed the screws from the wood that was holding the tower closed.
08-21-12 (1)

Removing straw and soil searching for potatoes - can you spot the first potato we found?  Just above the straw where Robert is pulling back are some potato vines, and just above/behind/attached to those is the first potato.
08-21-12 (3)

About halfway through, and it started getting hard to get the straw, soil, and potatoes out.  This was the last photo I got of the process.  The sun was setting fast and I needed to help more and take pictures less.  We used the tarp to help catch the debris from the tower so we didn't mess up the bark mulch we brought in last month.
08-21-12 (4)

Our potato harvest.
235_366 08-21-12

We are a little disappointed that we didn't get that much.  But I'm not giving up!  I have ideas forming and will have a new plan for how I'm going to grow potatoes next year, because I will be growing potatoes again.

Some things I learned, or think I learned:
1.  Too much straw lining the sides and not enough soil for the potatoes to grow.
2.  The bottom sprouted before the top, and the larger potatoes were on the bottom.
3.  Maybe covering with soil as they grow isn't a bad idea, and I might try that next year.
4.  I would like to try a smaller tower - about half the size.  The top half of the tower was dry and the bottom half was moist.  Plus - our bottom half was ready now but our top half probably could have gone another 2 weeks at least, maybe more.
5.  Only one kind of potato per tower/hill/what ever I decide.  The red potatoes were on the top and though I think they did well overall, I would have had more if they had more time to grow.  The starts I used from those were also ones I got from the grocery store that were in my cupboard a bit too long; which could be why they took so long to get growing compared to the yellow potato starts I bought that were on the bottom.  (Commercial sold potatoes are sprayed with a chemical that prevents/slows the potato sprouting eyes.)

The good/bad news is I don't have to figure out to store them long term since I only got a few meals worth of potatoes.

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