Friday, October 2, 2015

Garden 2015: Trash Can Potatoes FAIL!

Potatoes...we could eat them for every meal. We like them best roasted with rosemary and just a sprinkle of salt. Sometimes I roast the potatoes with carrots and garlic to make this amazing potato soup.

Planting potatoes in my garden began to seem like a necessity considering how many we eat. Last year we got quite a few from our garden. This year, well, not nearly as many. I planted two different varieties: High Mowing Organic Rose Finn Fingerling Potatoes and Organic German Butterball Potato. I decided to grow the Fingerlings in a trash can after I read how you could get 100 pounds of spuds. Supposedly the potatoes grow upwards as you add layers of dirt to plant growth, eventually filling the can with plenty of potatoes.

Supposedly. I'm not sure what went wrong. I filled the can with soil every 6 inches of plant growth, but it was mostly barren of potatoes. The very top of the can had tiny little spuds. They're so small they'll need to be roasted with the skin on, which will be tasty for sure. I just wish there were more of them.

Then there was over 2 feet of empty dirt. It was really compacted dirt, perhaps the result of too much rain this summer. Maybe the potatoes had a rough time growing in the harder dirt???

Several of the potatoes had weird little knobby bits on them. I should photograph them for one of those "Play with your food" style calendars.

The very bottom of the can had a few bigger potatoes. I barely got more potatoes out of the can than what I planted in it. This was disappointing considering how pricey the organic seed potatoes were. I could've purchased 50 pounds of potatoes from the produce aisle compared to what I paid for the seed potatoes.

I started with 6 Fingerling seed potatoes in the bottom of the can. 

And my final yield was pretty skimpy.

I forgot to take photos of the High Mowing potatoes that I planted in the garden. They didn't perform as well as the variety I planted last year, but they did a heck of a lot better than the trash can potatoes. I had one volunteer plant from a potato I missed in last year's garden that performed the best of all of the plants. It yielded eight huge potatoes about the size of my hand. All of the organic potato plants produced much smaller spuds and overall not as many.

So I guess I'll file the Trash Can Potato test under "Possible Fail." I don't know if it failed because of too much rain, the variety of potato, or something else. Maybe I'll try it again next year with a different potato variety.

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