There was a TV commercial from the 80s which featured a Dunkin’ Donuts guy waking up early in the morning and he would cheerfully say “Time to make the donuts” as he rose from bed. My mom use to make donuts. No one she worked with was that cheerful that early in the morning. I think it’s just a TV thing.
Anyway, the potato vines died so it’s time to dig the taters. I wasn’t sure what to expect this year. Most of my potatoes washed down the river with the rest of Iowa, but I have a few stashed here at home as a backup. I planted a 4×4 square and a 2×6 with fingerlings. Also, I planted my neighbors tractor tire flower bed with potatoes. Seriously, here in Iowa a tractor tire can also double as a flower bed. Anyway, the fingerlings worked out to about 8 lbs, I think because I dug the 2×6 bed too early so none of them sized up. But the 4×4 bed did pretty good. Not as good as Red Pontiacs but I can live with it.
I thought fingerlings were supposed to be some super great tasting potato, but I like small red potatoes better, so they’re probably making their only appearance in my garden this year.
The plants in my neighbors tire didn’t produce jack shit. I think they were too shaded. The soil there was great, but by the time the trees leaved out I just don’t think there was enough sun. I got a few Yukon Golds but I gave them to her to enjoy. The vines weren’t completely dead so maybe I dug them too early. Or maybe they needed more nutrients. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll try it again next year.
I still have one container full which is still flowering since I’ve covered it up with more leaves to produce more spuds, hopefully. I also planed more recently to harvest later this fall, and I have a few more sprouting which I’ll put in the ground soon too.
I hate digging potatoes because it causes me to do two things I hate to do, turn over the soil and step on the garden beds. I do what I can to avoid stepping on the bed, but I can’t do anything about turning over the beds. I’m a firm believer in layering. I never till or turn over the soil. I don’t think it does anything, with the soil I have, so why do it. So, when I need to add compost I dump it on top. Mulch goes on top. When I need to plant I pull back the mulch and plant, then move the mulch back over. Everyone has their own opinion on what works, but I try to mimic the way nature builds soil. This means I don’t till it up and I just add layer after layer after layer of organic material to the tops. Essentially building the soil from the top down.
I hope you all had success with your potatoes.