July 19, 2012 - Potatoes, Potatoes and More Potatoes!

Before I start bragging, I'd like to thank all who wished me a happy 4th. blogiversary.   You, my dear cyber friends, are the ones that keep this old gal going.  And going, and going, and going....

Now I'll brag.

Today I dug the last of the potatoes.  From only 4.5 pounds of seed potatoes, I harvested a total of 109.69 pounds.  I was hoping to get ten pounds per pound of seed.  I harvested over 24 pounds per pound of seed.

I began "stealing" small potatoes from under the plants as soon as they blossomed.  If I had let those mature, who knows how many pounds I would have ended up with.  The varieties grown were 1-1/2 pounds each Dark Red Norland, Yukon Gold and Russet Norkotah.  The red and gold were excellent.  I wouldn't grow the russets again.  They are excellent for baking, but I didn't care for them for anything else, as they fell apart when boiling.

2012 Potato Harvest in Pictures

 6/3 - 10.3 ounces

 6/6 - 1.7 pounds

 6/8 - 15 ounces

 6/10 - 1.6 pounds

 6/11 - 1.8 pounds

 6/15 - 3.3 pounds

 6/16 - 4.5 pounds

6/19 (no photo) - 2.05 pounds


 6/22 - 1.6 pounds

 6/24 - 7.8 pounds

 6/28 - 3.8 pounds

 7/2 - 4.6 pounds

 7/5 - 3.5 pounds

 7/7 - 1.1 pounds

 7/9 - 2.6 pounds

 7/11 - 7.9 pounds

 7/12 - 2 pounds

 7/15 (#1)

 7/15 (#2) - 16.4 pounds total

 7/16 - 1.8 pounds

 7/17 - 8.6 pounds

7/19 -  32.1 lb.



4-1/2 pounds seed potatoes: $4.05
Price per harvested pound: less than 4-cents



48 comments:

  1. Congtulations on the 4 years, I'm sorry I missed that post. And YAY on wonderful potato harvest! I hope to have somewhere near you as I'm yet to pull yukons, fingerlings and most of the whites.

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  2. Wow Granny, that's an amazing amount of potatoes!!

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  3. You're showing just off! We haven't had nearly that amount! But then we are still harvesting. :-)

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    1. 5olly, yes, I just had to brag. I've never harvested that many potatoes from my garden ever before! Thirty-six pounds was my previous high, about the same amount as I dug yesterday alone!

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  4. Do you live near a nuclear plant? What the heck! That's a crazy amount of taters for what you planted.
    I agree with you on the Russets-I grew them last year-they were flawless and delicious, but hubby and I don't eat enough "bakers" to justify the space. I only wish my beloved Yukons had produced as heavily. Hopefully this year will be better.

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    1. Sue, yes. Yes I do. I'm right across the river from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation! See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanford_Site

      We love the Yukons too, but I think I liked the Norlands even more as they really hold their shape in cooking. I will always grow both, as the two pretty much cover all the ways we like to eat 'em.

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  5. Wow. 24 lbs per pound of sweet potatoes must be some kind of record. When I grew them I was always shooting for 10:1 too. Some years I didn't make it. Have you been leaving them on people's doorsteps, ringing the bell, and then running?

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    1. LOL, Daphne, they were seed potatoes, not sweet potatoes. I'll be lucky if I get a single sweet potato from my trial!

      We love potatoes. You'd be surprised at how many we've already eaten, and all the kids have been hauling a few to their homes too. They're feeding 4 families and sometimes the next door neighbor.

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    2. I meant Irish potatoes not sweet potatoes. My mind must have been on them as they are my potato replacement. I hope I do as well with sweet potatoes. Heck with the heat we have had, I have a chance. Our season is pretty short though. And it didn't warm up until the middle of June.

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  6. How long do they last for you? How do you store them?

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    1. Langela, the most I've ever harvested before was 36 pounds, so ask me again in a few months! I have them in boxes in the garage, covered with towels to keep them out of the light. The small or damaged ones (yes, I speared a few) are on my counter or in the fridge, waiting to be cooked right away. Mashed potatoes tonight :-)

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  7. I missed it but wanted to wish you a belated Happy Blogiversary! Wow! That is an incredible haul of potatoes!! Your expanded garden sure is serving you well. It was worth the work.

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    1. Thank you, Rachel. So far so good on the garden expansion, but the new area sure needs a year or two of added compost to get up to par. It was fine for the cabbages and beans, and the squash is doing great, but some of the other things I planted there seem to struggle.

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  8. That looks great. Can they be stored for several months? Maybe next year I'll try growing some potatoes. I've never grown them before.

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    1. Shoba, I sure hope so, but with four families eating them I think they will be used up before that long. If I had a cool basement they'd store fine, but I have to keep them in the garage.

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  9. Absolutely amazing harvest! What is your secret to growing potatoes?

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    1. Agriburbia, I always grow mine the same way. This was just a really good year, I guess. Although, looking back at my records I see I only planted 15 seed chunks (no record of how much they weighed) and harvested over 30 pounds from them. This year I had around 54 plants so the harvest was on a par with previous years at about 2 pounds per plant.

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  10. Wow granny! How do you store all those potatoes? Your garden is so productive!

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    1. Tosh, in the garage, in the dark. I doubt they'll store too long there, so we'll be eating them as fast as we can!

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  11. WOW, that's a great potato harvest!!!! I'm very impressed.

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    1. Dorothy, I thought it was great....then I checked back on previous years and found it was on a par with what I've always grown, I just had a lot more plants!

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    1. Bangchik, the red and gold ones were lovely, but the Russet variety did have some scab.

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  13. Awesome potato harvest! Less than 4 cents per pound is incredible. I don't know how you do it, but I'm duly impressed.

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  14. That does it, I'm tipping out one of the grow bags in the morning!

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    1. Keep us posted on how many you get, David!

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  15. My mouth has hit the floor and I am in awe of your potatoes. I tried to grow sweet potatoes the first year we had our garden but I was not successful. I was told to place a small amount of dirt in my bed and as the plant grew, add more dirt until I reached the top. I was told I would get a lot of potatoes. Lets just say I followed the instructions but didn't have any success getting potatoes. I have a friend who just planted potato plants like a regular plant. I have no clue which way is correct. Can I play student and ask some questions?

    1. what is seed potatoes? you said: "From only 4.5 pounds of seed potatoes, I harvested a total of 109.69 pounds." not sure what that means, from a package of seeds or a special plant. (I am totally showing my ignorance here).

    2. How do you know when to pick potatoes? You mentioned blossom, do they flower? do the pop up from the ground?

    3. regarding storing, is the rule to store in a cool dark place? So if I grew potatoes and only had a wooden bin in a cool room of my house would they store well?

    You have become a teacher to me already. Just the few comments about my cantaloupe and watermelon has helped me and reading your blog has provided me with so much helpful information. I appreciate you Granny!!! Thank you!!!!! Happy 4th blogiversary! I appreciate the advice and willingness to answer my questions! In my opinion, you are awesome!

    Congrats on such a great harvest and blog!

    http://www.growitathome.wordpress.com
    Joelle

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    1. OK, Joelle, here we go! (And thank you for the kind words and blogiversary wishes!)

      1. what is seed potatoes? you said: "From only 4.5 pounds of seed potatoes, I harvested a total of 109.69 pounds." not sure what that means, from a package of seeds or a special plant. (I am totally showing my ignorance here).

      Do you see those little "dimples" in the potatoes? Those are called eyes, and each eye will eventually send out a sprout. Most store bought potatoes have been treated, so will not sprout. Therefore, they are no good for growing more potatoes. That's why we buy certified "seed potatoes", which are nothing but potatoes that have not been treated, and are certified to be disease free. I like to buy little seed potatoes and plant them whole (golf ball sized). However, sometimes those are not available, so I buy larger potatoes and cut them into chunks about the size of that golf ball. I make sure each chunk has at least two eyes. The more eyes, the more potatoes it will grow, but two are sufficient. If I have to cut the seed potatoes into chunks, I lay the chunks out on a windowsill, on a paper towel, and let the cut surfaces dry for a couple of days before planting them.

      I plant my potatoes very early in the spring (March 15 where I live) in a well dug then leveled bed that's 3-4 feet wide. I dig a trench about 10" deep the width of the bed, and place a "seed potato/chunk" about every 10 inches at the bottom of the trench, then cover it with 3 or 4 inches of soil, leaving the excess soil along side the trench. Then I dig another trench about a foot away (guess, don't measure, it's not rocket science) and repeat. I continue right down the bed like that. As the plants begin to grow, about 5-6 inches high, start pushing that extra soil around them. Leave a few leaves sticking out, and let those grow another 5-6 inches, then pull up more soil. Do this until the bed is level again. All of the potato plants may not grow at the same rate, so you might be pulling the soil in around some, while others haven't even broken the surface yet. That's normal, don't worry, just pull the soil around the growing ones. The others will come along when they're good and ready, then you can pull soil around them too (this is called "hilling).

      2. How do you know when to pick potatoes? You mentioned blossom, do they flower? do the pop up from the ground?

      They usually flower. I have had some that didn't but usually they do. As soon as those blossoms die and drip off, you can start digging for small new potatoes. If you're careful, you can dig around near the surface with your hands and pull the small potatoes away from the mother plant without harming her, so she'll continue to form tubers, and they will get much larger. Before long, the plants will begin to yellow, get all ugly and floppy and look as though they are dying. That means the potatoes are ready to dig. Use a garden fork, and be careful. There will be potatoes under and all around each plant, and down as deep as a foot under ground. Do not leave them exposed to sunlight, and do not eat any that have turned green from being exposed to the light. If you are going to store them, do not wash them, just lightly dust them off with your hands.

      3. regarding storing, is the rule to store in a cool dark place? So if I grew potatoes and only had a wooden bin in a cool room of my house would they store well?

      Yes, they should store fine if the room is really cool. Check them often, because a rotting potato really does stink! I actually do keep a bin in my refrigerator filled, even though you're really not supposed to keep them there. I don't find they taste any different, they are good enough for us.

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    2. The blossoms DROP off, they don't DRIP off, LOL! I need to start proof reading :-)

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    3. This is AMAZING information!!! Thank you so much for helping me with potatoes. I would never get such valuable information from a book or my garden guy! I appreciate your patience and detail with all my questions. You are truly awesome and I love learning from you!

      Have you ever considered writing a gardening book? Your knowledge and wisdom could benefit so many people.

      http://www.growitathome.wordpress.com
      Joelle

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    4. Joelle, if I wrote it in a book, you'd have to pay for it. I'd rather give it away :-D

      No, really....if you need help at any time, you know where to find me.

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  16. Wow that is a phenomenal yeild from your seed potatoes. I am very impressed! My potato patch is dieing back. I will keep harvesting fresh use potatoes from it but always wait until the start of September to do my big potato lift so that I am taking them from cool ground to cool garage for storage without any exposure to warm temps in between - helps them to store longer. Judging by the amount of die back on my vegetation though, the tubers are really sizing up and finishing out.

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    1. Kitsap, I'm planting a fall garden where I had the onions and potatoes, so needed to have it all cleared out and ready to go by August 1. I think we can manage to eat them all before they spoil, as the kids all like to take a few each time they visit.

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  17. Wow fantastic potato harvest!

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  18. OK I just had to come visit you...after I read "wash your mouth out with soap" that you posted on Sue's blog, I needed to see for myself who this sassy woman was. Know I am hooked, Your blog is entertaining, crative and full of info.


    That a lot of taters!

    With All That I Am
    Carrie "The Handmade Homemaker"

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    1. Carrie, thank you for visiting and following!

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  19. Happy 4th Bloganniversary! Sorry I missed it. Sure do enjoy your posts. Wowsie on the potato harvest! Nancy

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