Sunday, July 3, 2011
Growing potatoes but not in-ground ( Part #3 )
What you see on the picture is the result of early blight on potato plants. It's normal and desired when you grow early varieties of potato seeds. It's the end of June and it's time to harvest my Yukon gold variety.
Just pull the plant and dig by hand to find the potatoes in the soil. This year's harvesting season is normal. I started with 2 pounds of seeds and it yielded 10 pound of potatoes. On the picture below you see only 8.5 pounds because I already harvested the two other containers a week earlier.
Growing a small batch of early potatoes really fits our need. As opposed to the Russet variety - a late variety which is good for storage - they need only 3 months to grow, the seeds are often available in small batches, little use of chemicals is needed, and they are ready to be stored after being dried (cured) outside for a few hours.
The other thing I like is this: because we live in central Maryland, it's possible to have a second harvest of an early variety of potatoes, like many cold crops, when seeded at the beginning of August. If all goes well, they will be harvested just before Thanksgiving when the first hard frost will kill the plants.