Potatoes – Harvest 2013

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We learned a ton of things about growing potatoes this year. Mostly mistakes we made in our ambition to grow ALL the things… And then many injuries and weather conditions changed a lot of our plans…

Here are the top 3 things we learned:

1) Use seed potatoes for a more reliable crop. We just planted regular potatoes from the grocery store that we let sprout. Next year we will be buying proper seed potatoes to prevent some of the issues we had this year. The bonus of this, is that there is a farm a little north of here that sells a wide variety of seed potatoes! Locally grown!

2) Don’t plant so deep. We were really just guessing on depth. I haven’t personally grown potatoes in the ground before, so I had no idea. But when it came to harvest them, we found out the error of our ways.

3) Weed! Don’t skip this because the weeds will use nutrients from the soil and block sunlight that would otherwise be going to your potatoes (and other veggies too). It is also not that fun to search through a forest of weeds to try and find your potato row to harvest. Especially when the primary weed of the bunch is thistles!

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I’m excited to try a bunch of different kinds of potatoes next year. Specifically: Pink Fir Apples! I have read about them and watched a few videos on them on YouTube, so I want to try them myself now!

I also want to educate myself a bit more during the long cold winter on the different varieties and their growing lengths… So I can grow something I like that does well here.  Like perhaps, scab resistant varieties… because our purple potatoes in the high-manure content garden at the Barn were quite scabby.

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The Russet-type potatoes seemed to like the horse-poo dirt and grew pretty large.  (I feel like I should add a note in here, that it isn’t “fresh-from-the-source” manure worked into the garden… It is pretty well rotted and composted… It is just that since we are a horse barn, with nearly 30 horses on the property… the primary ingredient in the compost piles is horse manure and wood bedding)

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All in all, we had a successful potato year, full of learning experiences, and new knowledge to carry over to next year! I can’t wait.

Also, If you recall, I also grew potatoes in containers… That were decimated by hail… And then I harvested early… I hope to slightly expand my container potato situation and be more diligent in hail protection. It was nice to be able to take about 10 steps out of my house and grab a few potatoes for dinner. So I hope to continue farther into the season with that next year.

Interested in our other vegetables this year? I wrote about the Carrots last week, and you can read all about Goliath the Giant Turnip here. I have to wrap up the rest of the vegetable harvest posts in the next 2 weeks also, so keep your eye out for those.

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