In the Cursed Sand Pit of Death, as I call our previous rental property, we grew a lot of potatoes.
Yet the production was poor! We barely beat the amount of seed we put in, despite attempting to amend the ground. We used alfalfa, compost, cover crops and even 10-10-10 to try and grow decent potatoes. Though the plants often looked good, the root yields were poor. Many were scabby, rotten, filled with bug holes, tiny, or otherwise unuseable.
This year, however, we have decent soil thanks to our move to our own homestead. The soil here actually looks like soil, rather than weird, powdery grit with river gravel in it. The weeds, grass and trees here grow thick and green.
And the potatoes are doing the same. We pulled a few test plants ahead of the harvest schedule, just to see what we have.
The Adirondack blue potatoes we planted in the yam row seem to be producing excellently, if we can judge by the one plant we pulled.
That’s much better than our previous potato yields. We were lucky to double the seed we planted.
The real test of potatoes is of course to make hashbrowns.
Here’s a shredded blue potato:
Lots of anthocyanins there!
Our chef took these shreds and fried them in bacon fat:
Making perfect hasbrowns:
From the field to the plate is about one hundred feet. Not bad!
They were delicious, by the way. I’m quite happy to see that these blue potatoes have decided to do well for us. The bed I planted them in was full of rotten grass from when the bed was tilled and mounded up in the course of making the Grocery Row Gardens.
Meanwhile, I have other rows of potatoes that are almost ready. We pulled a single test potato plant in each of the Kennebec, Yukon Gold, Red La Soda and Pontiac rows.
Of these, the Yukon Gold plant we pulled had by far the best yield.
This is as expected, since they were also the top performed at The Cursed Sand Pit of Death.
Our potato rows this year were fed with a little ashes and some manure tilled into the ground. Nothing serious. And yet, they are doing much better than the potatoes we worked so hard to get at the rental property.
Soil is everything! I can’t wait to see how well we do after a few years of building this ground and adding compost. We’ve finally got enough materials to make lots of compost, plus we have cows that are making tons of manure.
God is good. We are blessed with land that will grow potatoes!
We’ll see how the final yields tally up in a month or so when it’s time for the final harvest.
The purple potatoes might do well in your grocery row system. When Dad planted some when I was in grade school, he heard that they were vigorous and he planted them in the waste area between the garden and the hedge. They came back for years on the potatoes we didn’t manage to dig up.
You reminded me of my mother. She used to say, “If you have taters to eat, then everything is going to be alright.” I’d say about 95% of my suppers growin up where soup beans & fried taters. The other 5% included mashed taters! Plus potato soup & cornbread for wintertime lunches. She was of course, correct.
That’s an awesome yield from just one plant!
Always enjoy your posts Dave. Waiting for my own Yukon Golds to be ready, but mine aren’t as far along (I’m in 9b and a new potato grower, so fingers crossed). Keep writing. Laura
Good luck! And thank you.