One of the things we value, is good nutritious food. Grown locally, and with care. This year we tried to grow a few crops of our own, in order to learn and refresh these skills.
One of the crops we wanted to grow were second early potatoes. Potatoes can take up quite some space, and make the soil poor, so we wanted to explore alternatives to tackle both. Growing potatoes in a bucket without bottom was our method of choice. In February we got some large buckets (20 liters), removed the bottom, placed them onto the soil, filled them half way with more soil. After that we put in our seed potatoes and covered them up with even more soil.
After the potatoes started growing, we kept adding layers of soil on top (earth up) to make sure the shoots did not get any exposure to sunlight. This will cause black and green potatoes and will delay or even inhibit the growth of new potatoes. Second early crops like these, like to stay relatively moist, so watering the crops is a must in dry weather.
New potatoes can be harvested when the crops get flowers, but most harvesting happens when the leaves and stems have withered to make sure the potatoes have formed a thick skin. We decide to take the middle ground, and harvested some time after flowering, but still with most of the leaves fairly green.
What an exited moment it was to turn the buckets upside down!
I can almost taste the stews, soups, wedges and fries already.
We have a saying here that city people will starve to death, next to a field of potatoes. Simply because they have forgotten what crops like these look like. But even in the supermarket is has proven to be a hard one. Last year we bought some zucchini and the young cashier looked at us, and asked confused ‘What are these?! Some strange kind of cucumbers maybe?’.
This small harvest will last us up to two weeks. Cant’t wait to try the first ones tonight with a pinch of coarse salt and rosemary.
Get started your self
For us, life is not about the big wins, but about these small steps. Two weeks of potatoes may not be much, but it is a delicious start! What crops have you got growing in your garden?
Feel free to share a comment, advice, question or your thoughts on this subject. They are always much appreciated!