Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spuds in sacks

Yesterday I decided to investigate how the early potatoes were getting on as the book says to check once the plants begin to flower, which mine have. In doing this, I have discovered a flaw in the potato planters which I am growing them in. In order to get to the bottom of the sack to see if the spuds were big enough to harvest, the whole thing basically had to be emptied out in the end.

At first I tried to carefully removed the soil with a trowel into a trug as I wasn't sure exactly how far down the spuds might be. After removing about half of the soil there was still no sign. In the end I had to just empty the entire sack and it was still a job to find the potatoes in there.

The poor foliage of the potato plants has been a magnet for snails and we've moved them out from the back fence now as it just seemed to be a hidey hole for slugs and snails. I've trimmed off the really badly eaten stems and I just hope this doesn't affect the plants too much.

After all that, the potatoes are not fully developed yet and I have inadvertently sacrificed one sack worth of potatoes to discover this. Still, I have another planter of the same variety so we should still get to harvest something. Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way.


Organic City Garden said...

Glad I read your post! I too am growing my spuds in bags this year and have been sorely tempted to empty one out recently. The Charlotte bags have started to flower which is an indication that spuds are afoot but I think I'll wait another couple of weeks!

Sorry you've had to waste a bag finding out!

TheBuddingVeggieGrower said...

Definitely a case of learning the hard way! Never mind. I still have two more sacks left so hopefully I'll still get harvest something to eat!

John Curtin said...

As a rule of thumb you can expect small sized spuds about two weeks or so after they have flowered (and the flowers have died back). That said I harvested some (small it must be said) Edzell Blue on the weekend and that was still in flower. Best to wait though, water well while in flower to increase the number and size of spud!

TheBuddingVeggieGrower said...

Thanks for the advice John!

I've moved the planters into a sunnier spot and have been watering them despite the recent heavy rain so hopefully they'll do alright.