Potato Success!

Yesterday felt like fall, and after a long summer in South Jersey, that's a real treat. I went up to the office early and got to work so I could get out into the yard. I packaged all the Rolodex cards and dividers and study cards that needed to get mailed, and then I went out to play.

My first stop was the vegetable garden. I had planted potatoes in mid-April and I wanted to check on them. I've never tried potatoes before, so I had no idea what to expect. I wasn't expecting much, since all I did was plant some old potatoes from my cupboard that had started to sprout. And I had neglected them all summer. But I took my biggest mixing bowl out to collect them, just in case.

Potato grown from store bought potatoes

I am SO psyched! I started digging and the bed was FULL of potatoes! They're firm and so solid and they look amazing. I dug the whole bed up and got 15 pounds of potatoes. And that's just from a 5 x 5 bed.

Pretty good for a free experiment. I will definitely plant them again next year, and will write a step by step post. But here's a quick rundown just so you see how easy it was.

Grow potatoes from store bought ones

Back in mid-April, as the gardening season was getting going, I found some shriveled potatoes in the cupboard. They had sprouts all over them, and were nothing but compost. Or were they? I decided to check the internet to see if I could plant them. 

The internet wasn't encouraging, but it could be done. It sounded like I'd be lucky if any potatoes grew, and if they did they'd be tiny. Which is good enough for me.

I cut the potatoes into chunks with an eye/sprout on each chunk. Then I dug deep holes and put the chunks into the dirt and covered them. Then I ignored them for four and a half months. No lie. They'd get water when I watered the rest of the garden, but they got no attention from me.

Backyard organic vegetable garden

Here are the potato plants next to the pumpkins. This was in July. They got flowers on them and weird little green balls. I figured that was encouraging; something was happening.

Organic potatoes being harvested

Here's what they looked like yesterday as I dug them up. The greenery had all died and just the withered stem was left above ground.

home grown organic potatoes

And here it is: my very first potato harvest. I've been looking up fun new potato recipes on Pinterest, so I'm going to try them tonight. And next year, I'm going to plant a TON of them!



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