Potato Tower Update - July

I've been helping out at the Bountiful Sprout co-op this month, filling in for the gracious Cindy while she takes a well-deserved vacation. I noticed that several of the farmers were selling fresh potatoes, and it got me to wondering, are mine finally ready for harvest?

The tops have taken a beating with the sudden & continued onslaught of heat this season, but keep re-greening. Despite the remaining green, figured I'd go ahead and check out at least one tower. If the contents looked good, I'd harvest the rest.

The growing medium - nothing but pure compost - has done some settling, like a box of cereal or bag of chips. It was easy to dig through with my bare hands (like I'd take the time to find gloves anyways, right?). Besides, using hands to harvest the tubers would be much gentler on the potatoes - much less chance of nicking or gouging the tender 'tater - than if I used a garden spade.

The harvest itself? Kinda disappointing. Two large and one small seed potato yielded slightly less than two pounds of potatoes, of which most were very small. Looks like I should have left this tower alone for a few more weeks yet. I'm also wondering if I should have blended some topsoil into the compost. Potatoes can be heavy feeders, but too much nitrogen and not enough phosphorous might have affected tuber development, and I really don't know what the balance is/was in that particular batch of compost. Ah well, two more towers of 'taters await in the wings, and we'll see what the harvest is like for those in a few more weeks.

An enterprising chicken, digging through the remains.

1 comment:

  1. My potato towers don't seem to be doing well either. They had green tops at first and then for several weeks no tops were visible. Now we have some tops again. I'm not feeling hopeful.


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