Potato harvesting – most fun you can have in a hay stack?

Posted on: February 18, 2009

I dare say yes!
My oh my. I was like a kid on an Easter egg hunt… only I’m a 30 year old and had elbow high gloves on, while I foraged though piles and piles of hay searching for potatoes.
I was cautious in my hopes for the harvest after the heatwave had killed off the potato plants. My brother-out-law had been predicting a mammoth harvest, in fact he had planned to buy us hessian bags for Christmas in anticipation of our ‘potato harvest 09’ as he dubbed it.
I pulled out a potato plant stalk and was heartbroken to see just lots of little tiny potatos the size of small berries attached to it. Oh no! But then I pushed back the hay from another corner and saw lots and lots of happy looking worms. I cleared a bit of earth and found a giant purple sapphire potato – yippee!
Most of the potatoes were at the bottom of the massive stack. As you may recall, my first attempt of potato growing was using the no dig method of growing them above ground and piling over with hay and compost, and then continuing to pile on the hay to make the plants grow upward and give us more potatoes.
Note for next time – you can’t just keep keep piling on nothing but dry hay on the plants in the attempt to make them continue growing up, hence increasing the yield. Dry hay is not the world’s best growing medium. Must remember to also do a layer of compost inbetween the hay AND water them! It’s so true that it’s important to keep the veggie patch close to the house where you can see it and remember to water it. Our potato patch was at the end of the garden where we intend to eventually put a water tank. Thought it’d be the last time we get to use that space in this way. Next time I think we might try using recycled tyres to grow them in and stack upwards. However, I think this was a solid effort for a first attempt.

2 Responses to "Potato harvesting – most fun you can have in a hay stack?"

Ta for the update. Shame you didn’t get more but you’ve learnt all the tricks so I can try this method without any errors!

The look lovely too and I’m guessing they’re really clean when you uncover them which is cool as we’re water rationing fiends!

OMG your spuds are AMAZING! I think the purple ones will have extra nutritional power because I was reading that the ingredient that makes veg purple is…. well, uh, extra nutritional. Cancer-fighting I believe.
I wonder, if you made gnocchi from them, would it be PURPLE?!?!?!?!

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