We credit the increased yield to heavy soil amendments (straw and compost), broadfork digging and mounding straw and soil (thanks Belle). No, no, no. I take it all back, we credit the increase to not giving up on potatoes after last year's bust. We're so glad things went better this time around!
|The patch not dug.|
|The mostly dug patch and our boys gathering the goods.|
What about varieties? Yukon Gold was medium sized, smooth and beautiful, but our smallest producer. From 2 1/2 pounds we planted 22 eyes and harvested around 10 pounds -less than 1 pound per plant. German Butterball gave us the most poundage. From 2 1/2 pounds we planted 40 eyes and harvested around 50 pounds. That's 1 1/4 pounds per plant, but the potatoes were small. The Purple Viking is the most beautiful, the biggest in size and our medium producer. From 2 1/2 pounds we planted 30 eyes and harvested 30 pounds.
On average, if I have done the math right, we took about 1 pound of potatoes per plant. It's not 3 pounds per plant, but I can live with it!
|Them's some small potatoes.|
What did we learn? Mounding works! Clay is bad. Amending the soil was good. Broadforking for deep loose soil is great. And by the way, thank you Jane for recommending we use the broadfork to dig the potatoes! We also learned, as hard as it is to do with our limited space, to spread the plants out a little further for bigger potatoes and, I bet, even heavier yields.
We have one question for you now, and it has nothing to do with potatoes. When is it time to pick the Moon and Stars watermelon? We have 3 giants in the garden (thank you Robin for the seeds) and we're not sure when to bring them inside. Any thoughts?
|Half of this watermelon is hiding. It's at least 15 pounds!|
|Enlarge the picture to see them hiding.|
|Two more giants!|