Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oops, a harvest!

Well, my experiment with growing spuds in a bag had an unexpected early part-harvest the other day, thanks mostly to Huey and his playful dumping of four inches of rain in one day on my garden. Most of the plants here just soaked up that heavy rain, but two of my six spud plants in bags went weak at the knees, keeled over, carked it, gave up the ghost. In a matter of days they started to look like ex-spud plants and a week later it was all over for them. No option but to dig down and count the bodies.

For an early harvest from a plant cut down in mere middle age, I can't grumble too much about this bunch of Spunta spuds.

Looking up Spuntas on the net and it seems these make very nice chips, although they also get a mention in despatches for being a good all-rounder. The more I read about how good Spuntas are, the more I lament their early demise! I want more of them (and I cooked some last night and yes indeed they are very yummy).

These are the spud bags just a day or two after all that rain - you can see the wilters wilting and yellowing already.

A week later and two plants have died back and the early harvest is completed.

The other victim, the purple 'Saphire' spuds, barely produced anything – just this little bunch of cocktail-size spuds which, when I cooked them, had a remarkably nice flavour for such small, under-developed spuds. And so I weep for missing out on more of them, too!

The one fun thing about this early harvest is, of course, the harvesting itself – a dirty business! Here in Australia we use the term 'bandicooting' to describe the way you burrow into the soil with your hand and arm to find spuds. (It's named after one of our native burrowing marsupials, the bandicoot, whose mostly nocturnal burrowing activities in search of food do not endear them to gardeners who have to share the same patch of ground with them.)

Shouldn't complain though. There are still four plants chugging along, hopefully growing bigger and more numerous tubers every day. And I can't blame Huey for the spud plants' demise, though. I did just have the bags sitting on the ground. Though they have a good number of drainage holes, if I had sat the bags up on something to let the water drain away, it might have helped a lot. I've done that now, and hopefully the remaining spud plants will go on to live out their full allotted time and leave behind some delicious crops that I just know I am going to enjoy!


howtoshuckanoyster said...

WOW! If my dead spuds are as fab as that I'll be ecstatic. I expect not - going out to bandicoot v shortly!!

Melinda said...

Jamie, my garlic turned out even smaller than yours. See my blog for (disappointing) visual! I blame Sydney weather...!

Onesimus said...

I have four lots of potatoes growing in bags (2 each of Kipfler and Nicola) and one raised bed of another type that I can't recall right now.

All of them have been severely hit by the heat. We had about two weeks of temperatures in the mid 30s (Celsius)and as well as drying up almost every flower in the garden, it changed the lush green growth of my spuds into spindly dry stems with a token bit of healthy looking foliage.

The mystery spuds in the raised bed have been hit worst.