Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

October Garden Update – Unexpected Potatoes! October 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 6:00 pm
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I love growing potatoes.  Potatoes and onions are my favorite things to grow.  I experimented growing them in potato grow bags in the late winter/early  spring and I didn’t properly mound the plants or do anything I was supposed to have done.  They failed for the most part.  So, I was anxious to try again, and put them back in the raised bed.  In August, I planted Red Lasodas, Kennebecs, and Fingerlings.  I watered and waited.  And waited.   I ran my hands over the soil for any tiny hint of growth that perhaps my eye didn’t catch.  And nothing.  A weed here and there.  Then I started digging.  I dug up one gross little mushy thing that was either a composting fingerling or a grub worm.  I didn’t look at it long enough to discern which, before covering it back up.  I don’t like squishy things.    So, after August and September came and went, I planted over the potato patch, and decided to try again in February or so.  I planted spinach, broccoli, bok choi and tended to the tomato volunteer, also in that bed.  Then about a week ago, I noticed a new plant emerging next to the bok choi.  A potato plant.  I waited until it got bigger, then another one emerged right next to a broccoli plant.

 

Potato Plant!

Another Potato Plant

 

There may be a third emerging, I can’t quite tell.  I don’t think the whole 4×4 area will emerge in potatoes – these may be my only two plants.  So I relocated a bok choi, much to its displeasure.  In order to make the most of these potatoes, they need to be mounded, so they can produce potatoes up the stalk of the plant, not just under the soil.  But, having planted the bed fully with other vegetables, this poses a dilemma.  So, for now, I mounded the larger plant, until I can construct an enclosure that won’t take up too much space, but will be big enough for me to mound around these plants and have enough room for potatoes to sprout all around.

 

Larger plant, mounded for now

This is a good problem to have.  Potatoes, where I thought there would be none.  So, I’m thinking the soil temperature was still too warm for them to sprout when I planted, and some of them just hung out until conditions were right.

 

 

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