Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Potato, Potahto

Months ago I had some potatoes slowly growing eyes in the bottom of the cupboard.  

Truth to tell, they almost had legs and arms as well and were about to hold hostage the bottles of tomatoes and cucumber pickles!  Anyhoo, I thwarted their tyrannical tendencies and conducted a sneaky early-morning raid and put them to service in the garden!
At that time I had mulched some new garden beds - under the lemonade trees, along the fence line.  I had read somewhere (Jackie French?) that potatoes are wonderful at breaking up hard, difficult soil and turning it into something nice and crumbly with no back-breaking digging needed.  With nothing to lose, I decided to give it a go.  Into the mulch and lawn clippings I put about twenty chitting potatoes.  Loosely covered, I then watered them in and promptly forgot about them.
Eventually they poked their heads up above their coverings and announced their presence to the world.  A bit more water (when I remembered) on my part and they were away.  I also planted some into a spare garden bed - one can never have too many potatoes over winter!
And now, finally, after months of neglect, ignorance and downright apathy on my part, they are putting out, and putting out big time!  This afternoon I went out with the intention of pulling a few weeds (any excuse to spend some quality time in the fading winter-afternoon sun) and came back inside with half a bucketful of spuds!  Yummo!
Interestingly, the plants planted in the spare garden bed (with it's delicious soil) haven't produced anywhere near as well as those that were chucked willy-nilly under some grass clippings and mulch and left to fend for themselves.  Only one decent sized potato as compared to five or six. Note for self there - less care = more return.  If only that applied everywhere!
So tonight we are having potatoes for dinner.  I don't know how yet - mashed, roasted, coated in garlic butter, wrapped in foil and thrown in the coals of the fire, mmmmm - a minor detail for sure!

On a side note, the potatoes did a wonderful job at loosening the soil.  Their roots broke it all up and kept it beautiful and moist and a simple slide of the fork into the soil to lift them was super easy.  The no-care factor means I will definitely be using this method again!  What can I say, I'm lazy!


  1. Now THAT'S my kind of gardening. I was just talking yesterday about how I want to grow potatoes. I have plenty of yard that is being neglected. I might as well make the best of it!

  2. I'm going to try this. I have a hard patch of ground right down the back of our yard that potatoes might be able to break up a little for me.

  3. Haven't they done well! And I can almost taste them - freshly picked spuds are soooo delicious, and a rare treat we only get when we grow our own! Enjoy! :)

  4. I totally recommend giving it a go! So easy and best of all - no effort!

    I ended up mashing them up for dinner - yum, creamy mashed potato (with some bangers and gravy - even better!).


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