Tag Archive: potato


spud 5

Last winter I plated 8 different types of potatoes to determine if any type of potato is better suited to container gardening (and therefore more prolific). In the last couple of weeks I’ve finally harvested the last bag of potatoes (Inova – was probably ready to harvest in early Feb, but distractions meant I only dug them up in March) and I can now report on what I found.

Inova - the last harvest

Inova – the last harvest

Unfortunately there was no clear winner out of the 8 – the Pontiac, Ruby Lou, Coliban, Desiree and Sebago all did quite well, and there were only grams between their finishing weights. However the others (Inova, Nicola and Dutch Cream) weren’t really that far behind – only around 100g lighter finishing weight which isn’t much! In number of potatoes they ranged from 15-20 larger ones per bag, or up to 30 smaller ones depending on the type. All still smaller than what you’d commercially buy in the supermarket. Although I will always strive for and wish for larger harvests, when there are only two of us to feed the small collections are ample and means there is never any wastage.

spud 4

Dutch cream

spud 1

Desiree

  spud 3

What I hadn’t realised initially was the harvest range I would end up with. The first potato harvest was back in October last year, and the harvests carried through gradually until this month! 6 months of potatoes – really not what I had expected. So while I can’t recommend a certain type of potato to try out in containers – I would highly recommend trying a range so that you can enjoy gorgeous, buttery home grown potatoes for half a year. That’s what I did and I’d definitely do it again!

spud 7

Summer begins

Summer is finally here! Over the past week we’ve had some lovely sunny days, followed by rainy nights and the garden has loved the combination. It’s only the second day of summer and already the first zucchini is ready to harvest – hopefully it’s an indication of what the season will bring. What better way to end the day than with one of my usual summer favourites:  zucchini fritters with home grown roast potatoes and herbs. Simply superb!

zucc 1zucc 2

zucc 4

You may remember back in winter I planted a range of potatoes to see if there was a variation in success of different types (see “Lots of Spuds“) They all took off and started growing really well, which made me feel great! However not long after this, two of the potato plants started to die off and one in particular (Sebago) – died completely.

Dead Sebago potatoes next to other healthy ones in the garden

Dying Ruby Lou potato plants next to other healthy ones

I was devastated! Surely it was too early for the potatoes to be ready for harvesting … what had I done wrong? The potatoes were all treated the same way, and were next to other potatoes that looked really healthy. With a heavy heart last week I decided to dig the plant up and investigate what disease or pest had ended my crop. But to my surprise and delight I found no sign of any disease or pests – instead what was waiting for me was a healthy little crop of potatoes!

Sebago potatoes

It seems without realising it I have always grown late season varieties, but in trying a mix of lots of different types of potatoes I had grown some early season ones as well. Adding to my harvest, the Ruby Lou and Pontiac potatoes were also ready this weekend. All that’s left now is to start enjoying some roast potatoes for dinner – but when they look so colourful and taste so good, who can complain about that?!

Ruby Lou & Pontiac

Our dinner, ready to go into the oven, complete with fresh herbs from the garden

While I may have a small garden – I try not to do things by halves. I try to squeeze in as many plants as will successfully grow, use every inch of space I have and am ever hopeful of getting the kind of plentiful harvest most other gardeners enjoy. In saying that, if you saw the size of my garden you’d probably laugh at the 2kgs of seed potatoes I bought to plant out… but as I can’t hear you from here – they’ve gone in!

A lot of people can’t be bothered growing potatoes given how cheap they are at the supermarket – but they are just so easy to grow! Last year I got some grow bags to put them in (so I could pack them up at the end of the season, and move them as our renovations progressed) and it was so exciting tipping out the bags to see how many had grown. I planted this year’s spuds out last week and will be harvesting them in summer. I bought a variety pack including 1/2kg each of Inova, Nicola, Coliban, Desiree, Sebago, Pontiac, Ruby Lou and Dutch Cream. I’m growing them all under the same conditions, so I’ll be interested to see which ones grow better and give a larger harvest. Will keep you updated with the results…