The Harvest

It’s full-on harvest season! Here’s a little basket I gathered yesterday: zukes, carrots, turnips, the last radish (notice bite taken out of it), fava beans and beets.


Franster (and her dolly) helped me harvest some new potatoes, too. I grew these in a metal garbage can with holes tapped into the bottom. It was a bit of an experiment to troubleshoot a problem I have with volunteer potatoes in the garden. I somehow never get them all out of the ground and then I get potatoes where I didn’t want potatoes anymore. The idea was to keep them contained by planting them into a garbage can. After three months, I only got a few bright red potatoes.

The problem was that the can required so damn much soil. I had to really scrounge to find enough to cover up the potatoes as they grew. And I harvested too early (the plant was just flowering). But I needed that garbage can soil for another potato tower I’m growing, this one made out of a smith and hawken stacking composter. Will post results of that experiment.

7 responses to “The Harvest

  1. I’m doing my potato’s in a S&H stacker this year. They haven’t started flowering yet though. I’ll let you know how the harvest turns out. It does take a lot of soil. But I’ve been layering straw and soil and more straw. At least it’s easy to fill and add a new layer. Hopefully harvesting the same way will be simple. That’s the hope anyway.

    Miss you! Need to get together for a short visit one of these days.


  2. For years we have grown potatoes in a 30 gallon Rubbermaid garbage can, which we learned to do from an older neighbor. We use very little soil. Instead we use straw with a bit of soil and homemade compost between each layer of straw.

    We put fine mesh screen in the bottom to keep mice from getting and setting up housekeeping. Then around ten inches of packed straw in the bottom, then layer three or four seed potatoes, then repeat until we are 2/3 full. Then we wet the whole thing (has drilled drain holes in the bottom). Then we basically leave it alone.

    When he showed us how to do this I questioned whether the seed potatoes below would grow. But over weeks all the straw breaks down and mixes with the soil/compost and soon you see potato vines appearing. Then we slowly add enough soil and chopped straw to cover these vines and they keep coming up. We stop this once the container is full, and allow the vines to grow and then die down, which is when we harvest.

    A friend tried the large Rubbermaid totes and grew different potatoes in each one, and she had totes that were a good 2/3 full of wonderful potatoes, so I may try that this month.

  3. yep, I was gonna suggest just adding straw
    Plus Ruth Stout – check her out!

  4. Gardenbliss

    Wow, zucchini in May? So jealous. Seattle night time temp is still in the upper 40’s.

  5. brooklynorganicgardeneronti

    Wow. This looks yummy! Im just not being able to transplant my plants outside!

  6. Very nice harvest there, I am jealous!

    I haven’t got a green thumb, so my harvest is only herbs, they are easy to deal with and don’t require much work.

  7. Another potato idea is to grow them in old tires. They’ll be contained. The black tires will keep them warm. Pile on dirt to hill them. Enjoy.

    Oh, it’s my mom who gave me this tip. She was the only 12 year old, female, certified potato inspector in Alaska way back when. She’s been growing potatoes for a while now.

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