Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mr. Potato Head: The Sequel

Ahhh, the best laid plans . . . .

The second Mr. Potato Head, it must be said, is disappointingly similar to his progenitor. What that means is that the whole crop of Russian Banana Fingerlings isn't dramatically bigger than what was put in ground to produce it!

And here is the entire crop of Yukon Gold potatoes.

What went wrong? It's hard to know for sure, but I did notice that in both potato containers the spuds grew only in the bottom layer of loose, rich dirt. Perhaps adding the layers of straw was not a good idea. The straw ended up getting packed in pretty tight and may have reduced air circulation. Next year I will try filling the containers only with soil and compost.

But there was still enough to bring to the table. Putting both crops together yielded just enough potatoes for our Fourth of July mini-feast of deviled eggs, fruit salad with yogurt, veggie burgers with garden lettuce and -- ta da! -- potato salad.

Looking back to April when I was calculating Days to Maturity and planning future menus, it's clear that nothing is guaranteed:

April 23: "So I'm anticipating a Yukon Gold potato salad in early June, ten weeks from planting time in late March, and, about five weeks later, in mid-July, one of B.'s fabulous potato pizzas made with Russian Banana Fingerlings."

Here's what really happened:

The early season Yukons (70 to 90 DTM) were harvested on July 3, 97 days after planting, a week longer than the maximum expected growing time.

The late season Fingerlings (105 to 135 DTM) were harvested earlier, on June 27, 91 days after planting, which is two weeks less than the minimum expected growing time.

I harvested when the plants were yellowed and falling over. There were hardly any immature potatoes in the containers, so waiting longer would not have made a difference.

As I said, the best laid plans . . . .

No comments: