I've been waiting for the right time to harvest the potatoes. The gardening books say you should wait until the plants have flowered and the foliage has started to die off. There hasn't been any progress on the latter front for a few weeks so, in a fit of impulse and excitement, I decided that today was as good a day as any.
The potates were grown in a pot. I grow most of my veg this way as I've never had suitable land for growing. The ground here is heavy clay and water-logged. I'm gradually cultivating a border at the side which is drier but the soil is poor, having had a conifer hedge in it previously. By next spring, I should have some lovely homemade compost to dig in.
Back in the spring, I had a pot of compost which had been used for growing something else and potatoes in the cupboard which had started to go soft and sprout. Rather than throw either away, I decided to stick the potatoes in the bottom of the pot and see what happened.
My lovely Grandad wouldn't have approved. He was my gardening guru and taught me to put the potatoes in the bottom of the pot and only just cover them with compost. As soon as the shoots appear, add more compost and keep doing this until you reach the top of the pot. This should produce a better harvest.
Well, I did my own thing. So, what would I find under the compost?
I tipped out the pot onto an old grow bag. Lots of slugs hiding in the crocks at the bottom. And the first tantalising glimpse of pearly white.
Eagerly, I rummaged through the compost, making sure I found every last tuber.
How many? How many??
Well, not exactly the bumper harvest I'd hoped for but enough for a meal for two. Given that I started off with year-old spent compost, some random tubers and left them to it, I reckon this is a pretty good result.
And no matter how few there are, they're still going to taste amazing!