You Say Potato…

Hello there!  Some of you closely watching my blog will know that I planted some potato tubers a while ago and have had a few problems with them.  So I am going to take you through the whoooooooole story.  This is where I started:


Five little ‘Rocket’ tubers in a specially bought “Potato Planter’.  This was on 24th March 2015.  And they initially grew very well, all the while I diligently built up the earth.


They looked healthy and were coming along nicely.  Buuuuut then it started to go a little ‘tits up’ shall we say.  It started off small.

Potato woes1

Just a couple of branches of leaves sort of shriveled and died.  So I just snapped them off hoping this would nip it in the bud.  But alas it got worse and worse.  I thought maybe that they were in too sunny a position and had been burnt by the sun.  So I moved them to a shadier spot.  But still this didn’t help and I was confronted with this:

Potatoes 1

They just looked a little sorry for themselves.  One branch at the back looked ok, but hardly the strong sturdy bushy leaves I had started with.  Being a novice I wondered where I went wrong.  Why did they die?  Do my potatoes have the blight?  Is it fungal?  Or had they simply not flowered and were ready to dig up?  I did read somewhere on an internet forum that not ALL potato plants flowered.  Well there was only one way to find out what went wrong, and that was to empty out the bag to see what was in there.  Ta daaaaa:

First Potatoes 2

I grew me some taters!!!!!!!  Admittedly not very many, but taters none the less!  All in all there were 20 produced that were ok, and plenty more looking like they were trying to grow but failed.  Here they are in all their glory!

Potatoes Scale

I put my sunglasses next to them for scale.  Yes there were on the small size, and their skins were quite thin, leading me to believe they didn’t have time to develop.  But they were potatoes home grown by me 🙂 and tasted just as they should – potatoey.

I’m still unsure what happened.  I think that they just didn’t flower and were ready to dig up…………….but that wouldn’t explain all the teeny potatoes still trying to grow that didn’t mature.  On digging them out, at the top of the planter, I thought I saw a couple of mushrooms, which makes me think it was fungal.  Unless my eyes were playing tricks on me.  However at the bottom of the planter where the potatoes were the biggest, a couple were starting to go moldy.  I did also see in one of the tubers, that had got all waterlogged and looked all shriveled and gross, some wiry looking wormies (not normal earth worms).  So I don’t know what that was all about.  Is this normal?  Whoooooo knows!  But no matter, I still got some potatoes out of this lot.  And I have later found out that the variety of potato ‘Rocket’ is a first early type, so maybe this would explain why they were ready so early (duuhhhh).  My other tub of potatoes, the remaining 5 tubers that I originally bought, I planted a month or so after this lot.  They are looking A LOT more healthy and are close to flowering so we shall see in a few weeks how those worked out.  Either way I made a nice potato salad with this lot to accompany my BBQ so all was not lost.

Until next time, happy gardening!


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