It all started back in late January when my hairdresser...who plants a LARGE veggie garden...told me that a client of hers (I promise this isn't gossip) plants potatoes every year on February 14th. It's a family tradition of theirs. The client told her they're easy to grow...with very few pests...and oh, so delicious.
Well, that got the idea percolating in my head...hmmm, potatoes...that could be fun. It wasn't two weeks later when I read Tom MacCubbin's...over at Tom's Diggs...post on planting potatoes. He suggested buying a package of the fingerling potatoes in the grocery store and growing your own gourmet potatoes. That's all it took because I LOVE the little fingerlings cut in small pieces...drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt...and roasted. I don't buy them often because they're expensive for the amount you get, but they really are delicious.
So, on my next visit to Publix I purchased the little delicasies and set a few of each variety aside to develop eyes. Next, we cut them into small pieces...each with at least one eye, created a nice mound of dirt and buried them about mid-way into the mound before the end of February.
Near the end of May, my impatience was getting to me and I started to dig around to see if there were truly any potatoes growing down deep in the compost-enhanced soil. And, guess what? Much to my jublilation there was! :-)
Had I waited until the green tops of the plants died...the sign that your potatoes are ready for harvest...I most likely would have reaped a little larger bounty, and some of the smaller potatoes would have grown larger. That's why "they" always say, "patience is a virtue." But, nonetheless, I was very pleased with our harvest and we enjoyed two meals of roasted gourmet potatoes for a cheap price.
With one success under the belt, I'm going to grow them again this fall, but this time...I promise...I'll be more patient and wait until they're ready for harvest. So, if you, too, love these potatoes...give them a try. They were super easy...no pests...I only fertilized them once and watered regularly. One note of interest though...it takes awhile for the potato sprouts to emerge from the ground. For a while I thought the experiment was going to be a bust, but then the sprouts emerged and grew quickly after that.