Let me start by saying that it is things like this that really make me hate gardening sometimes. I had big hopes for growing potatoes in containers this year, I went out and purchased a huge bag of peat moss to grow them in since I knew they like a bit of acidity and a nice, loose medium to grow in, I made sure they had enough sun, water, nutrients, etc and in the end, I pretty much got nothing.
That being said, I will try again next year, and can add one more item to the list of what not to do in the future. I just found this particularly frustrating, I think it’s the same as the rare times I buy a lottery ticket, then get disappointed when I don’t win, because I am already spending the money in my head. It’s just that this time the money was potatoes and the spending was all of the delicious ways I could prepare them.
Enough whining from me for now, let’s look at the harvest!
I harvested the container on August 19 in my usual fashion; I just dumped the container out onto a tarp and sifted through with my hands to find all of the potatoes. This time I wish I had worn gloves though, as the seed potatoes were a disgusting mass of watery mush and even though it was contained inside the skin, that skin broke open easily and got all over my hands. That always seems to happen and it always grosses me out, one year I will remember gloves.
There wasn’t really much to find, and every potato that I did find was actually in the Mel’s Mix (from the Square Foot Gardening Method) at the bottom of the barrel, not a single potato, not even one of the tiny ones was found in the peat moss. I found this odd, since I had read in numerous places that peat is great for growing potatoes in. From my barrel which had 8 or so plants in it, I got 23 potatoes, 9 medium-large ones, and 14 small-tiny ones.
What seemed to happen with it, and I should have taken a picture of it, was that once it was wet, the peat just clumped together, not unlike it does when you’re taking it out of one of those bricks you can buy it in. I think that growing in some peat moss would work great, as long as you have something else added to it as to not to let the clumps form. Whether that is potting mix, compost, vermiculite, sand, straw, or whatever you decide, it needs something else in there with it. It should work better, but I think I might just mix up some Mel’s Mix for it next year instead.
On the plus side, I did finally get some Gladiolas to bloom, we’ve tried growing them before and they never worked, then no one dug up the corms and we lost them to winter kill. Since my Instagram widget isn’t working at the moment (between writing this and editing it, the widget was updated and fixed) I’ll post the picture here as a positive way to end the post. It’s moments where I can share pictures like that with you all that makes me love gardening and the work I put into it… That and the amazingly good food that comes from it.