Category Archives: Vegetables

July 5, 2015 Greenhouse Update

There isn’t too much to talk about today in the greenhouse update. There haven’t been any disasters that required me to fix the plastic; there haven’t been any falling fans to break off my watermelon vines, or anything of that nature. What there has been however is a tremendous amount of growth.

As you can see in the video, everything has double (or tripled, or more) in size since the last video from June 21. This is in large part to a spike in temperature for almost a week that kept it near (sometimes above) 32°C (89.6°f) which a lot of the plants in there just loved. On those days the smaller containers and the flats needed to be watered at least twice, the medium containers only needed extra water a few of the hottest days since they do a good job of shading their soil with their leaves. I only had to water the raised bed and the large pepper an extra time once through the hot weather, and that was on the day when I couldn’t get the temperature down below about 36°C (about 97°f).

I tried something new to shade the greenhouse on those hot days which seemed to work better than the tarp I had been using before. I used clothes pins to pin up strips of landscape fabric to the cattle panels in the upper south side of the greenhouse. It worked alright, but eventually I think I will have to get something that shades from the outside, but doesn’t touch the plastic so that there is a zone where the air in the shade can cool before it ever touches the greenhouse. I think this is the best option, and should help keep the greenhouse the coolest on those hot days.

Another idea I have been toying with is to grow beans up the front of the greenhouse, either on the inside, or on the outside to provide a natural shade on the structure. The only thing that worries me about that is how it would affect the plants inside, since there will always be some shade thrown on them during the summer instead of just when they need it like a shade cloth would provide. I will keep an eye on the beans that I already have in there this year to see if the idea is even plausible to try.

That’s all for this update, until next time, keep on gardening and look for a guide to how I sprout my lemon seeds faster that is coming soon.

June 21 2015 Greenhouse Update and Hand Pollination Tips

The greenhouse is doing great for the most part this year, even after a week solid of rain and mostly cloudy weather – there were a few sunny breaks, though not many – everything is growing well. Everything that is, except for the cucumbers.

The cucumbers I planted, that I talked about in the last post have grown a bit, but not as much as everything else around them. This is becoming a bit of a problem, at least for the moment because they aren’t getting as much sun as they should because they are flanked on each side by pole beans and tomatoes which have become much bigger than the lowly cucumbers.

Shaded Cucumbers

As you can see, there isn’t much sun for them yet, and that was taken at 10:30 AM.

As of right now, I would guess they only get about four solid hours of good sunlight a day. The morning sun is dappled through the watermelons and beans, especially on the plant at the back but this is something that I had planned for, as I want the morning glory’s to do that for everything on the north side to keep the temperature down a little bit for slightly longer on warm days.

What I never planned for was the beans growing so much faster than the cucumbers, and that the Roma tomatoes, and some of the door frame would block so much from them in the late afternoon and early evening. None of this will be a problem once the cucumbers start growing up the netting behind them, as for now the sunlight seems to hit just above their current height and there isn’t much of the trellis that is shaded most of the time.

Next year though, I will either moving them to one of the ends of the raised bed, or just starting them earlier so they can be more dominant when it comes to reaching the sun against the other plants. If I transplant them around the same height as the tomatoes, or even the peppers, they should do a lot better.

Hand Pollination
One of the problems with my greenhouse is the lack of pollinators flying in and out of it on a daily basis. Though lately I have had to help a few bees get back home by picking them up on a stick and bringing them out the door, so it seems the hanging basket I put outside is working so far.

I am not seeing enough activity to stop hand pollinating however, so I will keep it up for the rest of the season unless I see the number of pollinators climbing significantly.

Tomatoes and peppers are some of the easiest plants to hand pollinate that I know of. All you have to do is knock the pollen off of the male parts into the air and they will coat the female parts and you will have a new fruit. Some people use electric toothbrushes for this, but I just tap the top of the flower with my finger and it seems to work great. For tomatoes growing very tall I have seen people using long poles to tap on the flowers, but I can reach the roof of my greenhouse, so this should never be the case for me.

The technique I showed in the video for the watermelons – rubbing the reproductive parts of the male flower right onto those of the female flower – can be done for a number of other plants as well. Cucumbers, summer and winter squash, cantaloupe, and any other plant that fruits from imperfect (separate male and female) flowers. You can also transfer the pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers by using a small paintbrush or cotton swab.

That’s it for this update, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you liked the video subscribe to the YouTube channel! As always you can reach me through social media using the links on this page (look for the green buttons).

My Last Outdoor Harvest of the 2014 Season

As many of you reading this may know, we had snow very early this year, on September 8th. Generally we don’t get our first snow until closer to Hallowe’en, but something went weird and we got a big dump of it early, so early in fact that we had not even had a frost before it hit.

This ruined some of the plants I had yet to harvest from outdoors, I lost all of my corn, my pumpkin, dill, sunflowers, hollyhocks, and a few heads of lettuce that were buried in snow and forgotten about when the others were rescued. What I didn’t lose is a shorter list, but one with an ending that was better than I had expected.

After the snow had melted, and I was busy cleaning up the damage, I noticed a few things. First, the biggest cabbage that I had (the only one not decimated by caterpillars) grew tremendously in the cooler weather that followed for a week or so after the snow was gone. It almost doubled in size in a week, and was easily the largest cabbage that I have ever grown. I left it until September 29th before finally picking it; I then lost almost half of it to cabbage loopers who were hiding under the outside leaves going to town chewing up the inside. Even after that, I had a good sized cabbage that was nice and sweet, as it turns out frost (or temporary snow) makes the cabbage taste sweeter, I had read this, but never knew it to be true. Now I know it is absolutely true, and I don’t think I will pick a cabbage before frost again, it tasted that much better.

Cabbage Looper

These little jerks ruined most of my cabbages this season, but one was just too strong for them.

Besides the cabbage, the only other things I hadn’t lost to the snow were the carrots in the front yard square foot garden. I still had three squares planted and though the tops had been pushed over under the weight of the snow, they looked healthy, so I kept them in the ground until October 3rd. Then I harvested 65 of them, including some of the largest carrots I have ever grown (see below for a picture of the biggest).

Biggest Carrot 2014

This was the biggest carrot to come out of my gardens ever. I think there were one or two that may have been even larger, but they broke while I tried to pull them out. That’s a quarter for reference.

They were also the sweetest carrots I had ever grown, despite their size, they taste like baby carrots. As it turns out, carrots also taste sweeter after they have had a frost. I had never seen this mentioned anywhere else (not that I had looked for it) but I confirmed it with a friend of mine who said that they never harvest their carrots until after a frost in their garden because it makes them taste much better. This will now by my practice, as I found it is well worth the wait, though I have a sneaking suspicion that a few of those carrots will get pulled up and eaten early due to my lack of patience for wanting to taste them. I will try to keep that under control for a bigger payout in the end however.

Harvest October 3 2014

Not a bad haul, especially almost a month after the first snowfall. Only the carrots were from outside though, the rest came from the greenhouse.

As you can see from the picture, on the same day I also harvested the last green bell pepper, the last nine chili peppers (they were still green) and the last eleven tomatoes from the greenhouse. They could have remained out there longer and left to ripen on their own, but I had decided not to use the heater in there once the fall garden went into it, and it was supposed to get below freezing that night. Without a big enough heat sink, I wouldn’t have been able to keep them out there without them getting hit hard by the dropping nighttime temperatures.

Also in the picture is the first harvest from the fall garden, 28 radishes, they were small to medium sized and could have been left in longer, but I wanted to replant them and get a good start on the second harvest. It is a good thing I did too, as they are growing much slower this time around, due to lower temperatures and less sunlight per day. You can read about the fall garden here.

I think that I learned more from this harvest than from any other I have ever had. Not only was it the first time I had ever harvested so late (I always used to pull anything I couldn’t cover once the frost hit), but I also learned a few things that I had looked into were actually true.

I had read about the cabbages being sweeter after a frost, but I had no idea that the carrots would be too. I was confident both would survive the snowfall we had, but I didn’t think that the flavours would be that much better. I guess what I’m saying, is that the snow in early September wasn’t so bad… This time. I wouldn’t want to see Mother Nature make a habit out of hitting us like that every year though.

Cabbage Looper photo courtesy ForestryImages.org

Fall Garden Update 1

This will be the first update on the fall garden that actually has some substance to it, to see the first small update, look at the bottom of the original post. It has been just over a month now, and things have changed quite a bit in the ol’ greenhouse, in preparation for the fall garden to take it over.

Right now, the fall garden is mostly spread out on the floor, out of the way, but in no way does it have a permanent spot. I have taken out the iris (it had bugs all over it), beefsteak tomato, the melons, and all of the peppers, but the corn, gladiolas, marigolds (which will be taken out soon) and Tiny Tim tomatoes remain for now, each taking up valuable space away from the containers for the fall garden. That and I need to pull up some quack grass that has managed to grow up through the tarp on the floor.

Once all of the plants are moved, or removed as they die off, and the weeding is done, the fall garden will take its place close to the south side of the greenhouse under two miniature greenhouse domes. Inside the domes, with the plants I will be placing two 4L milk jugs painted black, and if I can get my hands on some, a 5 gallon pail with a lid on each, also painted black. If I can’t get two of those I will continue to use the ones that I already have with the plastic soil bag as a makeshift lid.

Enough about what you will see in the next update however, let’s get onto what has happened so far with the lettuce, spinach, and radishes that make up my autumn garden.

The green leaf lettuce has not done so well so far. I am not sure if the soil mix I used (just worm castings and potting soil) is too heavy, or if it doesn’t like the nutrient mix in it, but only two of the seven pots have sprouted. To make up for this, I have started some more inside and will be transplanting them out there as soon as I can get them hardened off. That has been the only problem so far though, as you will see.

Fall Garden Green Leaf Lettuce

Out of the seven pots, with two seeds planted in each of two holes, I have had only three lettuce sprout in the greenhouse. There is more planted in the house though.

The spinach is coming along nicely, all of the pots sprouted, and when the greenhouse heats up too much, I move them outside by the north wall. Here they get light that has been filtered through both sides of the greenhouse and a bit extra shade at certain points in the day from the corn inside. I am a little worried that it might bolt if it gets too hot inside during the later growth stages, but hopefully the water jugs will help to regulate the temperature.

Fall Garden Update Spinach

The spinach sprouted well, out of the six seeds planted (2 per pot) four sprouted and three remain after I removed the extra.

Last is my first harvest in October ever! Before this year, I just let the frost take everything outside, or picked everything before the first heavy frost, but as this has been a year for not only expanding the garden areas (building new beds, and a greenhouse), it has also been a year for experimentation (early radish planting, growing potatoes in bags, and this fall garden) and I have managed two harvests late in the season. The one we are going to talk today is the red radish harvest from the fall garden; I will touch on the other one in another post soon though.

I got 28 small to medium sized radishes out of the long white planter on October 3rd. I could have left them longer so they were bigger, but they looked delicious and I got impatient. I went out this morning and replanted them, so I hope to have more in about a month, maybe longer if I let them get bigger this time.

Fall Garden Oct 3 Red Radish Harvest

The red radishes got a little bit chewed on by some bugs, but it didn’t bother them much as I harvested some good sized ones a little after a month of growing.

The fall garden has me very excited, by this point in the year, we tend to be out of garden fresh vegetables, and so extending the season is a huge bonus. I don’t know how long I will be able to grow in the greenhouse domes inside the greenhouse for (greenhouse-ception?) but I will be happy if I can get it into late November. I could make it much longer, but I will not be using the heater in there from now on, as in lower temperatures it just runs constantly and uses too much power. That and I want to see how well the jugs of water work to regulate the temperature on their own when the temperature drops.

I might however, if we get an unusually cold night early on, fill some of the jugs with warm water if they for whatever reason couldn’t warm up during the day, but I don’t see that happening.

I have also started a Pinterest account for the site, there isn’t much on it as of this moment, but I will be adding any pictures I add to the site or on any of the other social media accounts to it, and anything else I find that I want to share. You can click the new social button on the top right of the site, or just click here to go to it.

Garden Update and Greenhouse Tour September 8, 2014

Normally where I live, we get the first frosts around the end of September. Normally, we get the first snow sometime in October or November. This year, someone forgot to give Mother Nature the message, and we got a good 8 inches of snow on September 8th, before we even had our first frost.

Needless to say, the plants outside of the greenhouse did not fair very well, I lost three cucumber plants, two dill, five lettuce, numerous sunflowers, all of my corn, and my pumpkin. I thought the pumpkin might have been safe, but in the last few days it has become more and more mushy and it’s still dark green. I cut it from the remains of the plant today and set it in a sunny location, whether this helps or not, I have no idea, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

September 8 Morning Corn

When I woke up on the 8th, I went out to water the greenhouse like I do every day, and I noticed a skiff of snow on the corn.

However, I still have some troopers that sat under the snow for three days and came out virtually unharmed. The carrots tops in the front square foot garden are still nice and green, but aren’t standing up too well due to the weight of the snow bending and breaking some of them. Joining them, in the west side sfg garden is the cabbage. it looks as though nothing happened to it at all (other than the damage that had already been done to it by caterpillars) and it has actually grown to be visibly bigger since last Thursday. Last Thursday being the day that a lot of the snow started melting, and I could actually see the cabbage again.

Sept 8 Early Afternoon Corn

By about 1 pm that skiff had turned into a full on blizzard. I shook the snow off after that picture was taken, but the temperatures dropped too low and that corn has since died.

Inside the greenhouse is a completely different story however, when I heard the lows would be below freezing, I went out and plugged in a small electric space heater to keep everything inside safe. Normally I wouldn’t bother taking it out, but I still have some cantaloupe, pepper, and tomato plants inside that I am still harvesting from and I didn’t want to risk losing them. I kept it on for almost a week, as even though it had warmed up, it was still dipping too low overnight for me to be comfortable not doing so. Having the heater on inside kept it about 16°C (61°F) during the day, which was aided by the sun, however little there was, and around 10°C (50°F) at night. You can get a good look at the conditions outside, and inside the greenhouse in the video below.

Even though we got a foot to a foot and a half of snow over September 8-10th, it was all gone in a few days, and temperatures climbed back to normal, and beyond for this time of year. Yesterday was about 25°C (77°F) and they are predicting it will be 24°C today, Sort of an odd predicament, but it sure makes me feel lucky that I can take advantage of these temperatures for some of my plants at least, I had a good harvest of bell peppers and a cucumber yesterday from my small greenhouse, one I would have lost all of if they were planted outside.

My First Fall Garden

Over the last four or so years, my gardening strategy was simply to plant in the spring, harvest when ready, or just before the frost came. It’s how I remember my Grandfather doing it when I was a kid, how it was done by the rest of my family when we used to rent a garden space out in the country again when I was a kid, and how many people around the world do it.

There’s nothing wrong with growing that way, it’s nice and simple and reminds me of my soccer and futsal coaching days where the team motto was always K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid – not that I thought any of the teams I coached were stupid, just that it’s how I learned the acronym) focusing on winning through fundamentals over fancy plays that are easily messed up. Growing from spring to harvest is gardening fundamentals, you can win championships with it, and it works great, but to get the most out of the game, a little razzle-dazzle can come in handy.

That’s how I view things in gardening like fall planting, or early spring planting, growing under cover, etc. All of the fundamentals are involved, conditioning the soil, proper watering, trimming, harvesting, etc. but the razzle-dazzle comes from the plants getting extra heat from a hoop house, greenhouse, plastic tent, or whatever it is that extends the season beyond that of the fundamental gardeners are doing. It’s a strange analogy, but it makes sense to me, hopefully it does for you as well.

My plans for my fall garden, which I hope will extend into the winter, are pretty simple:

  • First I will be putting some cardboard down on the greenhouse “floor” (it’s still just that tarp) for a little extra insulation from the frozen ground that I will set the containers on.
  • I will then place some jugs or buckets of water near to the plants so that they can be used as heat sinks inside each tent to keep the temperature that much warmer overnight.
  • Next I will be putting two small plastic tents overtop of the containers, one I used in the spring to start radishes early, you can read about that here, the other is a bit bigger and is made to go overtop of one of the planters in the new garden spaces I put in back in June.
  • Last, I want to disturb the spaces as little as possible, checking only when necessary in order to water and harvest from it in order to keep as much heat in as possible. Though we do get Chinooks where I live, so sometimes the temperature outside spikes well above freezing, and I may actually have to vent the tents and greenhouse.

That’s it. I am confident that it doesn’t have to be anymore complicated than that. I have mixed good soil with worm castings and some left over potting soil, so the plants will get a good start. I may at some point add a bit of fertilizer to the soil if I feel it needs it, but I don’t even think it will come to that.

Fall Garden

The fall garden freshly planted on September 1, our front step is not its permanent location. That would be a hazard.

The picture above shows the containers I have decided to use, originally I was going to plant my fall garden in the raised bed that will be in the greenhouse one day (next year), but I was unable to get it finished, as I went well over budget on the gardens this year. I think these containers will work out fine, everything I’ve read said that just having something planted in the greenhouse over winter should bump it from zone 3 to zone 4, and inside the little tents should be closer to zone 5.

In the containers I have planted 14 “Grand Rapids” green leaf lettuce, two in each of the seven containers behind the radishes, in the containers down the step, I have planted one “Matador” spinach each. I also have an unknown number of “German Giant” red radishes planted in the white planter (I think it’s somewhere between 20-30 plants). I have planted all of these before and they have all grown well during the spring, so I hope the fall and winter garden can lead to some extra fresh greens and radishes into the dreary winter diet we have here of seal meat and snow.

That last bit is a Canada joke, but it stems from a bit of truth, the vegetables we get here in the winter, while good quality, just can’t touch anything picked fresh from the garden in the taste department. I am sure it is like that most places where growing year round isn’t generally an option.

I don’t know if I can make this continue to grow all year long, if we have a week or two of -30 C temperatures with clouds, it might be impossible without adding in a heater out there, which I have access to (it’s out there right now so that my watermelon, cantaloupe, and peppers aren’t affected by the cold nights we have been having), but I don’t really want to use, as I want to see how far I can extend the season by just putting plastic domes over everything.

My reasoning for doing it this way is that putting plants under plastic is something that most gardeners will have access to. They might not have a greenhouse, but hoop houses are much cheaper and easier to make, so hopefully someone reading this will see how it goes with the rest of the upcoming posts on the progress of it all and can try it out with a couple of hoop houses at their place, or in their greenhouse next winter.

UPDATE: As of today (September 4) the radishes have already started to sprout. Check out those little beauties. I am also particularly proud of how that picture turned out, I think it’s an interesting angle… But then again, I might be biased.

Red Radish Seedlings Sprouting in the Fall Garden

They haven’t all come up yet, but they’ve started already!

Growing Potatoes in Containers Garbage Can Harvest

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.

Growing Potatoes in Containers Ready for Harvest

This is what the plants looked like before I dumped out the soil.

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.

Growing Potatoes in Containters Garbage Can Harvest

Here’s what I got, not much more than either of the bags.

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.

That colour is not what I expected from the corms I bought on eBay, but I sure do love it!

That colour is not what I expected from the corms I bought on eBay, but I sure do love it!

Growing Potatoes in Containers Potato Bag Harvest

These potatoes were harvested on July 30, but unfortunately I never got around to writing this post until now, in the middle of August.

It has been a busy spring and summer for me all around this year, along with building the greenhouse, I have been picking up some extra work, expanding the garden areas and because of this, I have missed some crucial opportunities not only in the garden, but socially as well. One of the things I missed in the garden was putting the last of the peat moss into the potato bags, so the harvest came a little earlier than I thought it would.

The bags still had about three more inches that I could have rolled up and filled by the time the potatoes started to die back, but I could never find the time to actually get out there and do it. Those times that I did have time, I completely forgot about it and it never got done. This is something I am terrible at, but in the last week or so I have been putting tasks into my phone’s calendar to buzz at me to remind me of little things I would otherwise forget, it’s working pretty well so far. If you have the same problem, give it a try, if you remember to put the tasks into the calendar, it’s hard to forget when it’s time to get them done.

Potato bags

The potatoes on the left had their branches kept intact and buried with the stems, the one sin the bag on the right had their branches removed before burying the stems.

If you recall from the other posts that I made about the container potatoes, I was doing a little experiment with the potatoes in these bags. In one bag, I cut off all of the branches below where I buried them up to, and in the other I left the branches as they were. The picture above shows the two bags, on the right is the bag with the branches cut off, and on the left is the bag where the branches were buried. As you can see, viewed from the top, there wasn’t much difference in either one.

To harvest the bags, I used a trick that I adapted from mixing up Mel’s Mix for my square foot garden beds. Instead of mixing the soil on a tarp like he did, I just dumped out the bags one at a time to avoid mixing up which potatoes came from where onto the tarp and moved the soil around taking out the plants and potatoes until none were left. Once finished, it makes it easy to dump the soil back into a container leaving clean up a snap. I highly recommend this trick, and I am sure I’m not the first to think of it.

The Results

Though I planted four seed potatoes in each bag, the bag with the branches cut off only had three successfully grow. That means that for this experiment, I will be taking the average potato per plant as the comparative numbers, instead of just how many potatoes there were in each bag as I would have if an equal number of plants had grown.

Potato Bags Harvest July 30

The harvest from both potato bags on July 30, 2014.

As you can see from the picture, the bag with the branches cut off actually produced one more potato on one less plant. This leaves us with an average of 4.3 potatoes per plant. The bag ended up with 6 large to medium sized potatoes out of the 13 that came out of it.

The bag with the branches left on however, only produced 12 potatoes for 4 plants, this averages out to 3 potatoes per plant. Though it has 8 medium to large sized potatoes, which is 2 more than the non-branched bag had.

I was disappointed with the harvest at first, until I spoke with a friend of mine who has been gardening with his parents since he was able to walk, and he said it seemed like a normal harvest. They usually plant four pieces of seed potato per hill, and get about 10-15 potatoes from each one. This turned my thoughts on the potato bags around, if you can get as much as a hill of potatoes (maybe more if I was on the ball filling them better) then I am happy with it, and they are a lot easier on the back to harvest than potatoes grown in the ground.

About the Experiment

In the end, this was not really a fair test, scientifically speaking. Using a different amount of plants in one bag vs. the other and taking the average isn’t really a good way to perform the test. It was also a very small scale test, and even though I used the same types of bags, seed potatoes from the same box, soil medium from the same sources, and kept them in the same area, that area wasn’t sterile, and small factors could have made a big difference. I also should have weighed the potatoes from each bag for another set of statistics to look over.

That being said, I think we can look at the results and have a good start of some information that we can use to grow better potatoes. It seems, from this experiment, that you can get more potatoes (albeit mostly small ones) from plants that the branches have been cut off of before the stems are buried. If you want larger potatoes, but fewer of them, keep the branches on when you hill them.

I may, or may not try this test again next season to see if it works out the same, I will decide that come spring, but if you want to try it, or if you have experience with growing the potatoes with and without branches in the hill, let me know how it went for you in the comments below, I’d love to hear what others have found out in their own experiences.