Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I've never harvested new potatoes before. These are the first, tiny potatoes that the plant grows. New potatoes are supposed to be a delicacy.
Last year was the first year I've grown potatoes, and I just waited until the plants died back and then I harvested the fully-grown potatoes.
However, I've read more gardening books since then! :-)
I've read that when the potatoes flower, the new potatoes are ready. A few weeks ago, the first flowers appeared. I tried digging under one but got a bit scared. You have to be very, very careful when harvesting new potatoes. You need to take a few potatoes but not disturb the plant or roots so that it can keep growing and provide more potatoes. Plus, new potatoes are delicate. Their skin is so thin that if you slide your finger down it you'll strip the skin right off!
Well, a few days ago I was a bit more adventurous. I dug around until I found some. After seeing how they grow and where to harvest them, I dug under several more plants. I even harvested a few of the "All Red"! I tried to take a few of the "All Blue", but those plants grow so differently from the others! They spread all over, send their shoots far underground, and all around made me so jittery that I decided not to mess with them right now. I got one. Yes, I am a wimp. (Click here to see what these potatoes looked like when I cut them to plant them back in April!)
But, look at my new potatoes! Now, some of these are too large to probably be called new potatoes. I was just too nervous to dig a few weeks ago when some of the first blossoms appeared. Live and learn. Next year perhaps I'll be a bit more adventurous! I do love a challenge.