Everyone knows about potatoes:
- You plant them and they sprout lots of dark, green leafy stems.
- Sometime later, those stems die back and you can leave the potatoes in the ground where they wait patiently for you to harvest them (unless you have a deep freeze which ain’t so good for the new potatoes and ain’t ever a problem in Sydney).
- When you’re good and ready, you go and dig deeply to find a bonanza of new potatoes.
Not in my garden. In my garden:
- You plant any old potato you want (seed potatoes, grocery store potatoes, potatoes you’ve dug up from the garden) and they sprout lots of dark, green leafy stems.
- Sometime later, those stems die back and you can leave the potatoes in the ground where, before all the plants have died back, new plants start growing. (What? Isn’t that against the rules? Shouldn’t they be in their dormant season? Is there a dormant season in Sydney for potatoes? In theory I should plant between August & October but these plants sprouted from potatoes MUCH later than that – about January.)
- When the bandicoot is good and ready (yes, him again) you go out and find a bonanza of new potatoes lying on top of the ground next to your potato plants.
Here’s the magical self-harvested potatoes. They don’t look like they could dig themselves out, but maybe it wasn’t the bandicoot 😉 .
And here’s those magical self-seeding potato plants a few weeks after I guess I should have harvested them. I have no idea if I should harvest now or wait until this batch of plants starts to die down. What if only some of the plants die and more new ones come up? When is the season to harvest these darned things?
When I started this gardening racket I figured I’d have to deal with pests, drought, soil quality and my less-than-green thumb, I did not factor in managing Magical Potatoes. I wonder if there’s a special branch of horticulture I should be studying.