Self-harvesting, Self-seeding, Magical Potatoes

Everyone knows about potatoes:

  1. You plant them and they sprout lots of dark, green leafy stems.
  2. 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).
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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 😉 .

Potatoes that harvested themselves

Potatoes that harvested themselves

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?

These potato plants came up before their parents had fully died back

These potato plants came up before their parents had fully died back

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.

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
This entry was posted in Garden, Nature and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Self-harvesting, Self-seeding, Magical Potatoes

  1. You could be the first to write a book on how to manage these magical potatoes!

    • Do you think there’s a lot of demand or is it just my batch of potatoes that are magical? I like thinking I’ve got something unique happening in my garden but I also like the idea of writing a best seller and living off the royalties while I potter in my back yard.

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