Tater Time – Not So Much

Anticipation bubbled within me at the thought of unearthing several potatoes from my second grow bag. Little green remained on the two limp, live stalks. It must be time.

I amassed my supplies: white trash bags for the soil, gardening measuring cup, and mini rake and spade, then headed out into the sun (90-degree heat), and unvelcroed the flap.

My mouth watered at the memory of fresh-from-the-garden potatoes in my Niagara Falls back yard a lifetime ago, then I remembered the first grow bag batch didn’t taste that good, but they were better than store-bought. This bag has to hold more than the first one, which yielded three small potatoes and eight teeny, tiny ones a few weeks ago. A friend told me I harvested it too soon.

I lugged the thick felt sack to where I could partly work in shade. It is much heavier than the first one. That’s promising. Hope soared that we would be eating fresh taters for dinner tonight.

Seconds of careful digging with my spade revealed a small red potato. Eureka! On April 8, I had “seeded” the bag with three chunks of red potato and four of Idaho russets compared to six brown tubers in the first sack.

I dug and dug, finally finding a larger brown potato, but…it was squishy! So disappointed. Hope lived on as I persevered, then switched to gentle raking where I expected to find more. I raked and raked, spaded and spaded. This can’t be it. Desperation hastened my movements. Sweat dripped into my eyes and dotted my glasses.

When the bag was emptied, my total edible yield was…one small red potato.

“Why?” I asked myself. With sack two vs. sack one, the three major differences were: I didn’t dry out the cut potatoes for 24 hours, started it in potting soil vs. all-purpose in-ground soil, and temperatures were in high 90s, low 100s during the last few weeks so I watered it daily. It could have been any or all of these things.

Will I try it again? Yes I will, come next spring. In one of the bags, I want to try carrots.

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