Thursday, August 23, 2012

Small Potatoes

Sorted German Butterball potatoes

When I came back from vacation I had just a couple short weeks left to finish planting for the fall garden.  Since many of my beds are still producing summer crops, it was time to get the potatoes out.  After leaving them to dry on the guest bed for a couple weeks, I finally got around to brushing them off and sorting them.  There were fewer than I expected, just under 16 lbs, with the best of them in that large pile to the right.  The pile on the front left are the ones that needed to be eaten quickly, as they were damaged during harvest.

The ones in the back are the ones I considered too small even for chopping and frying.  After last year's suprise second potato harvest, I'm thinking about replanting them to see if I can get some new potatoes before the first frost.  Last spring I saved some of the smallest Viking Purple potatoes and replanted them in the tubs out back - sure enough, every one of them sprouted and grew into a healthy, vibrant potato plant.  Aren't potatoes magical?

I don't think I'll plant this variety again.  I chose them because I thought a late-season variety would give me a bigger harvest, but I think it was actually less than the Yukon Golds planted in the same bed, and the Butterballs took a month longer to finish.  The difference could be just a matter of timing - insufficient rainfall at the time of tuber formation can cause lower yields - but I don't think I'll spend a second growing season to find out.  I still haven't found another potato variety I like as much as the Viking Purple.

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