This is one of the better looking plants! By this past weekend, most of them were gone, and I decided to give up on them, and plant the area with the rest of the tomato plants I had left to plant. Bummer!
I started digging around in the ground to plant the tomatoes, and started finding those little mini-potatoes the plants already had on them. They still looked OK! I decided to gather up as many of them as possible. Maybe this would be a way for my potatoes to get a second chance.
I started to do some research online to find out what I might be able to do with the mini-tubers, and found lots of useful info. It turns out my potato seedlings were doing what potato seedlings normally do.
Here is the most helpful thread I was able to find. From reading that, I have figured out that my potato seedlings had already gone into tuber-making mode, probably before I even planted them out in the garden. Despite Tom Wagner saying he can get a harvest of potatoes the first year from true potato seed (maybe in his climate he can, but I don't live in the Pacific Northwest), it looks like most people who grow TPS get tiny little mini-tubers the first year, and then plant the mini-tubers the next year to get full sized potatoes. I knew I would get small potatoes this year, but I didn't realize exactly how small they would be, and expected them to grow at least bigger than peanuts.
So the potatoes weren't a loss! I dug up as many mini-tubers as I could find, and then planted tomatoes in their place. Next I had to figure out what to do with the mini-tubers. The thread I linked to says you can plant the mini-tubers in the garden in June or July to get bigger potatoes by fall. Like with full-sized tubers, the mini-tubers will go dormant for a while before they can sprout again.
The problem is I live in Texas. If I plant these little things in the ground again this summer, I will just end up with mini-baked-potatoes! I've tried to plant seed potatoes for a fall crop before, and planted them in August, and hardly any of them made it. That was with full sized potatoes. I doubt these tiny little babies would fare much better.
I considered storing them, but I wasn't sure how long they would store well for, or what conditions they should be stored in. Finally I decided to plant them in a container, where I could keep them sheltered from the summer heat better, and they'd be in nicer soil. I probably should have grown my potato seedlings in a container the whole time and not even bothered planting them in the ground at all, but I'm learning.
I'm really not sure what's going to happen to them now. Maybe they will stay dormant for a while before sprouting. I'll keep them in the shade so they stay cool, and keep them moist, and see what happens. I'm in no hurry, I just hope they sprout at all.
beet variety trial, because they're the only ones that look halfway decent, and I think it's about time I gave up on them. This winter was just too dry, and I should have been more consistent with watering. Here you see the two nice-looking Chioggia beets I harvested, and one Detroit Dark Red. All the rest of my beets don't even have roots big enough to be worth bothering with, and they've been growing for over six months!
I'm going to have to try again next fall and see if I can get them more consistently watered over the winter. Will probably put in some kind of drip irrigation to keep them moist.
I think I'm going to roast these carrots with the few beets I had and some parsnips from the store for Easter dinner next weekend. I always like to try to incorporate home grown stuff into holiday meals whenever I can. Makes it seem more special.